Secrets of Christopher Gattelli's "My Fair Lady" Choreo
Harry Hadden-Paton as Henry Higgins, Lauren Ambrose as Eliza Doolittle, and Allan Corduner as Colonel Pickering (Joan Marcus)
In case you haven't heard, the classic musical My Fair Lady is back on Broadway in a 10-time Tony-nominated production—including a nod for Christopher Gattelli's critically-lauded choreography. (Fun fact: Also among the nominations is Gattelli's own choreography for SpongeBob SquarePants—he's so good that he's competing against himself! But I digress.)
The other week, BroadwayDirect spoke with Gattelli about making Eliza Doolittle and co. dance—and some seriously cool details emerged. For one, working with director Bartlett Sher, costume designer Catherine Zuber, and the rest of the creative team sounds like it was an absolute dream: "Everybody knows each other's language at this point," Gattelli told BroadwayDirect. "We jump on the ride together, we have each other's backs, and we can almost finish each other's sentences."
Another fun fact we learned: Coincidentally, two years ago Gattelli worked on the Sydney Opera House's re-creation of My Fair Lady's original 1956 Broadway production. "To reexamine something I thought I knew and see it in a completely different way has been a dream come true," he said to BroadwayDirect of going from that faithful re-creation to Broadway's re-imagined production.
Make that a very emotional dream come true. In this revival, the beginning of Act 2 sees a surprise appearance for the orchestra, which has remained hidden until that point. "When I saw [a rendering] of the orchestra on stage, I almost started crying at how beautiful it was," Gattelli told BroadwayDirect. What a perfect way to approach "setting up this world of elegance and class that Eliza is about to enter," as Gattelli put it, putting together the "Embassy Waltz" dance number that illustrates just how completely and irrevocably Eliza's life is changing.
If these details are giving you serious Broadway cravings, 1. Join the club, and 2. Watch the dreamy montage below for a few more glimpses at how Gattelli has made 1913 London move so beautifully on the Great White Way!