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‘Pretty Woman’ as a Broadway Musical? Get Ready


Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in the 1990 film “Pretty Woman.”

Touchstone Pictures via Photofest

“Pretty Woman,” the film that made a star of Julia Roberts, is being adapted into a stage musical, with songs co-written by Bryan Adams, and is aiming to open on Broadway next fall after a spring run in Chicago.


Steve Kazee in “Once” in 2012.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The musical is to feature Steve Kazee, the Tony-winning star of “Once,” as Edward Lewis, the businessman played on film by Richard Gere, as well as Samantha Barks, making her Broadway debut, as Vivian, the prostitute played by Ms. Roberts. Ms. Barks is best known as the actress who played Eponine in the 2012 film adaptation of “Les Misérables.”

“Pretty Woman,” a romantic comedy about the unexpected love that develops between Edward and Vivian, was a hit when it was released on film in 1990, and grossed $463 million worldwide. Musical adaptations of films are a Broadway staple; this season’s examples include “The Band’s Visit,” “Frozen” and “Mean Girls.”


Samantha Barks in the 2012 film “Les Misérables.”

Laurie Sparham/Universal Pictures

The stage adaptation of “Pretty Woman” features a book by Garry Marshall, the film’s director, who died last year, and J.F. Lawton, the film’s screenwriter. The music and lyrics are by Mr. Adams, the Canadian pop star, and his longtime collaborator Jim Vallance. Jerry Mitchell will direct and choreograph; he won Tony awards for choreographing “La Cage aux Folles” and “Kinky Boots.” The musical’s lead producer is Paula Wagner (“The Heiress”).

The Chicago production, at the Oriental Theater, is to begin performances March 13 and to run for five weeks. The Broadway production is to begin in the fall of 2018 at an unspecified Nederlander theater.

The story of “Pretty Woman” is often compared to that in “Pygmalion,” the George Bernard Shaw play that inspired “My Fair Lady,” which is scheduled to be revived on Broadway this spring.

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