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Pretty Woman:The Musical has been to Chicago, New York, Hamburg and London before launching on its U.S. Tour. Photo: Morris Mac Matzen.
Pretty Woman:The Musical has been to Chicago, New York, Hamburg and London before launching on its U.S. Tour. Photo: Morris Mac Matzen.

‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’ kicks off 2022 Broadway at the Kimmel Cultural Campus

The musical based on the 1990 box office smash hit starring Julia Roberts runs until Jan. 16.

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When the 1990 movie Pretty Woman was first conceptualized, the goal was for it to be a bleak look at class and prostitution in Los Angeles. But after some reconsidering and a significant increase in budget, the film took the form of a romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in the title roles, and went on to be the third-highest-grossing film of the year.

Named after the 1964 Roy Orbison hit, “Oh, Pretty Woman,” the film follows New York City corporate raider Edward Lewis, who is on a week-long business trip to Los Angeles. 

Before traveling, his girlfriend breaks up with him, meaning he has no female companion to take to any of the business events throughout the week.

That is, until one night he ends up in LA’s red light district and meets a prostitute named Vivian Ward. After an initial awkward interaction, Lewis hires her to be his stand-in girlfriend for the week. 

The sparks fly from there.

Pretty Woman: The Musical made its own premiere nearly 28 years after the feature film at Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre on March 13, 2018. After that, it went on a 13-month run at New York City’s own Nederlander Theatre before crossing the Atlantic to Hamburg, Germany and then London. 

The COVID-19 pandemic shuttered the London production from February 2020 to July 9, 2021, when it reopened at the Savoy Theatre in the West End.

Now, Pretty Woman: The Musical has traveled back stateside to open 2022 at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Cultural Campus on the first stop of its new U.S. tour. The first show at the Kimmel was on Jan. 4, 2021, and the production will run until Sunday, Jan. 16.

For the U.S. tour of the musical, Tony-Award nominee Adam Pascal plays Edward Lewis, and Olivia Valli plays Vivian Ward. Its lead producer is Paula Wagner.

The original score for the musical was done by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and features a rendition of Orbison’s “Oh Pretty Woman.” The accompanying book was written by director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton.

Amid the rise in COVID-19 cases thanks to the Omicron variant, the Kimmel Cultural Campus is staying in operation. For those wanting to attend a show, guests ages 12 and older must show proof of vaccination. Those younger must provide a negative PCR test result 72 hours prior to attending. Masks are to be worn at all times.

After the run of Pretty Woman: The Musical, other upcoming Broadway series in February and March include, Hadestown (from Feb. 9-20), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Feb. 22-27), Rent (March 4-6), Oklahoma! (March 8-20), and Waitress (March 29- April 3). More Broadway series for 2022 can be found on the Kimmel Cultural Campus' website.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story said that Pretty Woman: The Musical opened the new Broadway season at the Kimmel Cultural Campus. That was incorrect, Hamilton opened the season in September 2021. 
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