So what could a 2023 teenage guy write about the musical “Pretty Woman?”
Quite a bit, actually.
I’ll say this: if you are caught up in the Prince Charming/Cinderella fairytale, fine. Stay there.
If you are in it for nostalgia, costumes, and romance, cool.
But if you want a 2023 perspective, keep reading because this show is all about transformation.
Snark would tell us that Edward, a ruthless corporate raider, changed because Vivian was a nice person. I don’t see it that way. He changed because she saw him and because she made him want to be better. We do better sometimes not for ourselves, but because we want to be seen differently by the people we love. We want change and take steps to achieve it. Whether positively or negatively we leave a piece of ourselves, and take a piece of others, with us with every person we meet. Vivian melted Edward. In Grinch terms, his heart grew three sizes.
Today’s Pretty Woman doesn’t need saving. She saves herself. She says who. She says when. Smart-talking Kit with her quick one-liners is our comic relief. She’s Shakespeare’s jester in lycra with big hair. Kit helps us believe it’s possible to “take care of you.” Today’s Broadway Vivian is fierce and knows who she wants to be, but isn’t sure how to get there. Both characters struggle with freedom and find it in each other.
Can the dance of these two heroes – and their entanglement- transport us within their fantasy to something believable in the real world? Probably not, but that’s the magic of live theater.
I’m looking forward to hearing the show’s music co-created by 80s Legend Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance and seeing this show at The Hanover Theatre with my family.
What’s your dream?