Closed 2h 35m
Pretty Woman: The Musical (NYC)
Midtown W
77

Pretty Woman: The Musical (NYC) NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(796 Reviews)
Positive
80%
Mixed
15%
Negative
5%
Members say
Entertaining, Great singing, Delightful, Romantic, Funny

About the Show

One of the most beloved romantic comedies of all time comes to Broadway in this world premiere musical, with an original score co-written by Grammy winner Bryan Adams ('Summer of ’69,' 'Everything I Do').

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Member Reviews (796)

86
Entertaining, Delightful, Great singing, Romantic

See it if You are a fan of the movie. The performances are excellent (esp Barks, Karl & Orfeh). Music is pleasing & the story is a classic. Very fun

Don't see it if You don't like the movie or are looking for a highfalutin show. They could have spent more money on the sets which were not great.

78
Entertaining, Great singing, Great acting, Carbon copy, Forgettable

See it if You liked the movie. This is a nice recreation with great singing and acting, a few special moments though no songs rise to stay in memory.

Don't see it if You expect any sort of originality or interesting interpretation at all. This is strictly film to stage, almost scene for scene. Read more

Critic Reviews (51)

August 16th, 2018

"Ms. Barks is clearly a talented singer and actress...she has been given no chance to banish stardust memories of the woman who created her part. Directed and choreographed as if on automatic pilot by Jerry Mitchell. Its creators have hewed suffocatingly close to the film’s story, gags, and dialogue...Mostly, Ms. Barks conducts herself like a peppy, tomboyish cutup from a sitcom. She often doesn’t seem entirely at ease, but her discomfort is nothing compared to Mr. Karl’s."
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August 16th, 2018

"Mostly just a dutiful replica of the movie...Not only does this approach miss an opportunity to rethink the story’s sugar-daddy fantasy in a deeper way, it also gets stale fast; this ain’t our first time on Rodeo Drive...Adams and Vallance’s music does its job, but has a Broadway show ever had lyrics so utterly, almost senselessly generic?...The cast makes the most of what 'Pretty Woman' allows them."
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August 16th, 2018

"'Pretty Woman: The Musical' has plenty of problems outside of its politics...It’s the kind of lifeless clunker that makes your heart go out to its actors...It’s more concerned with checking the boxes of all the movie’s most famous moments than it is with telling us anything new about these characters or creating any sense of surprise...The musical has added only 30 minutes to the length of the movie, and it still manages to feel draggy and overpadded."
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August 16th, 2018

"Reports that the creators...were 'reshaping' the story for the #MeToo era have been greatly exaggerated...But Lawton and the film’s director, the late Garry Marshall, who co-wrote the book, have clearly taken a 'don’t mess with success' approach...Samantha Barks is agreeable as Vivian, and Andy Karl is an appealingly handsome Edward. The bright spots, though, come from the supporting cast...But it’s clear that the all-male creative team hasn’t interrogated the story."
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August 16th, 2018

"While the creative team strains a tad too diligently to give the female lead agency and sidestep the Cinderella story's awkward sexual politics, the show is best appreciated as a retro pleasure, guilty or not...Its chief reason to exist is as a nostalgia exercise, not a fresh entertainment in its own right. The songs are almost superfluous...Barks makes a sensational Broadway debut...Vivian probably could have done without the blunt literalness of lyrics by Adams and Vallance."
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August 16th, 2018

"If you absolutely adore the film, director Jerry Mitchell has put together a show that will feel instantly familiar...No Broadway show has ever gone wrong by casting Andy Karl...But the best news of all is just how perfectly (and seamlessly) Samantha Barks steps into Roberts’ shoes...And yet, 'Pretty Woman' doesn’t quite work as a musical...Overall, the songs by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance feel uninspired, a little cheesy, and lifeless."
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August 16th, 2018

"Stubbornly inconsequential, it’s a morally uplifting fairy tale of which everyone, young and old alike, can be skeptical...Director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell and team toss a decided gloss over this G-rated version of Hollywood nights, with production numbers and ensemble acting executed with exaggerated musical-comedy snap...Though the lyrics teem with cliche, the cast gives its all to sell them."
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August 16th, 2018

"Not that 'Pretty Woman' is terrible—it’s just mediocre, albeit to a mind-boggling degree...Not only are the 16 songs banal, but they’re untheatrical: Virtually all of them are here’s-how-I’m-feeling-right-this-second power ballads that stop the action of the show dead instead of pushing it forward to the final curtain...Rarely in the history of Broadway has a bigger, staler nothingburger been served up than 'Pretty Woman.'"
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August 17th, 2018

