Thespian Thoughts – Educating Rita – Theatre Review by Sandro Monetti

EDUCATING RITA: “It’s My Fair Lady in academia”
Theatre Review by SANDRO MONETTI

A bored, cynical and alcoholic teacher is shaken out of his
world weary ways when he encounters a most unusual student in this thought provoking comedy drama.

Rita, a vibrant 26-year-old hairdresser hungry for education,
signs up for literature lessons with fifty-something lecturer Frank – and this duo from different worlds soon form a surprising connection.

It’s My Fair Lady in academia and Murielle Zuker is all
energy and attitude as Rita while Adrian Neil is all composure as Frank – at least until the booze takes over.

But while the two performers create believable characters, there
is a lack of chemistry between them which means the show just misses out on the emotional impact it needs, especially at the end.

The choice for neither of them to do a Liverpool accent –
even though the play is set there – means it also lacks the authentic sense of place.

But the set, sound and costumes are top class, director Robert
Mackenzie adds some assured touches and the clever and witty script – by former Liverpool hairdresser Willy Russell – just sings.

The characters end the play in a very different place from
where they started but their relationship with each other defies all the
traditional expectations.


By Willy Russell

At Theatre 40, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills

Until June 23 2014 (check Theatre 40
for performance dates)

Tickets $24 weekdays, $26 weekends from 310-364-0535 or Theatre 40

Adrian Neil as Frank
Murielle Zuker as Rita

Directed by Robert Mackenzie

Produced by David Hunt Stafford

Set Design – Jeff G Rack

Costume Design – Michele Young

Lighting Design – Ric Zimmerman

Sound Design – Bill Froggatt

Stage Manager – Tony Carnaghi

Publicity – Philip Sokoloff

Photo of Sandro by Dawn Bowery from the book California Dreaming: Brits in LA Book

Thespian Thoughts is a theatre review article on Actors Entertainment, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay Production.

Pepper Jay Productions LLC
Pepper Jay Productions LLC

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