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News : Entertainment Mar 29, 2012 - 9:35 AM

100th Anniversary of Pygmalion honored by Play With Your Food

By Play With Your Food

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Daniel Gerroll
Westport, CT - Honoring the 100th anniversary of George Bernard Shaw’s classic romantic comedy, Pygmalion (1912), Play With Your Food will present an excerpt at its final 2012 performances on April 3 (Fairfield) and April 10, 11 and 12 (Westport.)

Everyone knows the musical My Fair Lady, but most contemporary theatre-goers haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the original comedy on which it is based.

In Pygmalion, phonetics professor Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess by teaching her to assume impeccable speech. The comic play is a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and a comment on women's independence.

Norman Allen
Artistic Director Carole Schweid has chosen to showcase for local audiences a scene between Henry Higgins and Eliza’s father, Alfred P. Doolittle. “Everyone knows this story and what transpires between Higgins and Eliza”, said Schweid. “But the interaction between Eliza’s father and Higgins is a riotous lampooning of the class system in England and still reflects a contemporary clash of cultures.”

Two British-born stage and screen veterans will take on these comic roles. Born in London, living in Weston, Daniel Gerroll (Higgins), has won Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards for his work on the NY Stage and played Henry Higgins at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 2004. His Broadway credits include Plenty, The Homecoming and High Society; television includes Knots Landing, Miami Vice, Sex and the City, Cheers, Seinfeld and Law and Order. Norman Allen (Doolittle), from Edmonton, North London, began his career on the British stage. He came to Broadway in the English Stage Company’s Chips with Everything, and then returned in Half A Sixpence. Subsequent Broadway appearances included Borstal Boy, Comedians, Vivat, Vivat, Regina, Major Barbara, and Get Thee To Canterbury. Allen lives in Norwalk and is involved locally in the Theatre Artists Workshop.

Play With Your Food has been delighting Fairfield County audience for 10 years with its creative combination of staged professional short-play readings and lunch. A gourmet buffet begins the program at 12noon; play-readings and a discussion with the director and cast runs until 1:30 pm. The Pantry of Fairfield will provide lunch on Tuesday, April 3 at the Fairfield Theatre Company; Garelick & Herbs will cater on April 10, 11 and 12 at Toquet Hall in Westport. A Passover choice will be offered for those observing the holiday.

Chris Cafero
Also announced for the April Play With Your Food program is Bottom of the Ninth. It’s the seventh game of the World Series…Manesco's at bat and Wolford is catching. What really goes on 'behind the scenes' in major leagues while the spectators are holding their breath? This sweet comedy by Tony Sportiello promises to be about competition, friendship, and the preconceptions we carry with us. Just returning from a tour of the off-Broadway hit The Awesome 80’s Prom in Phoenix, Arizona, Norwalk’s Chris Cafero will play the role of Manesco. In the program’s third play, Misreadings by Neena Beber, a college English professor learns a strong lesson about making assumptions about her student.

Presented by the not-for-profit JIB Productions, Inc., the final performances of the 2012 Play With Your Food season begin at 12noon at the Fairfield Theatre Company, 70 Sanford Street, on Tuesday, April 3; and at Toquet Hall, 62 Post Road East, Westport on Tuesday, April 10; Wednesday April 11 (sold-out) and Thursday, April 12. Tickets, $43, can be purchased anytime online at or by calling 203 293 8831 from 10am – 4pm, Mon – Sat. Advance reservations are required.

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