It used to be the trend for Broadway musicals to be turned into Hollywood films. In the last few decades, that trend has reversed with properties from the big screen regularly becoming the basis for Broadway musicals. Another popular film is slated to receive the Broadway treatment, aiming for a Fall 2018 opening at a Nederlander Theatre. Pretty Woman, the 1990 box office smash romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere will receive its world premiere in Spring 2018 at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre and then move-on to the Great White Way.
Pretty Woman will feature music and lyrics by Grammy Award winner Bryan Adams who is partnering with Jim Vallance on the venture. The musical’s book will be by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton. Directing and choreographing will be two-time Tony-winner Jerry Mitchell. In the leads will be Samantha Barks (Oliver!-West End, Les Miserables –film) as Vivian, the streetwise hooker with a heart of gold immortalized on the screen by Julia Roberts. Steve Kazee (Once, Spamalot) will assume the role made-famous by Richard Gere, the wealthy businessman Edward who is swept off his feet by Vivian’s charms.
Pretty Woman: The Musical will have 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.
Producer Paula Wagner shared, “Our director Jerry Mitchell has expanded the narrative and storytelling of this acclaimed romantic comedy. 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. ‘Vivian’ and ‘Edward’ meet under unlikely circumstances and go on a journey that allows them to discover their own self-worth. Self-empowerment is integral to the reason why these two lost souls are able to fall in love and we now have two amazing, charismatic actors with incredible chemistry to take audiences on that journey.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.