“I’m Gettin’ Married in the Morning”, the song goes. Eliza Dolittle’s dad is having one last fling before walking down the aisle. His daughter, however, won’t be there. She’s wished him luck, and long ago always had shown her concern by always giving him what coin she had available. But no more. Self- respect prevents her from being used by him anymore.
But then, she always did have self-respect. She clarified that to Professor Higgins long after the bet ensued between he and Captain Pickens. “We may have sold not but wilted flowers from a broken cart or old basket, but we never sold ourselves” she tells him long after the language training took, long after Higgins won the bet.
And even at those horse races, where she temporarily forgets her new training, reverting for a brief moment back to her Cockney accent and ways – as she cheers on her horse (you remember the scene: “Move yer bloomin’ ___”), she knew what matters most in life: people, relationships, caring.
And when she finally mastered 🎶”The Rain in Spain falls Mainly on the Plain”, (“I think she’s got it, – by George she’s got it”), Higgins never really does understand that happiness does not come from winning a bet, gloating about personal accomplishments, or putting on The Ritz. And while Eliza explains to him that she merely wishes to care for/be cared for, and while he admits to himself that 🎶”I’ve grown accustomed to her face”, still his last words when she returns, giving him yet another chance, were, “Eliza, get my slippers.” And so, she leaves. And Higgins, in his false pride, losses the best person in his life. What a colossal Dip-Wad.
It was tonight, at Lincoln Center: the revival of an old classic with a poignant message: don’t take for granted those who love you. I’m glad for the reminder. I’m glad I was there.
Be Well, Do Good.