franklyHANK: 'Pretty Woman,' 'On Your Feet!,' & foundmi Trackers

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Hank is back this week with "Pretty Woman," "On Your Feet!" and foundmi Trackers. (WLS)

Hank is back this week with "Pretty Woman," "On Your Feet!" and foundmi Trackers.

"PRETTY WOMAN"

The year was 1990 and actress Julia Roberts and actor Richard Gear made America fall in love with a movie called, "Pretty Woman." Nearly 20 years later, a new musical based on the film hopes to make America fall in love all over again. "Pretty Woman: The Musical" comes from Director Jerry Mitchell ("Kinky Boots," "On Your Feet!"). Rocker Bryan Adams and his songwriting partner Jim Vallance handle the music. The book is written by the late Garry Marshall (who directed the original film) and J.F. Lawton, the film's original screenwriter. Broadway great Samantha Barks is in the Julia Roberts role while Tony & Grammy award-winner Steve Kazee is the Richard Gere role. Pretty much everyone knows "Pretty Woman," but just in case, Barks plays a Vivian, hooker, who meets millionaire Edward, played by Kazee. They're both damaged in certain ways, but they need each other more than they realize. Of course, they fall in love.

What I Liked!!!
Seeing and hearing Samantha Barks is worth the price of the ticket alone. She's phenomenal and one of the best voices on Broadway. Every time Steve Kazee opened his mouth I had forgotten how good a singer he really is. His voice makes you melt. Tony Award nominee Orfeh has some great lines and huge set of pipes. Eric Anderson plays multiple roles (a homeless guy and the hotel manager are just two) and every time he steps out on stage it's a joy! There are a few songs I really liked such as "You and I" sung by Kazee and "I Can't Go Back" sung by Barks.

PLEASE NOTE: I SAW THE SHOW ON MARCH 28 AND SOME OF THESE ITEMS MAY HAVE CHANGED IN THE SHOW SINCE THEN.

What I Didn't Like!!!
The opening and closing numbers were weak. They need to be pumped up. Steve Kazee is one hell of a sexy guy, but we never see him outside of a suit (even after s-e-x)! His damaged "Edward" is a little too damaged. Lighten up a bit. There's an opera scene that goes on way too long! There's an entire number called "Never Give Up On a Dream." They need to give up on that song and kill it. It does nothing to advance the show. Some of the choreography could be tighter.

All of that being said, I think you should see it! It's art in the making and this show is expected to open on Broadway in July. The show needs work, no doubt, but it's solid and I believe fans of the film will love it.

"Pretty Woman" plays at the Oriental Theatre through April 15. Purchase tickets at BroadwayInChicago.com.

"ON YOUR FEET!"
Another of Jerry Mitchell's musicals is playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre though April 8. "On Your Feet!" is the story of Gloria & Emilio Estefan and their rise from a small Cuban band in Miami to a worldwide sensation. The show also tackles a near life-ending moment for Gloria Estefan, a bus crash that broke her back. Coming from the Broadway cast are Christie Prades who plays Gloria and Mauricio Martínez who plays Emilio. They both shine in this production. If you saw "On Your Feet!" when it made its Pre-Broadway debut in Chicago in 2015, this show is tighter and stronger and never skips a beat. The music is powerful and the performances thrilling. THIS SHOW IS WORTH YOUR TIME AND MONEY!!!! Visit BroadwayInChicago.com for tickets.

foundmi Bluetooth Trackers
Okay, so I normally don't cover tech. But when tech blends with pop culture, I'm in. The foundmi Bluetooth trackers are the cutest, coolest thing I have seen in a while. They come in more than 40 characters from Star Wars, DC Comics, Marvel and more. Attach them to something you don't want to lose and using an app on your phone, you can find it easily. There is even a reverse feature. Double-click the tracker and the your phone rings, even if it's set to silent. It also doubles as a camera phone remote and integrates with Alexa. They sell for $25, but WCL viewers get $5 off when using the code WCL5OFF at foundmi.com.
Related Topics:
entertainmentWindy City LIVEfranklyHANKBroadway in Chicago



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