“There isn’t a moment of wit or originality in it, but judging from size of the mobs pouring out of buses from NJ...this vulgar, noisy load of arrant nonsense is making a lot of people very happy indeed...The new musical version, which follows the movie to the letter...makes no improvements and settles for cheap imitation...The result is a 2 ½ hour show with a five-minute plot...The cheesy pop-rock score by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance gives Karl nothing important or memorable to sing."
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August 16th, 2018

"Bland MOR songs, costumes mistaking gaudy for glitzy, and a sugary lead performance add up to one very smudged, very ill-fitting glass slipper...Hits all the film’s beats, crams in a roster of generic-sounding songs written by raspy-voiced ’90s power balladeer Bryan Adams (along with Jim Vallance), and gins up unconvincing nods to empowerment without for a moment thinking them through or taking them seriously."
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August 16th, 2018

"It’s murder by adaptation...Anyone who saw the late Garry Marshall’s film will remember one of its sweetest scenes, in which Gere’s Edward playfully closes a box containing a diamond and ruby necklace on the fingers of Roberts’s wide-eyed Vivian...Andy Karl and Samantha Barks, in the same roles in the flat Broadway facsimile, try gamely to reenact the scene and manage only to make the moment seem canned and awkward — a bit of formula-mandated shtick."
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August 16th, 2018

"Samantha Barks, the truly formidable young star, achieves something close to a miracle...This is the Samantha Barks show, and she sure takes command as she emotes center stage...'Pretty Woman' has found a smart sweet spot somewhere between nostalgic retro romanticism and the current necessity for heroines to take charge...The show hardly is advancing the art in any kind of profound way...But it clearly pleases an audience that wants to escape."
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August 21st, 2018

“For all its ostentatious faults, ‘Pretty Woman’ is helped by the charisma of its leads...Barks is a vibrant musical theater performer. She can’t usurp Roberts...but when she sings, she owns the stage...The chemistry between Barks and Karl may not be intensely sexual, but it is romantic, and this flawed show depends on the compatibility of their radiant talents to cover up the myriad shortcomings in a musical serving old wine in a new bottle.”
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August 16th, 2018

“The hooker with the heart of gold is singing a new tune — but it’s the same old icky story...Slick direction and choreography, plus fine performances...But, like so many movies churned into musicals, the show is a warmed-over copy of the original. Seriously: Why would anyone revisit such a funky fable, especially in the #MeToo age?...The pleasant score is all soft rock and smooth grooves, though earworms are in short supply.”
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August 16th, 2018

"To its credit, 'Pretty Woman' is adequately and competently handled...Mitchell looks for any opportunity to add movement, awkwardly inserting Latin ballroom and hot jazz dance breaks...It is surprising that it took so long for Barks to come to Broadway. While she is a gorgeous performer with a strong voice and bright presence, she is essentially just recreating Julia Roberts’ original performance and thus leaves little impression of her own."
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August 16th, 2018

"If you do buy into the fantasy, the storytelling is still a problem...This is Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance's first Broadway score and it shows with generic lyrics and bland tunes for the most part that do little to advance the plot. They're fortunate to have a cast that almost manages to redeem the weak material...In truth, the singing is all well and good, but considering the evolution of gender politics over the last 30 years, 'Pretty Woman' today comes off pretty tone deaf."
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August 16th, 2018

"Lawton has changed almost nothing in his screenplay at all, with stage director Jerry Mitchell indulging the stagnancy with literally translated staging to match...Perhaps by clinging to the original material the show hopes to dodge modern scrutiny — or maybe it just hopes to give 'Pretty Woman' purists what they think they want...The overall light-hearted bounciness of the music is at odds with the sometimes earnest content that has been cut and pasted from the film."
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August 27th, 2018

"'Pretty Woman' has at its command a pair of thoroughly capable, even charismatic leads, but the support from their creative team just isn't in place. Without it, they can't make beautiful music together...The biggest problem is the score, which does nothing to advance the relationship of Vivian and Edward...Mitchell has provided a typically slick, good-looking, fast-moving production that makes everything about 'Pretty Woman' -- no matter how dubious -- easier to take."
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August 16th, 2018

"Musically there is enough variety throughout to keep things interesting...But there are at least two misfires...Both Ms. Barks and Mr. Karl are very good in their roles, but neither has the opportunity to win over the audience the way that two of the key supporting players do...'Pretty Woman: The Musical' is not going to set the world on fire, but it is pretty much of a surefire winner that is likely to attract lovers of old-fashioned romantic musicals for a long time to come."
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August 16th, 2018

