Best Stage Musical

My Fair Lady, Cleveland Play House

If just the mention of this well-traveled musical sends you diving for cover, you surely missed the streamlined production of My Fair Lady at the Cleveland Play House. Working on a stripped-down set, a splendid group of players found all the humor and emotion of Alan Jay Lerner's show while jettisoning the Queen Anne chairs and doilies. Director Amanda Dehnert put the classic melodies into an exciting contemporary framework, and it sizzled from start to finish. Plus, it didn't hurt that Timothy Crowe was a marvelously pompous Henry Higgins, or that rich-voiced Rachel Warren had stage presence to burn as Eliza Doolittle. Together -- with each other and the rest of the cast and crew -- they were loverly in every way.