I have never made a secret of my admiration for Broadway and film star Adam Pascal. I was compared a lot to Adam in my 20s. I always took it as a stellar compliment. In a humorously narcissistic way, the more people compared me to him, the more a fan of him I became.
I had seven callbacks to replace Adam in the Broadway company of Rent. I had the right look, but where Adam is a singer who acts, I am an actor who sings. Adam Pascal is the real thing. Rikki Lee Travolta is the cover band.
In the true spirit of cover bands, I did eventually play the role of Roger in a regional production of Rent. Even though it wasn’t Broadway, it did give me a sense of closure on a role my name had long been attached to without fruition.
The way I figure it, at least I got to sing the songs in front of an appreciative audience. That’s all any performer really cares about. Things like money and fame are nice when they come, but there are a lot of professions with a higher chance of success.
The reason I bring up Adam Pascal is that it has just been announced that he will be starring as Edward Lewis in the North American Tour of Broadway’s Pretty Woman: The Musical. Costarring will be Olivia Valli as Vivian Ward.
Pretty Woman: The Musical is based on the 1990 film starring Richard Gere and emerging star Julia Roberts about an unlikely romance between a call girl and a businessman. The stage musical features a book co-written by the film’s director Garry Marshall and the film’s screenwriter J.F. Lawton. It features music by rocker Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.
Let me just tell you, I love the score! I didn’t even know the music was by Grammy winning rock star Bryan Adams until I had already fallen in love with it. What is really amazing is that Adams wrote the music on spec with no guarantee he’d ever get paid. I’m thrilled by his Broadway success with Pretty Woman and hope he’ll be penning another musical in the near future.
This is not Adam Pascal’s first dance with Pretty Woman, he played the role on Broadway in 2019. The Broadway production was forced to close later that year due to COVID-19.
The new Adam Pascal/Olivia Valli tour begins on October 9, 2021, in Providence, Rhode Island at the Providence Performing Arts Center. It features direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell. Music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations are by Will Van Dyke.
Adam is a Tony nominee who burst to fame in the Broadway production of Rent, and later reprised his starring role in the Chris Columbus film adaptation. In addition to Rent and Pretty Woman, his Broadway credits include starring roles in Aida, Cabaret, Memphis, Chicago, Disaster!, and Something Rotten.
What’s really cool about Adam is that he appreciates his success. When he found out about how much I look up to him, he took the time to appear on my radio show It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee. That act of kindness made a huge impact on me. It’s great when you find out your heroes are good people.
I am thrilled that Adam will be starring in the tour of Pretty Woman. Selfishly, I’m thrilled because the tour is coming to Chicago, so I am hoping I’ll be able to see it. But even if the tour wasn’t coming to my neck of the woods, I’d still be thrilled for Adam’s success. We always want our heroes to succeed.
The tour is produced by Paula Wagner, Nice Productions, LPO, New Regency Productions, Hunter Arnold, Caiola Productions & Co., James L. Nederlander, Kilimanjaro Theatricals/ Joshua Andrews , Roy Furman, Ambassador Theatre Group, Gavin Kalin Productions, deRoy Kierstead, and John Gore Organization. Wendy Orshan and Jeff Wilson are the executive producers, and 101 Productions, Ltd. is the general manager.
The tour route and ticket information can be found at www.PrettyWomanTheMusical.com.
Peace. Love. Trust.
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