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Pretty Woman – The Musical

“Peppy, with winning performances”
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In this stage musical adaptation of the 1990 film Pretty Woman, Sweet Charity meets My Fair Lady, but with a happier ending. The story follows rich investor Edward and Hollywood Boulevard sex worker Vivian, whom he asks for directions and then ends up hiring for her company (and extras) for the six days he is in LA.

The plot is potentially problematic – it portrays a world in which a man asserts his economic dominance over a woman to buy her time and favours, while she uses sex to get out of her own difficulties (she’s being evicted from her apartment for rent arrears).

But in the musical’s hard-edged but soft-centred book, Garry Marshall and JF Lawson (who directed and wrote the original film respectively) give Vivian all the agency. It is Edward who has the bigger journey to travel, from self-imposed isolation to a fuller engagement with the world as represented by Vivian’s life force.

So far, so familiar. But Jerry Mitchell’s peppy production is propelled by the sheer professionalism of its delivery, the attractive soft-rock songs of Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and the chemistry of its leads.

British performer Samantha Barks is simultaneously tough and vulnerable as Vivian, while Andy Karl has an alpha-male sturdiness that makes the potentially unsympathetic character of Edward at once edgy and warm. There’s also scene-stealing work – and a fierce, belting voice – from Orfeh as Vivian’s best friend.

Jerry Mitchell, whether as director or choreographer, has past form with musical versions of popular movies, from Kinky Boots to Legally Blonde, all of which transferred to London. Pretty Woman is sure to follow them.


Related to this Review

My Fair LadyMy Fair Lady

Production Details
Production namePretty Woman – The Musical
VenueNederlander Theatre
LocationNew York
StartsJuly 20, 2018
EndsMarch 10, 2019
Running time2hrs 30mins
AuthorJf Lawton
ComposerBryan Adams, Jim Vallance
Book writerGarry Marshall, Jf Lawton
LyricistBryan Adams, Jim Vallance
DirectorJerry Mitchell
OrchestratorWill Van Dyke
Musical supervisorWill Van Dyke
ChoreographerJerry Mitchell
Set designerDavid Rockwell
Costume designerGregg Barnes
Lighting designerKenneth Posner, Philip Rs Rosenberg
Sound designerJohn Shivers
Casting directorCraig Burns, Kelsey .
CastAndy Karl, Eric Anderson, Ezra Knight, Jason Danieley, Orfeh ., Samantha Barks
Stage managerThomas Recktenwald
ProducerAmbassador Theatre Group, Caiola Productions, Deroy Kierstead, Edward Walson, Graham Burke, Hunter Arnold, James L Nederlander, Lpo, Michael Cassel Group, New Regency Productions, Nice Productions, Paula Wagner, Roy Furman, Stage, The John Gore Organization
VerdictPretty Woman becomes a pretty good Broadway musical, with winning performances and score
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Mark Shenton

Mark Shenton

Mark Shenton

Mark Shenton

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