It’s daring, it’s different, it’s delightful.

It’s Diamond Head Theatre’s revival of “My Fair Lady”!

It takes risks with its basic pristine set in stark white, like a mammoth canvas, where projections add color on smaller scenic drops from the fly loft.

It delivers a new wrinkle — the opening overture is a precious, unexpected  dance opportunity — which is an additive to showcase a terrific dance ensemble. And costumes floating in from the fly space? Too bad wearers couldn’t just slip into the descending gowns and suits.

It boasts a stellar cast of principal actors who inhabit the essence of the show’s familiar musical and comedic gems, but certainly fresh and formidable. This is not a rom-com, but admittedly, Henry Higgins might come off as a pushy bully and Eliza Doolittle a victim in his ploy to make her wrongs right. Just remember, this is show biz.

The Alan Jay Lerner and  Frederick Loewe favorite opened Friday (Dec. 1) and has an extended run through Dec. 30 . Yes, there are attitudes of verbal abuse, sexism perhaps, colonial, and societal prejudice in this vintage story, but you can’t rewrite the play, inspired by George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” so interpretation and presentation are the underlying challenge. Forget the now, and enjoy the wow of each scene.

I took in the Saturday (Dec. 2) performance and was happily charmed by the innovation of the stylish look and versatility of the set and the splendid casting of actors with depth.

Anna Young as Eliza, and Garrett Hols as Higgins, in the “Rain in Spain” scene. Photo by Brandon Miyagi.

Truly, I could have glanced all night.

So, director Bryce Chaddick retains the beloved story but alters the playing field; if you can’t rewrite it, neutralize the playground.

Dawn Oshima, set and lighting designer, created a basic three-panel wall in white, that features occasional projections, with a few lowering and raising of mini scene tricks including vertical panels that can be illuminated with hues and a basic “door” panel to serve as entrances and exits for some scenes. You won’t see the usual environments of Covent Garden, Wimpole Street, Ascot, Higgins’ home, and other key spots in the storytelling. You have to imagine it all and depend on those rectangular backdrops from start to end.

As Eliza Doolittle, Anna Young struggles a bit in the early scene as a flower girl with a Cockney accent amid the setting of the large white background panels. So, viewers have to bring imagination to see or feel her loverly thoughts, as Eliza sings “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.” But when she full-blooms, under the tutelage of Professor Henry Higgins, hiccups hardly happen.  Her shining moment is when she delivers “I Could Have Danced All Night, her personal, triumphant declaration of independence. Just you wait, Young /Eliza is a powerhouse.

As Higgins, Garrett Hols is the master of the production, delivering a performance with vigor and voltage with polish and precision. His lines are mouthfuls, delivered with confidence and speed, and his tempo is terrific. His mission to convert the lowly flower girl is an opportunity to elevate her status by undoing her inability to speak, well, English. The pain, it’s plain, is actually in his gain. His moments of glory include “I’m an Ordinary Man,” which reveals his inner thoughts, and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” which expresses his softer, romantic side. If he accomplishes his feat, he wants to strut Eliza in front of his mom, Mrs. Higgins, played by Betty Bolton, and get her seal of approval, as if she were a show dog. (FYI, David L. Young, spouse of Anna Young, is understudy of Higgins, and it would be fun to see the couple in action).

Betty Bolton is Mrs. Higgins, seated left, and Young as Eliza, seated center in the “Ascot Gavotte scene, which shows the stunning black, white and silver finery designed by Kimmerie H.O. Jones. Photo by Brandon Miyagi.

As Colonel Pickering, Eli K.M. Foster is the third wheel in this journey—a sidekick of Higgins curious about his notions and his insistence and kind of a leash to monitor the transformational goal.

As Eliza’s father Alfred P. Doolittle, Miles Phillips steals scenes, notably on the early “With a Little Bit of Luck” in Act 1, leading up to “Get Me to the Church on Time” in Act 2.

Eliza’s suitor, Freddy Eynsford-Hill, is portrayed by Andrew Erwin, whose solo song is “On the Street Where You Live.” While he looks the part, his voice was pitchy and tentative. He ought to avoid the guardrails on the street; he nearly toppled one at the show I saw.

And The “Loverly Quartet” – David L. Young, Alex Bishop, Alston Alika Albarado and Isaac Liu – provide a foundation of four-part harmonies that are a bit of a hallmark of the show.

The techies – Dawn Oshima, lighting; Kimmerie H.O. Jones, costumes; Aiko Schick, hair and make-up; and Kerri Yoneda, sound – do their magic. And Jenny Shiroma’s musical direction and Ahnya Chang’s choreography, work in tandem to produce elegant, exciting moments, especially when sweeping dancers swirl and twirl in elegant costumes, with alluring attitude that seems they could have pranced all night…

And that’s Show Biz…

‘My Fair Lady’

A musical by Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music), adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s film, “Pygmalion.”

Where: Diamond Head Theatre

When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 17, the original closing date; extended through Dec. 30, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 21, 22, 23, 29, and 30; plus 3 p.m. Dec. 30

Tickets: $37 to $62, at www.diamondheadtheatre.com, (808) 733-0274

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