Pretty Woman: The Musical, with original, new music written by SOCAN members and longtime musical partners Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, debuts on Broadway on Aug. 16, 2018.
Based on the 1990 movie about a star-crossed meeting between a prostitute and a disillusioned businessman, the stage musical (which has been in well-reviewed previews since July 20) features a book co-written by the film’s director, the late Garry Marshall, and screenwriter J.F. Lawton. It’s directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, and Pretty Woman producer Paula Wagner is teaming up with Atlantic Records to release an original Broadway cast album, which will be produced by Adams and Vallance. (Tickets are available here.)
Just before opening night, Jim Vallance shared some thoughts with us about the songwriting process:
“The opening number for Pretty Woman: The Musical is titled, ‘Welcome to Hollywood.’ Perhaps it should have been titled, ‘Welcome to Broadway,’ because Broadway is where Bryan Adams and I have spent most of the past three years, and where we’ve been warmly received as newcomers and outsiders.
“This is our first Broadway show. Twenty-plus songs. Countless hours spent writing, rehearsing, performing, and re-writing. (Did I mention re-writing?) Truth be told, we’ve composed nearly 40 songs to get 20 for the show. Our amazing director, Jerry Mitchell, sent us back to the drawing board again, and again, and again. Not because we didn’t deliver exactly what he requested each time, but because the story kept changing, the goal-posts kept moving.
“For example … For the opening of Act Two, we were originally asked to write a Hawaiian song, complete with ukuleles and luau dancers. A few months later the Hawaiian theme was out, and we were tasked with writing a rock song for a polo match in The Hamptons (no ukuleles, no luau). Further changes called for a lyric about money-and-greed… until the money-and-greed lyric was out, and we were back to the polo match again. Get the picture?
“Three years of intense work, on a steep learning curve. It’s been a journey, a challenge, an exhausting but incredible experience. Our official opening is August 16, but we’ve been performing previews to sold-out audiences for several weeks already. Standing ovations every night. Is it a hit show? We won’t know for sure until the New York theatre critics submit their verdicts the morning of August 17. Fingers crossed.
“To paraphrase Neil Young, long may we run.”