Pretty Woman, a musical version of Garry Marshall's 1990 film that starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, is aiming for Broadway in the 2018–2019 season, according to an interview with director Jerry Mitchell in Entertainment Weekly.
Mitchell, as previously reported, will helm the project, which features a book by the late Marshall and J.F. Lawton (the film's screenwriter) and a score by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.
Mitchell, a two-time Tony winner for Best Choreography for Kinky Boots and the 2004 revival of La Cage aux Folles, is about to begin casting for the new musical about a call girl whose life is transformed when a millionaire businessman falls in love with her.
The actor playing the role of Vivian, the part created on screen by Roberts, “needs to be able to sing like a dream, obviously, because it’s a new show and a new score, 23 songs and she’s got 8 of them, I think,” according to Mitchell. “With the role of Vivian, I’m looking for a girl who is vulnerable, who can share those emotions on stage. Also comic timing: It’s going to have a lot of comedy in it. Somebody who’s really funny is going to be important to the part.”
Regarding Edward, the part created by Gere, Mitchell said, “We have to feel like Edward’s been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Again, he has to be an incredible singer—but most importantly, someone who can appear, even with all of that, extremely lost in social skills. It has to be an actor that walks onstage and you immediately like him and feel comfortable with him, even though he’s not quite comfortable with his own situation yet.”
Mitchell also detailed some of the changes from screen to stage, including the enlarging of the role of the homeless man “who pops in and out throughout the whole show,” the removal of the bathtub scene, which has been replaced with “something equally as fun and funny,” and setting a scene at Stucky's rather than a polo match.
As for the score, Mitchell said it will have the feel of late ’80s-early ’90s rock: “That’s one of the great things about Bryan Adams—it’s where he lives. So you’ve got the rock and roll stuff, the up-tempos. Everybody’s toes are tapping when they hear these new songs. The last song of the show, when she says, ’No, I can’t stay,’ and she leaves, they sing this beautiful ballad called ’Long Way Home’ between the two of them. It’s gorgeous—I really mean it. It’s absolutely gorgeous.”