Broadway Reviews: Pretty Woman and American Son

Pretty Woman

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Official Blurb  Fall In Love All Over AgainOne of the most beloved romances of all time . is now on Broadway! Pretty Woman: The Musical, features direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Hairspray), an original score by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams (“Summer of ’69,” “Everything I Do”) and his longtime songwriting partner Jim Vallance, and a book by the movie’s legendary director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton. Starring Samantha Barks and Andy Karl. Once upon a time in the late ’80s, unlikely soulmates Vivian and Edward overcame all odds to find each other… and themselves. Experience the moments you love from the movie — and get to know these iconic characters in a whole new way — in this dazzlingly theatrical take on a love story for the ages. Brought to life by a powerhouse creative team representing the best of music, Hollywood and Broadway, Pretty Woman: The Musical will lift your spirits and light up your heart.

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My Take:  This was exactly what you expected it to be. It is a nostalgia fest that is entertaining, fun and expertly sang onstage. Is it perfect –  No, but it doesn’t need to be. It hits all the buttons it is trying to hit. We had a great time: we laughed, we remember the movie (and yearned for our youth in the process) and left the theater happier than when we walked it. Samantha Banks is great as Vivian, and that is high praise as she is being compared to Julia Roberts. Orphe kills it as Kit, best voice onstage. I also really enjoyed Eric Anderson as Mr. Thompson. I also really enjoyed the setting of Vivian’s flat balcony – perfectly made. Why is it not perfect? I had qualms with three things. I think its a bit cookie cutter – it is exactly like the movie – a little reinterpretation/ change of decade/costume change could have given this a bit more creative flair – yet by sticking to the original they are catering to the movie fans directly. Two, The music is non descript. It serves its purpose and it is perfectly agreeable, but i can not recall a single melody after I left the show. Clearly the cast album I am not getting, and it is a dissapointment as this was not what I was expecting from the man who brought me one of my favorite songs!. Three, the creative side could have been a bit better. It’s fine they stayed to the original, but the sets and the costumes could use a little pizzaz, and seriously i got robbed of a fabulous runway moment (you cork on commission is my favorite part of the movie!) and all the other sets apart from the balcony just didn’t have the same effect.

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American Son

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Official Blurb: 

A Florida police station in the middle of the night.
Two parents searching for answers.

Kerry Washington (“Scandal”, Race) returns to the Broadway stage alongside Steven Pasquale (“American Crime Story,” Junk), Eugene Lee (Gem of the Ocean), and Jeremy Jordan (“Supergirl,” Newsies), in the riveting new play, AMERICAN SON. Marking the Broadway debut of playwright Christopher Demos-Brown and directed by Tony Award® winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, Fences), AMERICAN SON is a gripping tale about who we are as a nation, and how we deal with family relationships, love, loss, and identity

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My Take:  Went to see American Son and Walked out of the theater gutted, amazed and basically in awe of what we saw on stage! I bought tickets for this as soon as I got the email just because it was Kerry Washington and Steve Pasquale and I love them.  They were absolutely amazing, left their heart on the stage with mesmerizing performances.  Tnen Jeremy Jordan joined the cast and I was a done deal. Yet I’m telling you to go not only for the spectacular cast, but for the amazing story that they are telling. Not only go, runt to see it. A relevant conversation for today, especially in American politics. How do we react, judge and interact with other races? What are out inherent racial biases? Are some of them justified? I left the theater with a tear in my eye and with so many conversations that should be had. Bravo 👏🏼 .

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Bonus points — as you can see in the picture below I got to see Jeremy Jordan at the stage door – my Newsies/Smash loving heart was about to jump into song

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