REVIEW: Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman on Broadway? Yes, that happened. The production is neither far-fetched nor out of reach; after all, Pretty Woman is a modern-day version of My Fair Lady, one of the best-known musicals of all time. Bear in mind that the setting is the 1980s, and the clothing is reflective of the same. For those of us old enough to remember LA Gear, it looks far less cool now.

There are both familiar and new elements throughout; those who know the story and those who do not will find something to enjoy. The score is original and overall, it is good; there are ballads that I found touching and fun song-and-dance numbers that bring a sense of lightness to the theatre.

Business tycoon Edward is lost on the streets of LA, in a stick shift that he can’t drive, and comes across the awkward, somewhat unpolished, but ultimately sweet Vivian, a prostitute trying to make rent. She, of course, happens to be a fancy car aficionado. Witty banter and overt flirting/propositioning ensue; Vivian is hired to deliver Edward and the car to his hotel. Banter continues, Vivian stays the night, then the week, as Edward’s business companion.

Over the course of the week, Vivian shows herself to have class as well as grit, along with a big heart. She rubs off on Edward in a good way, and Edward is able to offer Vivian luxury she could only dream of, and a glimpse at the possibility of something more for her life. Edward helps Vivian find her confidence; Vivian helps Edward find his soul.

The performances by Edward and Vivian are strong and they do carry much of the production; the wonderful surprise is the number of scenes stolen by the supporting cast, and the amount of good, old-fashioned comedy throughout the show. There is much that is delightful on the stage, a nice contrast to some of the heavier scenes (which are also well done).

Pretty Woman is, all in all, a fun way to spend an evening while supporting the arts. You will laugh, you will stomp your feet, you will celebrate the happy ending. After all, everyone loves a Cinderella story, whether they admit it or not.

Pretty Woman is playing now through February 27th at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. Tickets start at $40.

DEAL ALERT: In-person student/educator rush will be available for all performances of Pretty Woman: The Musical.
• $30 cash only
• Two ticket limit per valid student/educator ID
• Starts two hours prior to show in person at the Orpheum Theatre
• Line forms outside the theatre
• Inventory may be limited

Review by Kavita Battula