Pretty Woman: The Musical opened at The Dolby Theatre on Friday for its three week run here in Los Angeles followed by a two week run at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. It’s a feel good, 80’s nostalgia, pop-rock, rom-com fantasy that makes for a fun date night. Based of course on the 80’s movie of the same name, the musical updates the language to be a bit more feminist friendly but the core story remains problematic. Pretty Woman tells the story of a sweet, funny call girl, Vivian Ward, who meets uptight wealthy businessman Edward Lewis when he stops her on Hollywood Boulevard to ask for directions to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. She offers to show him herself, for a fee, and he, charmed and unarmed by her, eventually books her for the week to be his companion. The whole premise is a bit silly but there is no question that the show entertains.
The reason to see the show is the very talented cast featuring the rockstar vocals of Adam Pascal (as Edward). Any musical theatre lover will instantly recognize his singular vocal stylings that garnered him a Tony nomination for his iconic role of Roger in the Tony Award winning phenomenon, “Rent”. Pascal has always possessed that inexplicable “it” factor that mesmerizes and it’s no different here. The Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance score is perfectly suited to his voice and he elevates every song he sings and really gets to soar in the number “Freedom”. Olivia Valli makes for a spunky, slinky Vivian with a great, big belt of a voice that shines throughout, most notably in the number “I Can’t Go Back”. As Vivian’s best friend, Kit, Jessica Crouch is fantastic in all of her 80’s denim and a voice as big as her hair. She has a lot of fun with the incredibly charismatic Kyle Taylor Parker playing multiple roles and they both shine in the number “Never Give Up on a Dream”. Matthew Stocke is terrific in the role of Philip, Edward’s smarmy, slick business associate.
Jerry Mitchell’s direction and choreography is energetic, cheeky fun throughout and the entire cast is top notch on all fronts. It’s a warmhearted show and the cast is clearly having a ball. By the time it all wraps up and the crowd joins in on Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”, everyone has been caught up in this effervescent party.
Pretty Woman is now on stage at The Dolby Theatre through July 3, 2022 at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles. Tickets at BroadwayinHollywood.com or Ticketmaster.com, call (800) 982-2787 or visit the Dolby Theatre Box Office or Hollywood Pantages Theatre Box Office.
Pretty Woman will also be playing the Segerstrom Center for the Arts July 5 – 17, 2022 at 60 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Tickets www.SCFTA.org or (714) 556-2787.