Dominic McHugh’s My Fair Lady event in the national media
Dominic McHugh’s presentation ‘Accustomed to her Face: The lost songs of My Fair Lady’ has drawn attention from the national media, including major articles in the Sunday Times and Telegraph and two appearances on BBC Radio.
The event, held on 19 May, consisted of a talk in which Dominic discussed some of the findings of his research into Lerner and Loewe’s Broadway musical ‘My Fair Lady’, illustrated with live performances of songs that were cut from the show before it opened. A large student orchestra, conducted by Department of Music graduate Matthew Malone, performed songs including ‘Come to the Ball’ and ‘Say a Prayer for Me Tonight’, which were cut after one preview in February 1956.
They also performed numbers including ‘The English’, which never made it into the show, and an early version of the hit ‘On the Street Where You Live’, which was significantly changed during previews of the musical in Philadelphia, before it reached New York.
Leading national publications, including the Sunday Times, the Sunday Express, the Yorkshire Post, the Telegraph, The Stage and The Lady, have written feature articles on this rare performance of these long-lost songs, some of which have never been performed in front of the public before.
On the morning of 19 May, Dominic was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and Radio 5 Live’s breakfast programme, and was interviewed about the songs. The broadcasts included excerpts from ‘Come to the Ball’, the ‘Decorating Eliza’ ballet and ‘Say a Prayer for Me Tonight’, performed by the University of Sheffield students who are in the concert.
Dominic has also just been awarded a prestigious Early Career Senate Award by the University of Sheffield, for Excellence in Teaching, and has also been nominated in the ‘Best Feedback’ category at the student-run Academic Awards. The ‘My Fair Lady’ event follows several appearances Dominic made in a recent trip to America, in which he gave talks on ‘The Music Man’ and ‘Guys and Dolls’ at Texas Christian University in Forth Worth, as well as appearing at New York’s City Center as part of an insight evening on Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon.
At Texas, his ‘Stagestruck’ exhibition that started out in Sheffield in May 2014 was seen in America for the first time, as a month-long travelling exhibit in April. In February, he also gave a research seminar on Meredith Willson at Goldsmiths in London, and in January his recent book Alan Jay Lerner: A Lyricist’s Letters was featured in the Times Literary Supplement.