Three years ago, Bryan Adams was crisscrossing the globe for the Reckless 30th Anniversary Tour, supporting the chart-topping album that made him a star at the age of 25, with the forever hit “Summer of ’69” and the power ballad “Heaven.” “It was a hell of a rollercoaster to suddenly get on,” Adams told Rolling Stone in 2015. But apparently that was not enough for the 58-year-old Canadian singer and guitarist. He’s now embarking on his latest odyssey: his first Broadway musical.
Rather than a jukebox production of his greatest hits, such as “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” Adams has crafted the original music and lyrics for Pretty Woman: The Musical with his longtime collaborator Jim Vallance. The adaptation of the beloved 1990s romantic comedy opened in Chicago earlier this spring and begins performances on Broadway July 20th, with an official opening set for August 16th.
On May 31st, Adams interrupted his sold-out concert at London’s O2 Arena – where he’s promoting Get Up, his 2015 Jeff Lynne-produced album – to introduce his fans to Samantha Barks, who stars in the musical. Adams and Barks performed “I Can’t Go Back,” the empowerment anthem from the new musical for the audience of 20,000. Here’s an exclusive look at the video from that concert.
Barks, who played Eponine in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables, and three-time Tony Award nominee and Laurence Olivier Award winner Andy Karl (last seen on Broadway in Groundhog Day), will star as Vivian and Edward, the roles made famous by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Acclaimed choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Hairspray, On Your Feet!) is also the director of the production and has helped expand the narrative about the hooker with the heart of gold. The show’s book was written by J.F. Lawton and Garry Marshall, who, respectively, wrote and directed the movie. Pretty Woman was Marshall’s best-known blockbuster, but he didn’t see the adaptation to completion, since the comedy icon died at the age of 81 in 2016.