Pretty Woman – A Spicy, Sunny, Splashy Romcom Musical at the National Theatre

Man and woman on bench
(L to R) Chase Wolfe and Ellie Baker in Pretty Woman a National Theatre. (Photo/Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Having seen the movie starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere won’t prepare you for this bright, sunny musical that shines a light on both sides of Hollywood – the hotshot millionaires and the nighttime denizens plying their trade on the seamier side of town. “Welcome to Hollywood. Everyone’s got a dream,” sings Happy Man (Adam Du Plessis) who calls himself “Hollywood Boulevard’s fairy godmother.” 

Surrounded by “hookers” and set in the 1980s before the politically correct term sex workers is our heroine, Vivian Ward (Ellie Baker), who longs to leave “the Life” with the number Anywhere but Here. She’s smart, funny, savvy, and sexy and longing for a better life for herself. 

Woman rocking out with microphone on stage with backup singers.

Rae Davenport and The Company of Pretty Woman: The Musical at National Theatre. (Photo/Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

Soon we meet wheeler dealer Edward Lewis (Chase Wolfe), who catches her eye with the number Something About Her. He invites her to his penthouse suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel and pays her to stay with him, and play with him, for six nights. Vivian is wowed by the posh digs as is her best friend and fellow sex worker, Kit De Luca (Rae Davenport). 

Much of the comic relief is provided by Guilio (Joshua Kring), a bellboy extraordinaire who becomes one of Vivian’s supporters along with the Mr. Thompson the Hotel Manager who is one of many roles played by top banana Adam Du Plessis. 

Man in suit, embracing woman in red shoulderless gown.
(L to R) Chase Wolfe and Ellie Baker in Pretty Woman at National Theatre.(Photo/Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

The tunes run the gamut from country rock with Freedom sung by Edward, to Tango, Jazz and ballads and, of course the classic Roy Orbison and Billy Dees collaboration Pretty Woman all led by Conductor Shane French who masterfully leads twenty-one numbers. Look for Sarah Wang’s stunner of a star turn in the La Traviata aria.

This frisky musical romance stays bubbly throughout thanks to its high-energy, young cast. Composed by Bryan Adams (Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and winner of three Academy Awards) and Jim Vallance holder of dozens of Gold and Platinum album awards and collaborator with some of the top recording artists), the musical hits all the right notes thanks to the genius of Garry Marshall icon director of 18 major motion pictures.

With Liam Searcy as Philip Stuckey; Charlie Fusari as Landlord; Bethany McDonald as Susan/Ensemble; Devyn Trondson as Rachel/Ensemble; Steven Gagliano, as Fred/Hotel Staff/Alfredo/Ensemble; Hank Santos as Senator Adams/Ensemble; Sarah Wang as Violetta/Ensemble.

Large group standing on stage of Pretty Woman at National Theatre.
The Company of Pretty Woman: The Musical at National Theatre. (Photo/Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade)

Additional Ensemble: Matthew BlumBrianna ClarkKerry D’JovanniLauren EsserMatt HenningsenChristian Maxwell HenryAlexandra KinsleyJoshua KringTaylor M. Sheppard.

Two-time Tony Award-winning Director and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell; Original Score by Grammy winner Bryan Adams; Costume Design by Gregg Barnes; Choreography recreated by Rusty Mowery; Direction recreated by DB Bonds; Music Supervision, Arrangements and Orchestrations by Will Van Dyke; Tour Scenic Design by Christine Peters; Sound Design by John Shivers; Lighting Design by Kenneth Posner and Philip S. Rosenberg.

Super professional production and tons of fun!

Through December 17th at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004. For tickets and information visit

Jordan Wright

Jordan Wright is a noted publisher and writer focused on food, spirits, travel, theatre and lifestyles.  Her writing can also be found on her personal website

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