BWW Album Review: From Hollywood Boulevard To The Beverly Wilshire, There Is Something About PRETTY WOMAN Cast Recording
Get ready for movie night on Broadway! The latest flick to get the Broadway treatment is the 1990 hit rom-com Pretty Woman. The musical is shaping up to be popular at the box office, and seems to be the current standout for the 2018-2019 Broadway season so far. It joins the ranks of a bevy of shows that derive from films, like Mean Girls, Frozen, The Band's Visit, the forthcoming KING KONG, to name a few. Pretty Woman: THE MUSICAL recently opened on at the Nederlander Theatre, and Atlantic Records just released the original Broadway cast recording last week. Give it a listen here.
The album is full of moments that hold true to its derivative material, citing popular lines and instances Pretty Woman fans will know by heart. If you are acquainted to the pop culture touchstone film, the musical will greet you with the comfort of familiarity. The original songs come from rocker Bryan Adams and his frequent collaborator Jim Vallance. Each song advances the plot enough, but less so than they should in order to seemingly make room for a lot of the films original dialogue. Nevertheless, the pop/rock score does its job in telling the tale, along with the book by the late Garry Marshall and original screenwriter J.F. Lawton.
Samantha Barks shines right off the bat with Vivian's "I want" song, "Anywhere But Here". In her Broadway debut, Barks portrays the role made famous by Julia Roberts, and effortlessly proves that she is no stranger to the stage. Previously, she is known for her portrayal of Eponine in both the 2012 film of Les Miserables, and the 25th Anniversary Concert at London's O2 Arena. Her bright voice and consistently strong performance livens up the album. This production sees Andy Karl in the role of Edward. This show adds to Karl's impressive stage resume yet another blockbuster to Broadway title. His previous credits include GROUNDHOG DAY, ROCKY, and LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL. Karl carries the act one closer "You're Beautiful", as well as the second act standout "You And I". The latter of the two is interspersed with opera sung exquisitely by Allison Blackwell, and the two vocalists serve the pivotal moment of story through song exceptionally. Karl's solo numbers "Freedom" and "Something About Her" show an incredible likeness to the sound of Bryan Adams himself.
Eric Anderson and Orfeh seem to be the biggest scene stealers in this show. Anderson, known for his work in WAITRESS and THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, has a versatile range in portraying the kind-hearted hotel manager Mr. Thompson and the infamous "what's your dream" guy. He wears both hats almost seamlessly, and especially shines in "On A Night Like Tonight" as Thompson. He later delivers in the high energy "Never Give Up On A Dream", opposite Orfeh's Kit De Luca. One piece the musical has that the movie lacks is the deeper exploration of the friendship between Vivian and Kit, mounting Paulette in LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL, stuns with energy and vocal prowess on all the numbers she is featured in.
From Hollywood Boulevard to the Beverly Wilshire, the show is perfect for anyone who is looking for a movie night on Broadway. Missing out on this album would be a big mistake. Big. Huge. For tickets and more information, click here!