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Norbert Leo Butz on the economic and social relevance of ‘My Fair Lady’

Actor Norbert Leo Butz has done well playing fraudsters, losers and loafers, having won two Tony Awards for his performances in the musicals “Catch Me If You Can” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” This month, he was nominated for a Best Featured Actor in a Musical Tony for his latest, lively performance as Alfred P. Doolittle in Lincoln Center Theater’s lavish revival of “My Fair Lady.”

The production, which opened at New York’s Vivian Beaumont Theater last month, is the latest version of Lerner and Loewe’s 1956 musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play “Pygmalion.” The cast includes Lauren Ambrose, Harry Hadden-Paton and Dame Diana Rigg, and the show has attracted much talk for director Bartlett Sher’s emphasis on making Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, the equal of her elocution teacher Professor Henry Higgins.

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