"A solidly mediocre entertainment...The songs, where off rhymes proliferate like mosquitoes in summer, do remain serviceable. Not surprisingly, two pop ballads given Edward impress as items Adams himself could render Top 40 candidates...At the singing, though, Barks and Karl are no slouches when they need to guarantee that things land...Jerry Mitchell directs and choreographs with expected acumen but doesn’t necessarily outdo the results for his previous productions."
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August 16th, 2018

"While there are more than a few delights on display here, neither the visions of movie star magic nor the urge to hear that song are satisfactorily fulfilled...Overstuffed with splendid sightgags and deliciously wry choreographic touches...What is notable about the score is the professionalism; the songs are crafted for the stage in a manner not apparent in this season’s prior musicals...Standing head and shoulders above all is Karl...the image of Richard Gere is altogether wiped out."
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August 16th, 2018

"Please, can someone rescue Andy Karl from Broadway’s multiplex hell?...Never comes close to attaining the undeniable romantic magic of the movie version...'Pretty Woman' does have some moments of mildly transporting musical pleasure...However, most of the score feels either bland and repetitive...Absent a sufficiently invigorating score, the musical merely feels tedious and pedestrian."
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August 26th, 2018

"A lackluster stage treatment that is dull from start to finish...Adams and Vallance’s pop score is a bland compendium of long-winded ballads, mediocre production numbers, and wan character songs. There are some soaring melodies but the lyrics are uninspired...The book is a leaden reinvention of the material as a Broadway musical. Most of the intended jokes pass by in silence...Thoroughly adequate and lacking sparks on all levels, 'Pretty Woman: The Musical' is a drag."
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August 24th, 2018

“Instead of aiming for a more relevant update to the story the musical sticks close to its inspirational source to be a nostalgic feel-good experience...Blessed to have Mitchell to enliven this less than inventive adaptation and the energetic but more recording hits than story furthering songs...What's genuinely original and fun is the way Mitchell...managed to...to cleverly tap into the Cinderella-Pygmalion plots and visual memories from which ‘Pretty Woman’ always borrowed."
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August 27th, 2018

"Burdened by a lackluster score by Adams, whose style is more suited to country/pop than the stage, 'Pretty Woman' is what you get when bad music happens to good singers...And yet, even with its flimsy story and inconsistent score, this show has something any creative team would kill for — the dazzling Samantha Barks...Despite its flaws, 'Pretty Woman' does have appeal, in the quirky individuality of its chorus members, and the truly stellar performance of Samantha Barks."
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August 26th, 2018

"The musical rarely achieves that same special place that the 1990 film occupies in romantic comedy heaven. It has all the good lines, well, most of them, and almost every iconic set-up, but the end result feels as flat and bland as a Chevrolet Malibu, mainly because the book and actions play strict allegiance to the film, and rarely give it any chance to rev-up its cylinders in its own unique way...But the musical looks shiny and solid...It sounds just as good as it looks as well."
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August 29th, 2018

“You’re better off sticking with your worn out VHS copy of the film than delving into this new musical...The overly familiar mixed with the utterly uncreative comes together to make this a musical that does more harm than good...The musical’s tone is all over the place...The score offers no solution...It fails to create any heat, meaning, or emotional connection...The songs explode loudly but never burn with feeling...The lyrics do not provide insight into the characters."
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August 16th, 2018

"Despite the star-making potential of her part, many actresses would have shied away from the daunting task of stepping into Julia Roberts' shoes. However, Barks' determination to make the role her own shines through at every moment. Luckily, she also has a toothy, glowing smile almost as big as Roberts', an absolutely amazing singing voice, an obvious affection for the character, and the ability to look stunning in Gregg Barnes' mostly gorgeous costumes."
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August 25th, 2018

"The script…has been deflated by its morphing into a musical…Songs that barely move the action forward or explore characters and themes…Takes the air out of whatever little dramatic action there is. Comedy lines and business are cluttered with clichés…Jerry Mitchell's direction and choreography substitute obviousness for nuance…Its attractive, talented stars…are unable to capture Gere and Roberts's lightning in a bottle, thereby accenting the artificiality of the conceit."
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August 16th, 2018

"The score is energetic pop, sometimes catchy, more often generic-sounding, like outtakes from a Bryan Adams album...Jerry Mitchell has put together an entertainment with his usual professional polish, though one could almost characterize the song-and-dance numbers in 'Pretty Woman' as restrained and peripheral...The work the cast does...is fine, sometimes more than fine, but it cannot completely compensate for characters that feel airbrushed for commercial consumption."
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August 16th, 2018

"The score by Bryan Adams and his longtime collaborator Jim Vallance is fine, if nondescript, 1980s-style pop-rock...Andy Karl and Samantha Barks have a loose, relaxed chemistry. You are rooting for them to end up together because, well, that’s the whole point. And yet the show never quite clicks. Partly it’s because we could use more sass and wit...But a lot of the issues have to do with the big question hovering above the entire project: Is this the story we need right now?"
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August 16th, 2018

"Tuneful, schlocky, and deeply offensive unless you have a take-it-or-leave-it approach to female agency...The score...is perfectly pleasant, but except for a couple of riffs so macho-sounding they suggest a penis as plectrum, it is also perfectly unremarkable...The dance numbers seem borrowed from bar mitzvah B-roll and the shopping scene, which should be a triumph, is just no fun...There’s far more engineering and care devoted to the lingerie than to the story structure."
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August 16th, 2018

"By keeping the story in the same time frame, refusing to update it or introduce a meaningful female perspective, the creative team ensures that 'Pretty Woman' remains a well-mannered mannequin...The problem with the Adams-Vallance score is how slenderly it connects to characters and situations...I can’t emphasize how mediocre these airbrushed ditties are...Vapid, musically dead, and dramatically flat, 'Pretty Woman' exists for no other reason than to dig cash out of tourist pockets."
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August 16th, 2018

"A too-faithful adaptation of the original...Since Marshall and Lawton have recycled the screenplay almost line for line, the musical is a reminder of how wit-free the original is...Nothing in this show matches Roberts sashaying down Rodeo Drive...Part of the problem is that Mitchell’s staging botches the Cinderella story...Unfortunately, Adams and Vallance don’t have the musical flair to deliver a big showstopper, and Mitchell, who also choreographs, loses his focus in these makeover moments."
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August 23rd, 2018

"The show is just as much of a fairy tale as the film on which it is based, but it is a fun-filled fairy tale thanks largely to the charismatic lead performances...The musical deserves to stand on its own in accordance with the very different requirements of song, dance, and theatrical pizzazz. Barks and Karl do well on all counts and there is welcome chemistry between them...The appealing lead performances induce one to take the formulaic story more seriously than it deserves."
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August 17th, 2018

“A pale shadow of the film...with characters, dialogue, and songs that suggest something close to genuine human emotion, but never quite get there...The musical is too safe...Baldly simplistic and predictable, every cliché is employed...”Pretty Woman’ features a painfully uninspired new score, a largely Xeroxed script, no romance, and a gaudy and cheap-looking production entirely devoid of emotion or entertainment. Turning this film into a stage musical was a big mistake. Huge.”
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August 16th, 2018

"Mitchell’s characteristically slick production is vibrant, polished, and yes…very pretty...The most dangerous thing about 'Pretty Woman: The Musical' is that it presents itself like the heroine it idolizes — benignly appealing without asking anyone to think too hard...Hats off to Samantha Barks for reinventing a wildly beloved character and making it utterly her own...Mitchell’s production proceeds at a decent clip, one too many songs about pursuing vague dreams notwithstanding."
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August 27th, 2018

"This musical faithfully follows the plot line of that film, but its ample score does nothing to bring new insights or bright ideas with its music or lyrics...Ms. Barks has finally landed a role and a venue that will establish her as a major contender for future leading roles...Two attractive and talented stars and a first rate supporting cast telling a familiar story that is now attached to an uninteresting score may be enough for you."
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August 16th, 2018

“Possessed of a moonbeam smile and a powerhouse voice, Barks -- in an altogether ravishing Broadway debut -- manages the same magic trick that Roberts pulled off...'Pretty Woman' -- with its naive-bordering-on-deranged portrait of sex workers, and its deeply mixed messages about capitalist excess -- might seem like a minefield in our more socially progressive times...But if you can get past the ick factor...this musical delivers considerably.”
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August 17th, 2018

“Our #MeToo era seems the exact wrong moment to launch a show...based on a 30-year-old rom-com...Our understanding of a woman's place in society has changed. We no longer think women need saving...Miraculously, the new ‘Pretty Woman’ understands that, which is why it works...Vivian is whip-smart, strong, and soulful...She's a character we can cheer for without reservation...A show that will delight almost everyone...It's a musical about a woman finding herself."
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August 16th, 2018

"Barks and co-star Andy Karl make a terrifically entertaining and magnetic pair, and help carry a light musical that in lesser hands could be cloying...Mitchell deftly navigates the tricky material and keeps things lively...At times, the musical is too beholden to its source material...A run-of-the-mill romcom transformed into a show about hoping and dreaming and changing your life."
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August 16th, 2018

"Jerry Mitchell’s peppy production is propelled by the sheer professionalism of its delivery, the attractive soft-rock songs of Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and the chemistry of its leads. Samantha Barks is simultaneously tough and vulnerable as Vivian, while Andy Karl has an alpha-male sturdiness that makes the potentially unsympathetic character of Edward at once edgy and warm. There’s also scene-stealing work – and a fierce, belting voice – from Orfeh."
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August 24th, 2018

“A colorful, entertaining but otherwise middling rom-com musical that will thrill fans of the film...The musical isn’t advanced further by Adams’ pleasant yet forgettable power-pop score, so it is difficult for Mitchell to infuse any real imagination and 21st century sensibility into the narrative...What does work is the delightful Barks...and Karl...They elevate the material to a reasonably enjoyable evening...The most glaring flaw...is how anachronistic it is in the ‘#MeToo’ era.”
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August 20th, 2018

"If you’re the type of theatergoer who checks out the list of musical numbers in the program before the show starts,'Pretty Woman: The Musical' will already be pretty disappointing...All clichés, all phrases we had heard before we reached our teenage years. Don’t expect the lyrics that follow those titles to hold any particular interest, either...Making a solid Broadway debut is Samantha Barks, who’s charming, appealing and most able in song."
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August 24th, 2018

“A not-entirely-unpleasant evening, even if it doesn’t even come close to quality musical theater...But somehow, you can’t help rooting for these characters, especially as played by the eminently appealing Karl and Barks...The songs... are serviceable but uninspired. The score plays like a collection of Bryan Adams B-sides...The lyrics are painfully generic...Mitchell’s direction favors action over clarity. There’s too much business and not enough focus."
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August 17th, 2018

"Basically, the creators of the show don’t trust that women can hold the stage...Re-stagings of certain sequences are so cinematic-close that nothing about them feels new. Overall, 'Pretty Woman' is storytelling detritus, and never the right scale for the stage...One wishes that some of the lush, rousing arrangements and soaring choral moments could take us to a mythic place, that some of the gentle ballads could offer an internal character monologue, but the songs are aggressively generic."
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August 16th, 2018

“This musical adaptation...holds pretty close to the plot of the original...But as any number of flops...have illustrated, that transfer is very tricky...’Pretty Woman’ lacks...imagination and creativity...Both of the leads do everything they can to make their characters credible without a script that reveals why they are attracted to each other and how that attraction transforms them...What was once charming and engaging in the movie theatre has become mediocre and bland.”
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August 25th, 2018

"Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, everything from the dancing to the acting to the sets is to theater what TGIFriday’s is to dining. As for the blisteringly generic 1980s power-ballad tunes by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, I’ve heard more creative lyrics in life-insurance commercials...If, as is often said, the 'Pretty Woman' is a hooker with a heart of gold, this fable is far more attentive to the gold than the heart."
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August 22nd, 2018

“A charming piece of romantic theater with a serviceable pop score by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance...This is a reproduction of the film, with songs and dance numbers added...I doubt if anyone is going to remember most of the music...The individual numbers are enjoyable for what they are – pleasant interludes...There are not many magical moments in ‘Pretty Woman’ but there are enough pleasing moments to guarantee you a night of relaxed fun.”
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August 17th, 2018

"A fun romp with some great acting, singing, and dancing...Mitchell does his typically reliable work...For better or worse, his work never gets in the way of the storytelling, but it really doesn't add much to it, either...Fans of the film will be happy. Theater lovers may ask, 'did this need to be a musical?'...While 'Pretty Woman' doesn't really break any new ground it does enough to feel fresh...The superb cast, including more than excellent principals, makes up for the lack of originality."
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August 17th, 2018

“Frothy and fun, with moments of real loveliness — as long as you’re not looking for any kind of grounding in reality...Barks and Karl are charming, though they’re both missing the edge their predecessors brought to their roles...The musical doesn’t really encourage anyone to think deeply...The score starts to lag midway through...It’s most successful when it stops simply iterating the film...and lets the spectacle of theater build on the film’s most dazzling moments.”
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