TONY nominated actress Orfeh is making her way to Chicago this summer for her role in Pretty Women: The Musical at the James M. Nederlander Theatre. With previews beginning on March 13, and the run extending till April 15, the New York City native is excited to become Kit Deluca on stage.  

Orfeh isn't new to the Broadway stage. In fact, you may have seen her in Legally Blonde: The Musical, Saturday Night Fever, Fascinating Rhythm and Footloose. Off Broadway, she has starred in Love, Loss, and What I Wore, and many other productions, not to mention TV shows and films, including Law & Order: Criminal IntentSex and the City, MTV's Made, Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central and Julie Taymor's Across the Universe.

Before she starts her latest stint in Chicago, we chatted with the actress, singer and songwriter about her career and her favorite places in town.

Samantha Barks and Orfeh in rehearsal for Pretty Woman, photo by Chad David Kraus

How did you find out about the Pretty Woman role?

My director and dear friend Jerry Mitchell—whom I also did Legally Blonde with—called me over a year ago and told me Pretty Woman was being adapted for the stage. He then proceeded to tell me that there was a song Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance had written for the role of Kit Deluca that he couldn’t imagine anyone else singing...and the rest is history!

What was your first Broadway show appearance, and what was that experience like?

My Broadway debut was in Footloose: The Musical. We were mostly all making our Broadway debuts—just a bunch of young, wild and free kids. I learned a lot very quickly. 

What's your favorite TV gig to date?

I’ve loved every TV gig I’ve done to date, and have worked with the best of the best, from the ladies of Sex & the City to Dave Chappelle. It was always a great time and [production] takes wonderful care of you. My most recent TV gig will be out sometime in the near future. it’s a new series for Netflix called The Good Cop, starring Tony Danza and my buddy Josh Groban. Look for me in the premier episode; you’ll love the show! 

Where are your favorite places to stay in Chicago?

I have good friends who live in Chicago, and for extended periods it's nice to stay in a home environment. They live in the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park. Personally, I love the Gold Coast area. It has the New York City feel, but quieter. When coming to Chicago for a quick visit, its the EMC2 or the WIT. Both are unique boutique hotels that have distinct personalities and all the comforts of home.

Which is your favorite Chicago neighborhood?
Also a hard choice to make. A lot depends on what mood I’m in. For window shopping it's always Oak Street and the Magnificent Mile, then drinks on fabulous Rush Street. For a unique one-of-a-kind experience, there's Wicker Park. And for lunch, it's the Southport Corridor in Lakeview.

What are the best cultural things to do, or seasonal events in Chicago?

If I have time before I leave Chicago, I would definitely check out a pre-season Cubs game at Wrigley Field. The Museum of Contemporary Art is great. And an architectural tour is a must see. Every couple of years, the water front landscape seems to change. First-time Chicago visitors should book an Architecture Foundation River Cruise Tour. Also, a Gold Coast walking tour. Psst - you gotta see the original Playboy mansion; all the places Hemingway "slept" are kinda cool.

What are you most excited about in March?

I am excited for the Chicago audiences to see Pretty Woman. I think they're going to love it!