← Choose a Document My Fair Lady | 1956 My Fair Lady Abe Feder
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The Broadway Musical My Fair Lady, opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, (now Times Square Church), on March 15, 1956. The show stared a young Julie Andrews as the Eliza Doolittle. Abe Feder was the original lighting designer for the Broadway production. At the time of its closing in 1962 the show had a record setting run of 2,717 performances. While the record setting performances are impressive, it was the tour of My Fair Lady and a lawsuit from Abe Feder that would pave the way for how many tours are designed today.
“In 1957 the producer of My Fair Lady, Herman Levin, planned to take that show on the road. Feder informed Levin of his fee for relighting the show for the road, but instead of paying for Feder’s design, Levin hired the head electrician to light the tour based on the original lighting plot. Feder sued and eventually won a settlement of $1.00. Sonny Sonnenfeld, a USITT Fellow with over fifty years in stage lighting development and manufacturing, commented on the legal precedent established by Feder’s settlement, “Now any original design modified to take out on the road is a new design - not just for lights, but sets and costumes too." (Late & Great American Designers (1960-2010) Pg. 113-114 by Bobbi Owen)
In The Lighting Archive are Abe Feder's original light plot, hookup, color list and cue synopsis. In addition to the design elements are documents detailing technical information about equipment as well as communications between Feder and management/technical staff.