A GoPride Interview

Kerry D'Jovanni

Pretty Woman: The Musical returns to Chicago; meet Kerry D'Jiovanni

Mon. March 11, 2024  by Matt Inawat

You want to know where you're going in order to take clear steps to get there
Kerry D'Jovanni

kerry d'jovanni

In the dazzling world of musical theatre, "Pretty Woman: The Musical" emerges as a modern-day Cinderella story, enchanting audiences with its blend of romance, humor, and the timeless allure of Hollywood glamour. Adapted from the beloved 1990 film, the musical captures the heartwarming tale of Vivian and Edward, two distinct worlds colliding in a serendipitous romance. Set against the backdrop of the vibrant Los Angeles, the show shimmers with its captivating score and stunning choreography.

Kerry D'Jovanni (David Morse/ensemble) brings vitality and depth to the stage to the show. D'Jovanni, whose dynamic presence has been a highlight in various productions (Kinky Boots, Dreamgirls, Smokey Joe's Cafe), contributes to the magic that unfolds under the bright lights as he offers us a peek behind the curtains of this spellbinding musical. 

The production is based on one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all springs to life with a powerhouse creative team led by two-time Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (see Jerry's interview) (Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde) and an original score by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance ("Summer of '69", "Heaven").

"Pretty Woman: The Musical" is playing in Chicago at Broadway In Chicago's CIBC Theatre (18 W. Monroe St.) for a limited one-week engagement on March 12-17. Individual tickets range from $30.00 - $100.00.

MI: (Matt Inawat, GoPride) Hi Kerry, tell us how you first got involved with Pretty Woman.

KD: (Kerry D'Jovanni) I auditioned back in July for Pretty Woman, and after a couple of rounds of auditions and doing some vocal and some dance, they offered me a part and I took it.

MI: What inspired you to join the musical? And what was your initial reaction when you found out you were part of the cast?

Company of Pretty Woman The Musical; credit: Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

KD: I knew Pretty Woman was a show that had been on Broadway before. And so that's always a plus; and always something that you're looking forward to doing because of the creative team, or just the legacy of the show itself. I didn't know if there was a role for me in the show, but obviously there was, and I got really excited about it; and it's been a pleasure to tour and see places that I haven't gotten to see just quite yet.

MI: It's gotta be super exciting being in Chicago, right? Especially since Pretty Woman originated here before it went to Broadway.

KD:  Oh, wow, that's a new fact for me! But that makes sense because they're sort of doing the same thing with Boop! the Musical.

MI: Exactly! So have you seen the show before? And how did you prepare for your own role being in the ensemble for Pretty Woman?

KD: I hadn't seen the show before, but I had a friend who had done the first national tour of this show. And so the night before my audition, I called him and we were on the phone for hours and just sort of walking me through the show and walking me through what the casting team wanted to see, being that he had already played the part before. It was helpful because when I walked into the room, I felt a little bit more comfortable with the material; seeing that I hadn't seen the show before. And I also hadn't seen the movie in quite some time. So it was like a bit of a refresher since I hadn't had the time to look it up and go back and re-watch before the audition.

MI: In your opinion, what makes Pretty Woman different from other Broadway shows?

KD: I honestly think it's really the story. It comes from a place of reality that a lot of people are dealing with, specifically now with the time that we're in. Vivian is trying to make her way and trying to find her way in her everyday life. And a lot of Broadway shows are fantastical; whereas this one is based on a lot of reality, which is still humorous. It still has a lot of whimsical elements in it. 

We did definitely break out into the standard song and dance, but it's still grounded in something that's real and that doesn't feel super far fetched and everyone loves a good love story.

MI: Is there a particular scene in the show that you feel most connected to?

KD: I really like the scenes um between Vivian and Kit De Luca. Kit is um Vivian's best friend. And in the movie, she doesn't necessarily have a large part, you know? You sort of see her for one scene, maybe two. But in the musical, they expand her role a little bit; and I love their interactions throughout the show. You see the relationship and how strong of a bond they do have; specifically at the end of the show where Vivian decides that she wants to leave town and Kit is like, "Oh, OK. Well, I have to go cause goodbye is making me so sad." And she almost walks away without saying goodbye; both Kit and Vivian are like, "no matter where we're at, we're always gonna be friends." I think that that was so special and I really love that scene.

MI: So what advice would you give to aspiring actors who wanna be part of a broader ensemble.

KD: I would just say continue to work on your craft, whether you're in school or whether you're just taking classes in your spare time. Just continue working and continue to be intentional with your career -- and with the choices that you make as far as the offers you take, because there's going to be a point in time where you're going to get several offers and you have to decide, "ok, what's best for my career?"

It's always great to keep that in mind as you're starting off because you want to know where you're going in order to take clear steps to get there.

MI: Great advice! So let's talk a little bit about you.How did you get your start and find your passion for acting? And then how did you get involved in theater? 

KD: I got involved in theater super young. I was in Goldilocks and the Three Bears; and I was the baby bear. That had to have been around second grade -- and I fought tooth and nail for that role!

I've been performing my whole life honestly; whether it was people telling me I'm super dramatic and I should be an actor or me discovering my voice for the first time. As a singer, it was something that is just ingrained in me. I went to college for it. I went to a pretty decent high school where we did some great shows that really opened my eyes up to the professional side of the industry. 

The first thing that ever made me love and fall in love with theater was being a kid and seeing the Lion King commercial at seven years old and thinking "that's the thing! that's what I want to do." 

I get to sing, I get to dance, I get to act. You know, those are all the three things that I love and I've sort of just stuck with it.

MI: So you're in Chicago for a little bit. Anything on your top things to do with while in the Windy City.

Company of Pretty Woman: The Musical; credit: Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

KD: We've been really excited. I'm excited to try some Chicago style pizza. I'm excited to do a few things and hit a few clubs, hopefully, with some of the cast and just have a good time. I have a really good friend who's from Chicago and he's the most amazing person - so I'm excited to meet more people like him.

MI: So before we go, let's do a few quick fire questions. Just mention the first thing that pops in your mind for each of following. So the first question is to name something you can't live without.

KD: My cat.

MI: Name something in your home that would make a stranger think that you were straight?

KD: (Laughing) I don't know, I don't think I have anything at all. Maybe my printer?

MI: What's something in your home that might make a stranger think you were gay?

KD: The giant fan that I displayed on the wall of my house. It's a wooden fan, but it's huge! It's all decked out super ancient looking. My friend found it at a thrift shop and gifted it to me for one of my birthdays.

MI: That's pretty cool. Favorite book growing up?

KD: I love the Diary of Wimpy Kid series as a kid growing up. 

MI: Kerry, thanks so much for taking the time to chat! See you and the cast on stage!

Individual tickets for PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL range from $30.00 - $100.00 with a select number of premium tickets available. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 23 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, Auditorium Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.



Interviewed by Matt Inawat. Ron Matthew Inawat is president of the GoPride Network and contributes to ChicagoPride.com, PrideLA.com and other sites within the GoPride Network.