‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’ headed for the Schuster Center

Romantic lead is Tony nominee Adam Pascal.

It isn’t the first time Broadway actor Adam Pascal has been in Dayton. In 2015, the Tony nominee was a guest of the Musical Theatre Initiative at Wright State University where he led master classes and workshops and also starred in a one-man concert.

Pascal, whose varied career ranges from rock bands to musical theater, is best known for debuting the role of Roger in the original Broadway production of “Rent” and playing the iconic role in the film version as well.

Now he’ll be on stage at the Schuster Center Nov. 1-6 when “Pretty Woman: The Musical” comes to town to kick off Dayton Live’s Broadway season.

The talented Pascal, who also appeared in the original New York productions of “Aida” and “Memphis,” plays the male lead in the stage adaptation of the famous rom-com.

The musical is based on the Julia Roberts-Richard Gere Rom-Com about the love affair between a sex worker (Vivian Ward) and the tough businessman ( Edward Lewis) who hires her to be his escort for social and business functions. It’s one of those captivating films we find ourselves watching again and again when it shows up on television. The title is based on the 1964 song “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison.

Wright State University’s artistic director Joe Deer, who hosted Pascal when he was in Dayton, is looking forward to seeing him in the musical.

“Adam Pascal is a very unusual Broadway actor in that he can do pure rock musicals like “Rent” and “Aida,” but can also play traditional and lighter contemporary roles as well,” says Deer. “He’s very engaging, welcoming and gave a wonderful solo concert in Dayton with just him singing and playing guitar. One of the highlights was having our senior class sing “Seasons Of Love” from “Rent” with him.”

Chatting with Adam Pascal

Pascal, who’s been touring with “Pretty Woman” for a year, says fans of the movie will recognize some of the iconic moments in the stage version: “like the scene with the red dress and the necklace he puts on her, or the bathtub scene and some of the dialogue exchanges.”

He thought the film was “great” when it first came out in 1990 but hasn’t seen it since. “I didn’t want to see it again because I remembered it well enough and I didn’t feel the need to see what Richard Gere did with the part,” he explains. “Nobody wants to copy someone else.”

What’s fun about his part, Pascal says, is getting to fall in love with his co-star every night. The biggest challenge? “To make Edward likable. “It’s painfully obvious why he falls for her but he’s got strikes against him when it comes to likability: He’s a prep school, money guy, Wall Streety, slightly arrogant. Nobody likes people like that.”

Pascal thought it was important in the stage version to make the audience believe Vivian could fall in love with Edward. “He does transform to a certain degree but we have to see seeds of that to begin with, it’s not a black-and-white transformation,” he says.

One of Pascal’s favorite sequences takes place when Edward takes Vivian to the opera and the song from the musical is interspersed with the music from “La Traviata” that’s being sung on stage. “It’s really a great score with beautiful songs by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. There are big production numbers with full choreography and an amazing cast of singers and dancers. And we’ve upped the comedic element since Broadway.”

“Pretty Woman” is Pascal’s third national tour and he’s obviously enjoying it. “I was born and raised in New York but I’m not the biggest fan of living the New York City lifestyle,” he admits. “I’m much more of a suburbanite.”

Credit: © Wright State University Photography

Credit: © Wright State University Photography

He says there are pros and cons both to touring and appearing on Broadway. “I like being in a new city every week and having things taken care of for me,” he says. “But there’s nothing like going to work every night on Broadway. It’s a special privilege I don’t take for granted.”

“Pretty Woman” features a book by the movie’s legendary director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton. Direction and choreography are by two-time Tony winner Jerry Mitchell.


What: “Pretty Woman: The Musical”

Where: Schuster Center, 1 W. Second Street, Dayton

When: Nov. 1 -Nov. 6

Tickets: $26-$109

Run time: 2 hours 30 minutes with a 20 minute intermission.

Age recommendation: Parental guidance suggested due to mature content.

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