Show dates: April 1979
In Edwardian London, Eliza Doolittle is a Cockney flower girl with a thick, unintelligible accent. The noted phonetician Professor Henry Higgins encounters Eliza at Covent Garden and laments the vulgarity of her dialect. Higgins also meets Colonel Pickering, another linguist, and invites him to stay as his houseguest. Eliza comes to Higgins's house, seeking elocution lessons so that she can get a job as an assistant in a florist's shop. Higgins wagers Pickering that, within six months, by teaching Eliza to speak properly, he will enable her to pass for a proper lady.
Eliza becomes part of Higgins's household. Though Higgins sees himself as a kindhearted man who merely cannot get along with women, to others he appears self-absorbed and misogynistic. Eliza endures Higgins's tyrannical speech tutoring.
Just as Higgins is about to give up on her, Eliza suddenly recites one of her diction exercises in perfect upper-class style. For her first public tryout, Higgins takes Eliza to his mother's box at Ascot Racecourse. Though Eliza shocks everyone when she forgets herself while watching a race and reverts to foul language, she does capture the heart of Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Freddy calls on Eliza that evening, and he declares that he will wait for her in the street outside Higgins' house. Eliza's final test requires her to pass as a lady at the Embassy Ball. After more weeks of preparation, she is ready. All the ladies and gentlemen at the ball admire her, and the Queen of Transylvania invites her to dance with the prince.
The ball is a success; Karpathy has declared Eliza to be a Hungarian princess. Pickering and Higgins revel in their triumph, failing to pay attention to Eliza. Eliza is insulted at receiving no credit for her success, packing up and leaving the Higgins house. As she leaves she finds Freddy, who begins to tell her how much he loves her, but she tells him that she has heard enough words; if he really loves her, he should show it.
Higgins awakens the next morning. He finds himself out of sorts without Eliza. He wonders why she left after the triumph at the ball and concludes that men (especially himself) are far superior to women. Higgins despondently visits his mother's house, where he finds Eliza. Eliza declares she no longer needs Higgins. As Higgins walks home, he realizes he's grown attached to Eliza. At home, he sentimentally reviews the recording he made the day Eliza first came to him for lessons, hearing his own harsh words. Eliza suddenly appears in his home. In suppressed joy at their reunion, Professor Higgins scoffs and asks, "Eliza, where the devil are my slippers?"