Maybe I’m the queen of wishful thinking, but I’m escatic over reports that PRETTY WOMAN might be Broadway’s next big musical. Because let’s face it, it’s genius.
You’ve got a romantic boy meets girl story with a twist – she’s not a damsel in distress but rather a hooker with a heart of gold who has sass, street smarts and a smile that lights up a room. He’s a rich lawyer who has yet to learn the important lesson that sometimes money doesn’t buy happiness.
In case you haven’t seen the 1990 film starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts (in her break out role), the premise is quite simple. Roberts and Gere meet, they fall in love and chaos ensues as they deal with her ‘unconventional’ choice of occupation. The two had remarkable chemistry, so much so that they inspired Director Garry Marshall to make a ‘sequel’ of sorts in large part just to re-unite them on screen (the result was the adorable 1999 flick Runaway Bride).
But could it be a bona fide hit on stage? I certainly think so. The film had all the necessary elements of a big Broadway musical – the only thing lacking is the songs. Get the right composer on board and build off those classic late 80s tunes (surely everyone remembers Julia rocking out to Prince in the bathtub?) and you’ve got a winning combination. Pretty Woman was not only romantic, it was damn funny – and I believe most of the humour would translate extremely well to the Broadway stage.
If all that weren’t enough to convince you, consider the clever nods to theatre that existed in the film. While waiting for Roberts to return from a seedy night club, Gere was approached by a gang led by her former pimp and later remarks that ‘you disappeared and suddenly I was in West Side Story’. And perhaps one of the most iconic scenes from the film takes place at the opera, where Roberts has her first live theatre experience. When asked if she enjoyed it she quipped ‘it was so good I almost peed my pants‘. Gere covered with ‘she said she liked it more than Pirates of Penzance’.
Pretty Woman is the type of film that is just begging to be adapted for the stage – so let the dream casting begin! I’ve already called Vivian… I’ve got the boots, the sharpie, the curly red hair and more than enough sass. Plus I’ve always wanted to stand on a fire escape and tell a well meaning gentleman that I’m going to ‘rescue him right back’.
Sadly I imagine my lack of singing and dancing ability may get in the way of me getting MY fairy tale ending, so I want to know… Who do you want to see play Vivian? Leave your dream casting comments here on tweet me at @broadwaybabyto – let’s get this discussion going!
— tapeworthy (@tapeworthy) March 12, 2014