When the lights came up for the Missouri Theater production of My Fair Lady Friday night, it's was reunion of sorts for some of the cast.
Four of the performers are very familiar with the musical. All were cast members together 39 years ago as students at Central High School
"There's a lot of similar feelings. It brings back some memories," said Tad Hopkins, who played Henry Higgins in the 2016 reprise of the musical.
"It's a show all of us have wanted to do. I like all the music in it and it's just a lot of fun," said Dan Kellogg, a Buchanan County Circuit judge, who played Col. Hugh Pickering.
In 1977, Hopkins, Kellogg, Paul Kunz and Byron Myers were all among the students on the CHS stage at the same time, performing the same musical.
"Back then we were trying to play guys that we are the age of right now," Kunz said. "We can act ourselves now in a sense. Back then it was totally different."
All four have done various forms of theater over the past 40 years, but this is the first time since those days at Central that they've all been a part of the same production at the same time. My Fair Lady has always held a special place in their hearts.
"There's a chance to laugh, there's a chance to contemplate," Kunz said. "It's something that tugs at the heart in a way. It could be something that makes you cry or makes you think too."
For actress Mikaela Suns, who plays Elizabeth Doolittle in the Missouri Theater production, and who wasn't even alive 39 years ago, being around so many actors who already had such a history together was a treat.
"Just the fact that they were still interested in doing the show and I know they're all such good friends," she said. "It was really need to see all these guys come out and audition together and then be cast together. It's really neat."
Now 39 years later, it looks like the group still has their acting chops. It's a great show.
"I put all my energy on to the stage when I'm doing that," Kunz said. "I think it's the little kid in me that still lives."
My Fair Lady first came to Broadway in 1956. The New York Times called it one of the best musicals of the century.
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