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WHS alum sings and dances as an ensemble member in production at Keller through June 5.

COURTESY PHOTO: BROADWAY IN PORTLAND - OLSONWhen Broadway touring show "Pretty Woman: The Musical" stages at Keller Auditorium, May 31-June 5, there'll be many Kaylee Olson fans in the audience.

Olson, a 2008 Wilsonville High graduate, plays several dancing and singing roles in the ensemble of the musical.

It's her first time stopping in Portland as part of a national tour — previously she appeared in "Bullets Over Broadway" and "Anything Goes."

Through the run of "Pretty Woman: The Musical," she estimates about 100 relatives and friends plan to attend — brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, "even my mom's dentist." Her mother, Tracie Wright, has been organizing the family outings to see the 32-year-old Olson, who lives in New York City when not on tour.

"I'm certainly most excited to be coming through Portland," Olson said. "My mom's communicating with the masses."

The musical, based off the 1990 movie starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, visits Portland and Seattle and then Los Angeles in the coming weeks.

It's an exciting time for Olson, whose dancing career started at Innovative Dance Studio in Wilsonville — she still returns to volunteer and teach there — and continued working and interning at a Beaverton dance studio. She moved to New York at age 19, starting out there in a dance intensive and staying.

"I had taken a high school choir field trip to New York City, and once I got there, I knew it's where I wanted to wind up," Olson said. "I took a chance."

Then, "I like to say I went to the University of Norwegian Cruise Line," she said. Olson performed in production shows on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea for a couple years.

Since then, it's been all about performing in shows and auditioning for bigger and better roles. It's a work in progress.

"Pretty Woman: The Musical" features an original score by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance ("Summer of '69," "Heaven"), and a book by the movie's director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton.

It stars Adam Pascal as Edward Lewis and Olivia Valli as Vivian Ward. The businessman Lewis hires call girl Ward to attend functions with him, and after a rocky introduction into his world, the two fall in love.

"I think the music is pretty fantastic," Olson said.

"I am a huge fan of the movie. I grew up watching the movie," she said. "I was fascinated to see how they would adapt it to the stage. I'm impressed with how it all came together.

"My favorite part of the story is the fact that this young woman is able to change this cynical and rich man's perspective. Get in underneath the surface, and inadvertently change both of their lives. It's a miracle if you can change someone's perspective, and how you see yourself."

Olson's own journey includes plenty of time on the road, which she enjoys, and doing auditions.

"Life on the road is a fascinating thing. It's really enjoyable, I get to perform every day. It's why I do this," she said.

For more: http://www.BroadwayinPortland.com.


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