Seattle's Child

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Pretty Woman review

‘Pretty Woman’ review: inspiring, high energy, a little risque for kids

"Pretty Woman" is great fun, but of course ... there is some talk of sex.

“Pretty Woman” review: The Broadway musical “Pretty Woman” has great messages about self-respect and following your dreams. It’s also got great characters and high-energy song-and-dance numbers. And of course the (spoiler alert) fairytale ending.

There’s just one problem.

Our heroine, Vivian, is in the sex trade, and the show makes clear that, on at least two occasions, sex is about to happen.

So consider that when deciding who to bring with you and who to leave at home.

The sexual references are subtle and not explicit, but the word “hooker” is used freely and there’s a discussion about condoms.

My 14-year-old claimed to be unfazed by all of this and assured me, “This is fine for anyone over 12. … As much as parents don’t want to admit it, once we’re 12 we know this stuff.”

OK then.

The content decisions obviously must be made by each family, so I’ll leave it at that. We really liked the show, though. And the “follow your dreams” theme came through loud and clear.

The plot was essentially true to that of the 1990 film. (“Pretty Woman” debuted on Broadway in 2018.) I kept waiting and wondering about the Roy Orbison title song, but this production saves it for kind of a curtain-call singalong that felt very festive.

Back to my oh-so-worldly teen: She unabashedly loved the show.

For me, it also felt good to show a kid that we had culture before they got here.

I’ve watched a lot of “Harry Potter” and listened to a lot of Harry Styles, but now it feels like the 1980s and 90s are having their moment, and this Gen X mom is here for it!

We’ve been enjoying “Friends” together, and I’m finding that a lot of the humor holds up (a lot, not all). Side note: There’s more sex, and sexual references, than I had remembered. Oops.

And “Top Gun: Maverick” was fun for the whole family — after (of course) streaming the original first.

More theater

There is so much great theater, from all eras, in the Seattle area now and in the coming months:


Note that most arts venues continue to require masking and proof of vaccination (or recent negative COVID test).

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About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 15-year-old girl.