First Listen: Pretty Woman Original Broadway Cast Album
Pretty Woman: The Musical, has found its way to Broadway in what has been a successful run so far since it began previews in July. In late September, they released a cast album for the songs, and I now have my thoughts on them.
1. "Welcome to Hollywood" - When saw the show back in July, this number did not strike me as the best opening number a show could have. But after listening to it, I do have a greater appreciation for the song and for how it sets up the story. It introduces all the main characters (other than Edward) and successfully sets the audience up for what will follow.
2. "Anywhere But Here" - Here we get to look into the mind of Samantha Barks' Vivian, as she feels frustrated with her life as a hooker. This song successfully fits the "hooker with a heart of gold", which is how most people view the character. It tells the audience that she wants more with her life, which helps keep the story from being about her needing "saving".
3. "Something About Her (Preamble)" - This song introduces us to Edward, the billionaire who hires Vivian for a few hours, and was completely blown away by her. I adore Andy Karl's voice, and this song also sets up the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and Eric Anderson's other character of the hotel's manager.
4. "Something About Her" - I really like this song. Often in musicals, the male romantic lead is not given much leeway in terms of music. This song allows their love story to be more drawn out and less of a fairy-tale. Not to mention Andy Karl's beautifully smooth voice makes it feel like he's the only person who could embody the character, even without seeing it in front of you.
5. "Luckiest Girl in the World" - In this song, Vivian is celebrating how much money she's making by spending a week with Edward. It further establishes the idea of her wanting to have a better life. It's also a fun song for Barks to sing, and fits her voice beautifully. Also is the first time we really get to here Orfeh use her powerhouse of a voice, and has the now iconic line of "and that's a whole lot more!" sung by the Orfeh and Barks, as well as crowd favorite Tommy Bracco.
6. "Rodeo Drive" - This song is all Orfeh, and it is a fantastic one for her. Her voice is an absolute powerhouse with some incredible riffs to top it off. It's easily one of the best songs in the show, and it is all thanks to Orfeh.
7. "Anywhere But Here (Reprise)" - This reprise is the opposite of the original song. Vivian is feeling out of place with Edward, and by turning the song on its head, it successfully gives the listener sympathy for Vivian.
8. "On a Night Like Tonight" - This is a great song for Anderson's voice, and establishes his character(s) as somewhat of a fairy god-father for VIvian. It's great to hear his voice in a smoother song, and it suits him beautifully, especially with lovely instruments in the background.
9. "Don't Forget to Dance" - In this song, Anna Eilinsfeld's lovely voice is featured. It's a fun jazzy song and within the show's context it's absolutely perfect. I would love to hear Eilinsfeld's voice more often in the future as she has a gorgeous voice.
10. "Freedom" - Here's another ballad for Andy Karl, that establishes his struggle in his own job. It acknowledges that the Edward is not the perfect romantic lead, and sets him up with some problems. However, I still feel sympathy for the character, and think it's a good song.
11. "You're Beautiful" - Of my favorite songs in the show this is in the top two. It's used when Edward takes Vivian back to Rodeo Drive to buy clothes, and he helps her to be more confident. I love this song because he acknowledges her style, grace, and beauty; and it also features the iconic line from the movie. Featured on the track is Jake Odmark as Mr. Hollister, manager of a store. Odmark has a wonderfully clear voice and is a wonderful part of the song, as well as giving some comedy in certain parts. I think it's one of the best numbers in the show. You can see the cast performing it on the TODAY SHOW below!
12. "Welcome To Our World (More Champagne)" - In the Act II opening number, Vivian is introduced the world of millionaires that Edward socializes with. It's funny, and helps to move the story along wonderfully.
13. "This is My Life" - In Samantha Barks' second ballad of the show, she begins to speak her own mind more. While it suits her voice well, I think it would have been better suited to the first act of the show, especially when only listening to it in the context of the album.
14. "Never Give Up On A Dream" -This song is a fun one. It brings the story back to the boulevard, where the Happy Man and Kit are singing about their dreams. It is a reminder of a lot of the show's plot and the driving elements through the story, to never give up and to pursue dreams.
15. "You and I" - This song is for the opera scene with the famous red dress. It's a rock ballad about the feelings Edward and Vivian have for each other, and it also features the incredible vocals of Allison Blackwell, which makes it worth listening to at any time.
16. "I Can't Go Back" - This is truly the power song of the show. It takes Vivian out of the 'needing to be saved' stereotype and displays her as an independent woman who knows her heart. It also displays her as a person determined to chase the best for herself, making it an absolute power anthem.
17. "Freedom (Reprise)" - This brief reprises is representative of the change Vivian has had on Edward. Short, simple, and sweet.
18. "Long Way Home" - This song builds on the idea that the pair have helped each other, though they are not together in the moment the song takes place. It makes it clear that each helped the other become a better person, and it is not a simple man saves woman story.
19. "Together Forever" - This is my favorite song in the show, hands down. Edward goes to the boulevard to find Vivian. He asks her what happens when the princess is rescued, to which Vivian replies that she rescues him right back. It continues to build on the idea that they helped each other, in the best possible way. Also continues the theme of female empowerment as Kit sings that there isn't anything a man can do that a woman can't do better. The song is fun, upbeat, and features more of Allison Blackwell's amazing vocals in the end of the song. It's a gorgeous song, uniting all the characters, and it's the perfect way to end the show -- encouraging us to keep dreaming.