Broadway Review: ‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’

  • Variety
Broadway Review: ‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’
When the 1990 movie comedy “Pretty Woman” catapulted Julia Roberts to stardom, it was widely reported that Disney and late director Garry Marshall had tweaked J.F. Lawton’s downbeat prostitute/john tale “Three Thousand” into a sumptuous rom-com, to the profit of all concerned. Its newest incarnation sanitizes the tale completely. With anything mature or sensual systematically removed, “Pretty Woman: The Musical” goes all-in on fantasy, casting two sizzling talents, Samantha Barks and Andy Karl, as bland, pretty people singing pretty Bryan Adams-Jim Vallance tunes with nothing much at stake. Stubbornly inconsequential, it’s a morally uplifting fairy tale of which everyone, young and old alike, can be skeptical.

The Lawton-Marshall libretto fundamentally sticks to the screenplay line by line, joke by joke. Multimillionaire corporate raider Edward Lewis (Karl) hops in a brand-new 1989 Lotus Esprit and, in an impulse maybe only Hugh Grant could explain, whisks streetwalker Vivian Ward (Barks) from Hollywood Blvd.
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