Actor Dominic West will debut his singing voice as curmudgeonly Professor Henry Higgins in a Christmas production of "My Fair Lady," reports Playbill.
The musical will play through December at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield England, West's native town. The BAFTA-winning actor became a known entity after playing the hardboiled Irish-American cop Jimmy McNulty in HBO's Baltimore-set drama "The Wire." But the Daily Mail reports he's been cast in his latest role with an eye to type, noting West's "Old Etonian background," and his closeness in age to Higgins' character. West is 42, and Higgins is meant to be 40.
Eliza Dolittle, the Cockney flower girl whom Higgins refines, will be played by Carly Bawden. The 23-year-old actress is similarly close in age to Dolittle, whom the director at Sheffield's Crucible Theater pegs at "19 or 20." Bawden also aligns with her character, according to DM logic, in that she's a "self-described 'farm girl' from Somerset."
The musical takes its story from the George Bernard Shaw play "Pygmalion," about a phonetics professor who bets he can transform a Cockney flower girl (spoiler alert: the "She's All That" rule of secret bets applies). The well-known movie adaptation of the Julie Andrews-helmed musical stars Rex Harrison as Higgins and Audrey Hepburn as Dolittle. As it seems to be in the Sheffield casting room, the matter of class distinction is a major theme of the story.
West was last at the Crucible in 2011, playing Iago against his old "Wire" co-star Clarke Peter's Othello.
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WATCH a scene from the 1964 movie adaptation of "My Fair Lady," starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn: