BWW has learned that Wayne Brady and Krystal Joy Brown will lead an upcoming January 8, reading of Eliza- a contemporary version of Pygmalion. The project, which features a book, music and lyrics by Madison Jones, will be directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, and produced by Suzanne de Passe.
According the producer's web site: 'ELIZA is a contemporary "re-visioning" of the classic story of PYGMALION, by George Bernard Shaw. The first musicalization of Shaw's play was Lerner and Loewe's, MY FAIR LADY, the Victorian tale of Henry Higgins, an English linguistics professor and his attempts to transform Eliza, a poor, cockney-ghetto girl into a lady of society. Professor Higgins ultimately refines her mannerisms and teaches her "proper" English grammar to replace her "street" slang. He passes her off as a duchess at the very elegant Embassy Ball. Henry ultimately learns a thing or two about love and kindness from Eliza and realizes his feelings for her have become vital to his own life.
ELIZA, is the same story with a brand new book, music and lyrics... and with a twist... Henry and Eliza live in present-day New York City and are African American. Eliza, herself, is a smart-mouthed, ebonics-speaking, ghetto girl and Henry is the richest Black man in America from a prominent family. Henry makes the classic wager that he can transform Eliza into a lady of society by changing the way she talks and dresses. It will thrill and entertain a new generation of musical theater-lovers with modern settings and great new songs. ELIZA imparts humor and romance with a unique new voice as it re-tells the classic tale of crossed worlds.'