Writer and director Garry Marshall didn’t live to see his final project to completion, but producer Paula Wagner has set dates for the musical adaptation of Marshall’s best-known blockbuster, Pretty Woman, to be reborn as Pretty Woman: The Musical 27 years after the film made Julie Roberts a star and confirmed Richard Gere’s heartthrob status. The musical will star Tony winner Stave Kazee (Once) as a single businessman in need of a temporary wife, and Samantha Barks (Eponine in the film of Les Misérables) as the hooker he hires and falls in love with.
Wagner announced Monday evening that the show will arrive on Broadway next fall at an as-yet unnamed Nederlander Organization theater, following a five-week tryout at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre beginning March 13, 2018.
Pretty Woman: The Musical has original music and lyrics by Grammy Award winner Bryan Adams and his longtime songwriting partner Jim Vallance, book by Marshall and the film’s screenwriter J.F. Lawton. Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, On Your Feet!) will direct and choreograph.
In an interview with Deadline three years ago, Marshall spoke affectionately of the project, saying Wagner would bring it to Broadway:
“It’s a year away but Disney’s behind it,” he said. “After 24 years! In the old days nobody figured that a movie could become a play, so in the ’80s they gave writers theatrical rights, a piece, you can’t get near that. J.F. Lawton owns half and Disney owns half. He wanted t0 write an opera where everybody dies and Disney wanted to make the Julia Roberts part a model… Not a lady of the night. These Disney people said to me, ‘We cannot put our label on a show about a prostitute. But you can, so your name will be on as one of the producers. We would like to make the money.’ We have a good relationship. [Disney Theatrical Group chief] Tom Schumacher has been very, very supportive and helpful. We’ve had a couple of little readings of it with temporary music, and it’s not bad. It’s still a darn good story.”
Pretty Woman: The Musical has scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner & Philip S. Rosenberg, sound design by John Shivers, hair design by Josh Marquette, music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Will Van Dyke, and casting by Telsey + Company. 101 Productions, Ltd will be the Executive Producer and General Manager.
“Our director Jerry Mitchell has expanded the narrative and storytelling of this acclaimed romantic comedy,” Wagner said in the announcement. “He brings his unique perspective to the story which illuminates the characters and provides a new and satisfying emotional resonance. And finally we found our Vivian and Edward in the gorgeous, triple-threat, Samantha Barks, and one of Broadway’s most dashing and talented leading men, Tony and Grammy Award winner Steve Kazee.”
Wagner’s partners in the show are Nice Productions, LPO, New Regency Productions, Roy Furman, James L. Nederlander, Caiola Productions, Hunter Arnold, Stage Entertainment and The John Gore Organization.
Steve Kazee is represented by APA and D2 Management. Samantha Barks is represented by William Morris Endeavor (WME) and Luber Roklin Entertainment.