Missing PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL at National Theatre? Big Mistake

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL. Image credit: Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

PRETTY WOMAN: the Musical — anxiously awaited in DC — has finally brought iconic 80s Hollywood to DC’s National Theatre. But if you have a dream of attending, HURRY, like so many of the Broadway at the National touring shows, this one is gone in a few days!

Based on the 1990s film of the same name, and scripted almost verbatim, this stage show also includes original songs by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. These songs offer the musical characters the opportunity to share more of their inner thoughts and feelings, which is quite different than the movie, and also give a bit of the mystery away. But they also give Rae Devenport (Kit DeLuca) a chance to showcase her remarkable pipes,

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL. Image credit: Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

balancing the scales… somewhat.

In brief, this show is — just like the movie — a retold Cinderella story about a down-on-her-luck girl who meets a guy who can lift her out of her rough existence and give her the fairytale life she’s dreamed about. But unlike Cinda-effing-rella (as Kit calls her), it’s also about prostitution, and contains sexually suggestive and explicit actions and profanity, so it’s probably not the best show for children!

The set is one of the more interesting parts of the play, transforming from a hotel lobby to a penthouse living room with the “lift” arrival. And it’s fun to watch Adam Du Plessis (Happy Man/Hotel Manager) pop up as the enthusiastic narrator and in situations unexpected and different from the film.

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL. Image credit: Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

Other standout moments included just about any scene involving Joshua Kring (Giulio), as evidenced by a theatre-goer behind shouting “Gulian, My Man!” loudly every time he appeared. Seriously, however, Kring’s comedic timing and dance expertise were a highlight. And the opera singer (Sarah Wang) — standing ovation worthy!

PRETTY WOMAN: the Musical, is probably best for fans of the movie — and/or Julia Roberts or Richard Gere — who want to rewatch some of those nostalgic moments in a new way. Missing it would be, as Vivian Ward says, “a big mistake… huge!”

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL plays for one week only, from December 12 through 17, 2023. Tickets start at $59. Runtime approximately 2.5 hours with one 20-minute intermission.