Vivian Ward – Samantha Barks
Edward Lewis – Andy Karl
Kit De Luca – Orfeh
Happy Man/Mr Thompson – Eric Anderson
Philip Stuckey – Jason Danieley
James Morse – Kingsley Leggs
Venue: Nederland Theater, New York
Date: Saturday 3rd November 2018 (2:00pm)
I love Pretty Woman the film version and when I heard about it being made into a musical I was extremely jealous that it was going to be opening in the US in Chicago and then transferring to Broadway. Some good news though that I then had a rather unexpected trip to New York City! Only one show I totally had to see and it was this one. I a managed to get rush tickets for $42 by queuing from around 8:55am on their Saturday morning, it was super well organised and the tickets were for the front row, which is a slightly restricted view as the stage is pretty high but it did not make a huge impact on the show. Plus it was a hell of a lot cheaper than what the tickets were selling for.
The thing with a musical version of a film is that you know the story, you know the amazing moments and everyone has their favourite lines. The best thing about the show was that they really built up towards everyone’s favourite moments and highlighted them in such a fantastic way, it would have been a big mistake big huge if they hadn’t done that! Mixed together with some amazing original songs with quite a rocky feel thanks to Bryan Adams, which was another reason I wanted to see this one considering I am a big fan of his.
Vivian as a prostitute feels as though she doesn’t belong in that world and her friend Kit is often telling her that she needs to get out. On the evening she meets Edward Lewis a very rich business man everything will change. They both well screw each other for money as they like to remind the audience, it really was just well lovely watching how they made everything work on stage and I found myself enjoying every single second.
Samantha Barks takes on the leading role of Vivian and she was outstanding. Probably most well-known for her performance in the Les Mis film as Eponine which really launched her more into the international limelight. I always remember watching her on BBC talent show I’d Do Anything back in 2008 as she came third, since then she has worked very hard taking on different roles in UK touring productions, the West End and now Broadway originating the role in Pretty Woman. I felt utterly proud to be sat in New York watching her on stage, having remembered the talent she showed ten years ago and seeing her more than live out her dream. She is more than worth seeing in this show and gets to highlight her amazing vocal range and powerful voice as well as acting talent.
Andy Karl took over the role for the Broadway opening as Steve Kazee was Edward for the Chicago previews. I was lucky enough to see Karl in Groundhog Day last summer and was thrilled to get to the chance to see him again. Such incredible charisma and such a lovely voice.
His wife Orfeh is in the production as Kit De Luca and can I just saw wow for her incredibly powerful voice, she really did blow me away at times with her range and scene stealing moments as Kit! Yes, she gets that great Cinderella line as well! Eric Anderson in a more supporting role gets to play Barney and the happy man who has some great songs and moments, at times he carries the show forward and keeps everything held together.
If you love the film as much as I do and find yourself in New York I really do recommend that you go and see this show as it really does have such a great atmosphere with the new songs, ‘I Can’t Go Back’ is one I really did love as we can surely all relate to that at some point. It captures the lust, passion and romance from the film and recreates a very special musical.