Pretty Woman The Musical is a lovely stroll through a favorite story

Pretty Woman The Musical, National Tour, photo provided by Dr. Phillips Center
Pretty Woman The Musical, National Tour, photo provided by Dr. Phillips Center /

While the notes of the Roy Orbison song might be iconic, the Julia Roberts and Richard Gere movie have a special place in pop culture history. From the iconic looks to the memorable phrases, that story was not a modern-day fairy tale. Instead, it was a journey to a more fulfilled life. With Pretty Woman The Musical, the question of “what’s your dream” has audiences leaving with a smile and sense that more is possible.

When a movie is transformed into a stage performance, the book adaptation can take various forms. Although the story stays mostly intact, some moments that work perfectly on film do not work in live theater. Still, there are ways to keep the heart and the plot while bringing a new perspective to the familiar.

Currently, Pretty Woman The Musical has a National Tour making stops across the country. During a recent stay at Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando, the cast put on an exceptional performance that captured the humor, heart, and determination that has made this story resonate with so many people.

Pretty Woman the Musical
Pretty Woman The Musical, National Tour, photo provided by Dr. Phillips Center /

Whether people believe in the fairy tale or see a journey of transformation within the well-known plot may not be the primary objective of this Broadway show. Similar to a jukebox musical, the lighthearted adaptation is meant to have moments of laughter, and scenes of endearment, and leave the audience singing as the curtain goes down.

For Broadway fans, the real treat of the National Tour is that Adam Pascal plays Edward. Whether people remember him in his roles of Roger from Rent or even more recently as William Shakespeare in Something Rotten, Pascal’s distinctive tone adds depth to Edward’s character. At times introspective then later full of bravado, that juxtaposition is what great Broadway stars make look effortless.

While many people wait for Pascal to hit those big notes, it is the quiet moments where everyone holds their breath in anticipation. He compels people to avoid distraction and be absorbed by the moment.

In contrast, Jessie Davidson, who makes her tour debut as Vivian shows the character’s arc. From her moments of vulnerability to her growing confidence, Davidson makes the audience cheer for her triumphs. Without losing the humor of the role, it is the journey that endears her to everyone.

Although the two main characters receive great fanfare, it is Travis Ward-Osborne as Happy Man/Bernie who often steals the show. From the flamboyant dance numbers to reminding everyone that happiness and pursuing a dream is the best part of life, this performance lights up the stage. Not only does it provide a connection between the characters on the stage, but he offers sentiments that resonate after the last note is played. In some ways, it is almost like a modern adaptation of Jimmy Cricket.

Pretry Woman the Musical
Pretty Woman The Musical, National Tour, photo provided by Dr. Phillips Center /

Overall, the ensemble invites the audience to laugh, remember the familiar, and put their cares away for a few hours. Even if some people might recall the exact lines from the movie or countdown to hear the actual notes of the Roy Orbison song, the reality is that Pretty Woman The Musical is a lighthearted, enjoyable night of theater.

Pretty Woman The Musical is currently on a National Tour. After leaving Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando it plays Palm Beach followed by dates in Canada and California.

It is a simple question. What’s your dream? While everyone has a dream, Pretty Woman The Musical is a reminder that pursuing that dream should always be a priority.