Pretty Woman: The Musical: A Delightful Night at the CIBC Theatre

Pretty Woman: The Musical at the CIBC Theater is a delightful evening where two lost souls meet and begin an unorthodox but romantic relationship that helps them find the true meaning of self-love and self-awareness. From the book by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton with music and lyrics by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and based on the 1990 film, the musical production originated here in Chicago’s Oriental Theater (Now The Nederlander Theatre) in 2018. 

Hollywood. The place where the stars and where the well-to-do lived. Rodeo Drive, a two-mile-long street in Beverly Hills known for its world’s famous shopping, luxury hotels, and exclusive restaurants; however, in the ’90s, Hollywood was a very different place. A place where infamous madam Heidi Lynne Fleiss ran an upscale prostitution ring based in Los Angeles. A place where the prestige secretly dabbled with the night light of escort.  

The film Pretty Woman, featuring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, shows the glamorous lifestyle of the rich and famous and the over-the-knee boots and sideless tops, trendy but considered by high society as trashy of the streets. The streets are where we meet Vivian. A down on her luck high-spirited Hollywood prostitute who meets Edward Lewis. Lewis, a person that raids corporations to collect millions. He gets lost and asks Vivian for directions. After conversing with her, he became fascinated with her charm, grit, and gumption. So he comes up with a plan to hire Vivian for a week as an escort to several social functions at his place of business.  

Pretty Woman: The Musical is from the book written by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton with music and lyrics by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Based on the 1990 film, the musical production originated here in Chicago’s Oriental Theater (Now The Nederlander Theatre) in 2018. 

Heading the North American tour of Pretty Woman is Tony nominee Adam Pascal as Edward Lewis and Olivia Valli as Vivian Ward. Lewis, with the rock star voice that sounds a little like Bruce Springsteen and Ward, who is a natural talent on stage, has been performing in these roles for several years. Their chemistry as the aging successful businessman with the unsophisticated but streetwise and uncompromising lady of the night works well together. I’m sure BABY GOURL would approve of Olivia’s performance. Ask Olivia about this statement.    

Adding in the amazing operatic voice of Amma Osei, who has performed in productions such as Rock of Ages on Broadway, The Fame Tour in China, and Dreamgirls in Japan, was the highlight of the night. Kudos, Jessica Crouch as Kit and Matthew Vincent Taylor as Giulio. Their energy on stage was magnificent, but the highest praise goes to Kyle Taylor Parker as Happy Man and the head concierge at the hotel.

Parker, who has performed in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the lead role of Lola in Kinky Boots, is a one-person entertainer who acts and sings. Check out his Broadway Soul, Vol. 1, and Broadway Soul, Vol. 2 collections. Parker’s performance in Pretty Woman can bring the joy out of any Scrooge. We can only hope he returns to Chicago theaters to delight audiences again.    

The moral of this musical is never to forget to dream. And never forget that we all can want to live life to its fullest, regardless of how things started. 

Let’s Play Recommends Pretty Woman. 

CIBC Theatre

Pretty Woman

Book by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton

Music and Lyrics by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance

Directed and Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell

December 15 – December 19 

Filed under: ChicagoNow

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