Theater & Performing Arts

Pygmalion

When: July 30-Aug. 24 2014

Pygmalion, the classic, century-old George Bernard Shaw play about middle-class morality and gender, returns to the spotlight again this summer in California Shakespeare Theater’s (100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda) frank and funny production. The play gets its name from Ovid’s Greek myth about a sculptor who falls in love with the statue he has carved. Shaw’s version involves a poor flower-seller, Eliza Doolittle, and the professor who aims to change her speech and turn her into a duchess. The cast is stellar, the set by Annie Smart is both opulent and like something out of an issue of the New Yorker (the life-sized, black and white illustrations of background people add to the charm), and the comedic stylings of the performers are infinitely watchable. The audience rarely went more than a few minutes without lapsing into chortles and full-on LOLs. Irene Lucio is a knockout as Eliza. Her prima physicality is just as luminous as her brash, Cockney determination of wanting to “toke lak a laydee.” Get your dose of turn-of-the-century class and gender angst (which are sadly still very applicable today) in Cal Shakes’ beautiful outdoor proscenium before it’s doolittle, doolate.

Anna Pulley

Price: $36-$51

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