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Shaw's Pygmalion exposes the progressive snob

Terry Teachout writes in the Wall Street Journal's print edition that Shaw's Pygmalion takes off in Broadway's Roundabout Theatre "like a supersonic skyrocket, powered by a cast that is strong from top to bottom." Clare Danes is Eliza Doolittle. Jefferson Mays is Henry Higgins.

Teachout cuttingly notes that George Bernard Shaw's greatest comedy, still running strong after opening in 1913, is "a double-edged satire" that mocks both the class system and progressive reformers. "Shaw shows us that Higgins, like so many of his well-meaning kind, prefers people in the mass to individual human beings. He treats Eliza like a lab rat. . ." As the latest crop of reformers - at Chatham House, the shadowy Soros Foundation, and even, absurdly, Hollywood - appoint themselves philosopher kings, this is an apposite reminder.

(Apologies to those of you who prefer your plays unadorned by political commentary.)

Pygmalion is tart. My Fair Lady is sweet. Productions are running on both sides of the Atlantic.

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