Friday, April 6, 2018

Review of Pretty Woman: The Musical (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Pretty Woman: The Musical. The book was by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton. The music and lyrics were by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. It was about a woman named Vivian Ward (Samantha Barks) who was a prostitute in Hollywood, and one day she meets a very rich businessman named Edward Lewis (Steve Kazee). He needs some directions to get back to his hotel, but then he ends up getting a bit more than directions. He hires her to come with him to multiple business functions that week as his date. Even though Vivian has a hard time fitting in, she seems to charm almost everyone that she meets. Even though it is supposed to be a business arrangement, Edward and Vivian find themselves developing feelings for each other. It is about classism, roots, and what money can and can't buy. I think this show had a talented cast and it was a lot of fun to watch.

I liked the opening song, "Welcome to Hollywood." It was very upbeat and it introduced you to all the characters very well. Vivian is running away from her landlord, which shows you that she is going to be living on the edge for the rest of the play. Edward is leaving a party early, which shows you that he doesn't seem to enjoy himself enough. It also shows you Vivian's closest relationship with Kit DeLuca (Orfeh), who is another prostitute, a best friend, and sort of a big sister figure who encourages her to look out for herself. She also has an amazing voice. The song is sung by The Happy Man (Eric Anderson), who is trying to hand out flyers. He dances through life, moonwalking and swiveling everywhere that he goes. He is like a narrator who introduces you to people. He is a hilarious and fun character to start the show off with.

My favorite song was "On a Night Like Tonight," which was sung by Mr. Thompson (Anderson), who is the hotel manager. Mr. Thompson is trying to teach Vivian to dance before her night out with Edward. It reminded me of "Kiss The Girl" from The Little Mermaid in a way, because it was like, "You want this person, go and get them. Here are your instructions. These bellboys (or fish if it's The Little Mermaid) may assist." There is this great tango section between Giulio (Tommy Bracco) and Mr. Thompson, where they are just working the dance floor. They have many dramatic pauses. It was beautiful and hilarious, and quite well tangoed.

My favorite scene was the one at the opera. I don't why, but that gliding opera box made me so happy. The opera selections by Alfredo (Brian Calì) and Violetta (Allison Blackwell) were sung amazingly. The high note from Violetta was jaw-droppingly gorgeous. In this scene you really get to see the reasons why Edward loves Vivian: her quirkiness and the way everything is new and beautiful to her. It shows how Vivian appreciates art and culture, even though she is new to opera and those kind of fancy exclusive spaces. She seems to fit in and is so absorbed in Violetta's performance, and Edward is singing "You and I" to her, and it is such a pretty image to see her so involved in something and him falling in love with the way she is being drawn in. So even though the song was pretty cheesy, it was staged very effectively.

People who would like this show are people who like gliding opera boxes that give me joy, Hollywood moonwalking, and tangoing bellboys. I think people should go see this show if they are really big fans of the movie. I had never seen it before, and I still enjoyed a lot of parts. I think the performers did a great job with what they were given.

No comments: