Pretty Woman: The Musical Gets New Cast
Pretty Woman: The Musical producer Paula Wagner announced Broadway triple-threat Jillian Mueller will take over the coveted role of ‘Vivian’ in the hit Broadway musical, stepping into the iconic boots of both Julia Roberts and Samantha Barks. Jillian will star opposite Brennin Hunt who garnered rave reviews as ‘Roger’ on Fox’s “Rent: Live!” Singer-songwriter and actor Brennin Hunt first burst onto the National stage as a contestant on “X-Factor” and is making his Broadway debut as ‘Edward.
Jillian Mueller and Brennin Hunt will begin performances in Pretty Woman: The Musical on Monday, July 22, 2019, at 7pm, joining Orfeh in her two-time Broadway.com Audience Choice Award-wining performance as ‘Kit’, Eric Anderson as ‘Mr. Thompson,’ Charlie Pollock as “Philip Stuckey,’ and Kingsley Leggs as ‘James Morse,’ in the record-breaking production playing at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street).
Pretty Woman: The Musical, now in its eleventh month on Broadway, opened on August 16, 2018, and features original music and lyrics by Grammy Award winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, a bookby Garry Marshall and the film’s screenwriter J.F. Lawton, and direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell. Julia Roberts attended the August 2, 2018, performance of the record-breaking Pretty Woman: The Musical, which continues to be an audience favorite and just won three Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards including “Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical” for Andy Karl, and “Favorite Featured Actress in a Musical” and “Favorite Diva Performance” for Orfeh.
Samantha Barks and Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Andy Karl will play their final performance in Pretty Woman: The Musical on Sunday, July 21, 2019.
“To launch our second year of Pretty Woman on Broadway we searched from New York to Hollywood to find a new ‘Vivian’ and we saw many talented young women,” said producer Paula Wagner, “Jillian is exactly what we were looking for – A new star with raw talent, vulnerability, an inner spark, star quality and a gorgeous voice that can belt out Bryan and Jim’s score eight times a week. What makes this discovery even more exciting is that she was already part of the Pretty Woman family having been a member of our original Broadway cast – she was literally waiting in the wings.”
“The world watched Brennin put his mark on the role of Roger on “Rent Live!,” winning over viewers with his amazing voice, and what’s more impressive, he did it in a foot cast, which of course reminded me of my great friend, and our current ‘Edward’, Andy Karl.” Said director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell. “Brennin made people swoon with that brilliant performance, and he shot to the top of my list for a man to take over the role of ‘Edward.’ We are thrilled to welcome Brennin to Broadway.”
Jillian Mueller was an original cast member of Pretty Woman: The Musical and is now stepping into the role of Vivian Ward. Jillian’s Broadway credits include Bye, Bye, Birdie and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and has starred in the national tours of Dirty Dancing as ‘Baby’ and Flashdance as ‘Alex Owens,’ in addition to the national tours of American Idiot and Memphis. Ms. Mueller’s TV credits include TBS’ “The Last O.G.,” “Law & Order: SVU,” MTV’s “One Bad Choice,” and CBS’ “A Gifted Man.” Jillian most recently starred in a film that premiered at SXSW.
Brennin Hunt recently starred in Fox’s “Rent: Live!.” The singer-songwriter also recently wrapped the indie feature Walking With Herb set for premiere 2020, and previously guest starred in ABC’s “Nashville” and “X Factor.” Following his music debut in 2016, Brennin was listed in Rolling Stones’ “10 Artists You Need To Know” and since then has toured across North America opening for known acts like America.
Pretty Woman: The Musical has broken the box office record a total of four times for an 8-performance week at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre.
Atlantic Records’ Pretty Woman: The Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording) is produced by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance and is now available on all DSP’s and on Vinyl and CD in stores nationwide.
The First National Tour of Pretty Woman: The Musical will begin performances in October of 2020 at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, RI.
The first international production of Pretty Woman: The Musical will begin performances in Germany, on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Presented by Stage Entertainment, Pretty Woman: The Musical will open at Hamburg’s Stage Theater an der Elbe Sunday, September 29, 2019.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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