All Fun, No Smarts – Broadway in Chicago Presents Pretty Woman at CIBC Theatre (Through December 19, 2021)

Should “Pretty Woman: The Musical” exist? Does the plot of the 1990 movie hold up in 2021? Should Broadway continue its trend of churning out movie-to-musical adaptations?

Chances are if you’re seeing the musical, your response is “who cares?” And that attitude will serve you well during the performance. If you’ve decided these questions don’t matter and are happy to turn your brain off for a fully unoriginal production that requires no thought on your part, then you are in for a treat.

Photos by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

While the musical itself and dated source material are nothing special, it makes for a fun evening. The plot moves at a brisk pace, the songs are fun (if instantly forgettable) and the cast is doing their best with the cards they have been dealt. Adam Pascal, who originated the role of Roger in “Rent,” is worth the night out alone. His rock-inflected voice is given plenty of moments to shine as the businessman Edward Lewis. Olivia Valli (in the role of the pretty woman herself, Vivian Ward) carries the role’s demands easily, belting high notes with precision and pivoting from flirtatious to vulnerable to in command. Jessica Crouch (as the best friend character, Kit De Luca) could pass for the sister of Orfeh (the actress that originated the role) in terms of vocal style and range, if not intensity. And as a special treat, Amma Osei delights the audience with her operatic soprano, singing a song from Verdi’s “La Traviata.”

Get tickets now for Pretty Woman through December 19th!

Edward Boyle


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