Loverly Things are Bloomin’ at Arena Stage Friday Through Sunday by Julia Suszynski



The cast of ‘My Fair Lady’ and flowers. Photo by Richard Anderson.

In celebration of Arena Stage’s current production of My Fair Lady, which runs through January 6, 2013 and focuses on Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, 15 local florists will compete tomorrow – Friday in Isn’t She Loverly: Design in Bloom, a floral design contest to create the most impressive floral arrangements inspired by signature dresses from past Arena Stage productions. The florists will load in their materials and the arrangements will be assembled Friday morning, followed by judging in the afternoon by Arena Stage Artistic Director and Director of My Fair Lady Molly Smith, along with WUSA9 Vice President for Media Outreach and Noon Anchor JC Hayward and NBC News4 Morning Anchor Barbara Harrison, resulting in a grand winner and two runners-up.

Each florist has been paired with a costume worn by a female lead in a past Arena Stage production, and these 15 signature costumes will be on display throughout the weekend in the News4. The florists received information about the character who wore the costume and the production in which it was featured, and they are encouraged to draw inspiration from the world of their plays, in addition to focusing on the color, texture and design elements of their dresses.

WHERE: In the Catwalk Café within Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater 1101 Sixth St., SW, Washington, DC 20024

WHEN: Friday, November 30, 2012

Floral designs will be loaded in from 8:00 a.m. – noon, then judged from 3:00-4:00 p.m.. The Isn’t She Loverly: Design in Bloom exhibit will remain on display through December 2, 2012.

Here are the participants:

Monica Berlin from Bud Floral Design in Germantown, MD
Song Liling’s costume from the 2004 production of M. Butterfly
Designed by Carrie Robbins, worn by J. Hiroyuki Liao

Liza Bourkard from DBI Events in Arlington, VA
Nellie’s bathing suit from the 2002 production of South Pacific
Designed by Robert Perdziola, worn by Kate Baldwin

Stephanie Egly from DBI Events in Poolesville, MD
Adelaide’s costume from the 1999 production of Guys and Dolls
Designed by Paul Tazewell, worn by Alexandra Foucard.

Daniel Espejel from Flowers by Daniel L.L.C. in Washington, DC
Gown worn in the 2010 production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies
Designed by Reggie Ray, worn by Marva Hicks.

Susan Lynskey as Gwendolen Fairfax in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’ Photo by Scott Suchman.

Janet Flowers from Janet Flowers Wedding and Event Designs in Washington, DC
Gwendolen’s gown from the 2004 production of The Importance of Being Earnest
Designed by Zack Brown, worn by Susan Lynskey.

Andrea Gagnon from LynnVale Studios L.L.C. in Gainesville, VA
Artemis’s gown from the 2001 production of Agamemnon and His Daughters
Designed by Lindsay W. Davis, worn by Naomi Jacobson.

Maribel Kalata from EightTreeStreet in Springfield, VA
Lydia Lansing’s gown from the 2003 production of Shakespeare in Hollywood
Designed by Jess Goldstein, worn by Alice Ripley.

Theresa Hambleton and Mary Beth Lopresti from All Seasons Floral Preservation in Sterling and Charlottesville, VA
Pauline’s gown from the 2009 production of Legacy of Light
Designed by Linda Cho, worn by Lindsey Kyler.

Jill Medawar from Toulies en Fleur in Washington, DC
Aunt Ester’s costume from the 2007 production of Gem of the Ocean
Designed by Ilona Smogyi, worn by Lynnie Godfrey.

Marianne Raub from Helen Olivia in Alexandria, VA
Mama Nadi’s dress from the 2011 production of Ruined
Designed by ESosa, worn by Jenny Jules.

Gerry Rogers and Rebecca Henry from Petal’s Edge Floral Design in Alexandria, VA
Clara’s wedding gown from the 2010 production of The Light in the Piazza
Designed by Linda J. Cho, worn by Margaret Anne Florence.

Clementine Simmons from Fruit of the Spirit Floral Designs in Fort Washington, MD
Cunegonde’s gown from the 1996 production of Candide
Designed by Zack Brown, worn by Rebecca Baxter.

Marva Hicks wearing one of the dresses that will be on display as Velma in ‘Crowns.’ Photo by Scott Suchman.

Patty Stimmel from Patty Stimmel Floral Designs in Arlington, VA
Velma’s dress from the 2009 production of Crowns
Designed by Austin K. Sanderson, worn by Marva Hicks.

Philippa Tarrant from Philippa Tarrant Custom Florals in Washington, DC
Aunt Eller’s dress from the 2011 production of Oklahoma!
Designed by Martin Pakledinaz, worn by Terry Burrell.

Sarah von Pollaro from Urban Petals in Washington, DC
Eleanor Bachman’s dress from the 2000 production of The Great White Hope
Designed by Rosemary Pardee, worn by Kelly C. McAndrew.

My Fair Lady plays through January 6, 2013 at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for the American Theater – 1101 Sixth Street, SW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call the box office (202) 488-3300, or purchase them online.


Joel Markowitz’s interview with Catherine Flye on Playing Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady at Arena Stage.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here