From The Streets To a Penthouse

“Pretty Woman: The Musical” Details a Different Type of Love Story

By: Brooke Price 

The cast of “Pretty Woman: The Musical” brings to life the renowned film. Photo Credit:

Vivian Ward works on the streets of Hollywood as a prostitute, trying to make her ends meet. One day, she meets the rich and lonely Edward Lewis craving affection and emotional connection, in contrast to the typical services Vivian offers.

Edward pays Vivian for a week to be his escort and she stays at his penthouse with him. There, she learns proper etiquette and how to dress modestly.

She undergoes a transformation as she makes herself an educated and well-rounded person. She also develops a relationship with Edward, unlike her past clients.

As a prostitute, Vivian never kisses her clients on the mouth because she is afraid of relationships and commitment.

When she is with Edward, she is hesitant to be in a relationship with him at first. However, as the days go by, their relationship grows and Vivian begins to fall in love, a feeling she rarely has.

Their relationship grows and Vivian learns that there is more in the world that she can learn from.

She finds someone who genuinely cares about her and treats her right, unlike clients who used her body.

Now, the original film, “Pretty Woman” which starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere has become a musical on Broadway.

On August 16th, the Nederlander Theatre held its first show of “Pretty Woman: the Musical.” The musical stars Samantha Barks and Andy Karl as Vivian and Edward.

Samantha Barks plays the rebellious and kind-hearted Vivian. Andy Karl plays the wealthy Edward, who pays for Vivian to escort him to social and business functions for a week.

Barks previously played Éponine in the 2012 film “Les Misérables.” Karl had played Phil Connors in the musical “Groundhog Day” and Rocky Balboa in “Rocky the Musical.”

Banks had spoken with Vanity Fair about playing Vivian, a role that was played by Julia Roberts; “I’m trying to be true to the character—and trying to remove the pressure of Roberts, who obviously is so well loved for this performance, you have to try to do your own thing and use your own instincts to read the character like you’re reading the script for the first time.”

Unlike the film, the musical doesn’t include the iconic car scene, where Vivian shows Edward how to drive his manual Lotus Esprit.

The play does include the scene where Vivian gets all dressed up in the iconic red dress for Edward.

Another popular scene is when Vivian goes to the opera with Edward. The irony of this scene is that the opera they see, “La Traviata,” is about a prostitute that falls in love with a wealthier man.

Jerry Mitchell directed “Pretty Woman: The Musical” as well as the choreography. The music and lyrics for the musical is composed by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.

Garry Marshall and J. F. Lawton wrote the book “Pretty Woman.” Lawton wrote the screenplay and Marshall was the director for the 1990 film “Pretty Woman.”

Julia Roberts who played Vivian in the film saw the musical. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she discussed how she felt seeing the play after Marshall’s passing; “I was overjoyed for the cast because I think they did a really lovely job but I did leave there with such a bittersweet feeling in my heart. I missed Garry so much.”

“I Can’t Go Back” is a popular song from the musical. Vivian sings this song when she realizes that she has found herself, changed for the better and doesn’t want to go back to a life of prostitution.  

This musical will be sure to retell the classic heartwarming and feel good tale that we adored from the original film.

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