More than six decades after it first premiered on Broadway, most people have grown accustomed to "My Fair Lady" -- but not like this.
The Grandview Carriage Place Players community theater group will present the classic musical with a twist.
The steampunk version of the classic musical will be presented at 7 p.m. July 14-15 and at 2 p.m. July 16 at Grandview Heights High School, 1587 W. Third Ave.
Tickets cost $5 at the door.
"It's not your grandparents' 'My Fair Lady,' " said director John Heisel.
At least two other theater groups are presenting the musical in 2017, Heisel said, but this version stands out.
"Our version will be the most innovative version of 'My Fair Lady' you'll see in Columbus this year," he said. "But we're doing it without destroying the original music or words. All the familiar songs and dialogue remain -- they're just presenting in a new way."
Steampunk is an aesthetic inspired by 19th-century steam-powered machinery.
"It's an alternative universe in which instead of Thomas Edison's way of harnessing electricity, we followed Tesla's method," Heisel said.
"Our version of 'My Fair Lady' is like an alternate version of Victorian England, with machines and steam," he said. "It's almost like something out of a novel by H.G. Wells or Jules Verne."
The steampunk approach helps clarify the message of the musical and George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion," on which it is based, Heisel said.
"Henry Higgins is like a Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Who," he said. "He dabbles and experiments with language and people.
"Eliza comes into his cloistered world, but she's almost like a mechanical doll to him, until one day she becomes real and he falls in love," Heisel said. "She brings life into Henry Higgins' world and helps him understand the importance of being human and connecting to other people."
Cooper Legeza plays Higgins.
"I love the steampunk approach we're taking," he said. "It helps reveal Henry Higgins' character -- it makes his 'mad scientist' tendencies to be brought out.
"It's a lot of fun to be doing such a traditional classic play in such an untraditional way," the Columbus resident said.
Grandview resident Elizabeth Bergmann plays Eliza Doolittle.
"For me, it's kind of a dream come true to be playing her," Bergmann said. "I've loved the songs of 'My Fair Lady' since I was a little girl. When I first got an MP3 player and could listen to my music without bothering my brother, it was the 'My Fair Lady' soundtrack."
She said she's grown fond of Eliza.
"I like how independent she is," Bergmann said. "When we meet her, she doesn't feel the need to be lady-like. She's been on her own for a long time."
Todd Decker is Col. Pickering.
In the steampunk production, "Pickering's a little more flamboyant, a little more colorful than he is in the original play," Decker said.
Pickering is "a nicer guy toward Eliza than Higgins," he said. "He's more the nurturing father figure toward Eliza and shows her how to be a lady, as opposed to bullying her like Higgins."
Audiences are in for a treat with the new take on an old favorite, Decker said.
"Steampunk really freshens up a very familiar play," he said. "It allows you to enjoy the musical and understand its themes in a fresh way."