Pretty Woman: The Musical opened at the Dolby Theater on Friday for its three weeks here in Los Angeles, followed by two weeks at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. It’s a feel-good, 80s nostalgia, pop-rock, rom-com whimsy feel that makes for a fun night out. Based of course on the ’80s film of the same name, the musical updates the language to be a bit more feminist, but the main story remains problematic. Pretty Woman tells the story of a sweet and funny call girl, Vivian Ward, who meets uptight wealthy businessman Edward Lewis when he stops her on Hollywood Boulevard to ask her directions to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. . She offers to show him off, for a fee, and he, charmed and disarmed by her, ends up booking her in for the week to be his companion. The whole premise is a bit silly but there’s no doubt the show entertains.
The reason to see the show is the very talented cast featuring the rockstar voice of Adam Pascal (as Edward). Any musical theater lover will instantly recognize his singular vocal styles that earned him a Tony Award nomination for his iconic role as Roger in the Tony Award-winning phenomenon, “Rent.” Pascal has always had that inexplicable “it” factor that fascinates 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 manages to soar in the “Freedom” number. Olivia Valli does a spunky, slinky Vivian with a big, big belt in a voice that shines throughout, most notably in the “I Can’t Go Back” number. As Vivian’s best friend, Kit, Jessica Crouch looks fantastic in all her 80s jeans 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 “Never Give Up on a Dream” number. Matthew Stocke is terrific as Philip, Edward’s smart and shrewd sidekick.
Jerry Mitchell’s direction and choreography are energetic and fun and the entire cast is top notch on all fronts. It’s a hearty show and the cast is clearly having fun. By the time it all wraps up and the crowd joins Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman,” everyone has been caught up in the effervescent party.
Pretty Woman is now on stage at the Dolby Theater until 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 Theater box office or the Hollywood Pantages Theater box office.
Pretty Woman will also perform at 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.
Pretty Woman: The Musical – National Tour 2022