Theater News

Robert Sean Leonard, Charlotte Parry to Star in Old Globe’s Pygmalion

Nicholas Martin to direct Shaw’s classic – the source of My Fair Lady — as it turns 100.

It’s once again time for poor cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle to learn some proper English, as George Bernard Shaw’s classic Pygmalion reaches the 100th anniversary of its premiere. In tandem with this milestone, Nicholas Martin (Present Laughter) will direct a new production for The Old Globe in San Diego, set to run January 12 – February 17.

Charlotte Parry stars as Eliza Doolittle and Robert Sean Leonard as Professor Henry Higgins in The Old Globe's 100th anniversary production of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.
Charlotte Parry stars as Eliza Doolittle and Robert Sean Leonard as Professor Henry Higgins in The Old Globe’s 100th anniversary production of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.
© Henry DiRocco

The show will star Tony Award winner Robert Sean Leonard (Born Yesterday) as the prickly linguist Henry Higgins and Charlotte Parry (The Importance of Being Earnest) will play student Eliza. The cast will also feature Tony nominee Paxton Whitehead (Noises Off) as Colonel Pickering — Higgins’ best friend and Eliza’s unlikely ally; and Broadway vets Kandis Chappell (Rumors) and Don Sparks (Take Me Out) as Higgins’ mother and Eliza’s father, respectively.

The company will also include Erin Elizabeth Adams, Maggie Carney, Jeremy Fisher, Adam Gerber, Allison Layman, Danielle O’Farrell, Robbie Simpson, and Deborah Taylor. The creative team consists of scenic designer Alexander Dodge, lighting designer Philip S. Rosenberg, costume designer Robert Morgan, and sound designer Drew Levy. Mark Bennett will provide original music.

Leonard won a Tony for his performance in The Invention of Love. He also was Tony-nominated for his performances in Long Day’s Journey Into Night and another Shavian classic, Candida. Among his other credits are the movies Dead Poets Society and Tape, as well as the television series House, M.D., on which he played Dr. James Wilson for eight seasons.

Parry’s other Broadway credits include Coram Boy and The Real Thing. She was also a member of the inaugural year of Sam Mendes’ Bridge Project, performing The Cherry Orchard and The Winter’s Tale internationally.

Whitehead previously played Colonel Pickering in the 1993 Broadway revival of My Fair Lady, which is the musical version of Pygmalion. He went on to play Higgins in the production, succeeding Rex Harrison. Among his many other Broadway credits are his Tony-nominated turn in Camelot in 1981, Absurd Person Singular, Lettice and Lovage, and The Crucifer of Blood.

Martin is currently represented in New York with his staging of Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Lincoln Center Theater. In addition to Present Laughter, he has also directed Mauritius, Butley, and Match, among others, on Broadway. He’s also staged numerous productions regionally, including such Old Globe offerings as Later Life and Full Gallop. Martin has also been artistic director of both Williamstown Theatre Festival and Huntington Theatre Company.

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Closed: February 17, 2013