The July 19 death of TV and film producer/director/writer Garry Marshall at age 81 leaves fans of his classic series Happy Days and The Odd Couple in mourning. However, his producing partner on the planned Broadway musical adaptation of his film hit Pretty Woman said the show will continue in development.
Producer Paula Wagner (Mothers and Sons, Grace), who was working with Marshall on the musical, told The Hollywood Reporter, “He took great pride and delight from Pretty Woman and I know he would have wanted us to continue on and therefore we will bring this story to Broadway. Pretty Woman the musical will be a reminder of his humanity, his heart and his sense of humor.”
It was only this past May that Marshall had revealed the names of several key players who will bring the Broadway-aimed musical adaptation of the Julia Roberts-Richard Gere film to the stage.
Hairspray and Kinky Boots’ Jerry Mitchell was named as the show’s director and choreographer. The score was to be written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, according to Vanity Fair, and Marshall himself was co-writing the libretto. Marshall said he expected that Pretty Woman would open on Broadway in spring or fall of 2017. No specific dates or theatre were announced and Wagner mentioned none in her posthumous remarks.
Marshall and the film’s original screenwriter, J.F. Lawton, have been working on the show’s book for the past several years.
Pretty Woman is a grown-up fairytale about a call girl whose life is transformed when a millionaire businessman falls in love with her.
Marshall had told Vanity Fair, “I think it’s going to be a quite peppy version, the way Jerry Mitchell choreographs. But it’s always nice to do something again because you saw what you missed the first time.”
He added, “We have some great, new moments for Richard’s character... We’re still in the creative process, but I think there’s a couple of different things that I can do to help make the Broadway musical even better and certainly more positive.”
Though Marshall is known for his work in TV and film, he has stage experience including one previous Broadway credit. He co-wrote a 1980 Broadway comedy The Roast, which was directed by Carl Reiner, but managed only a 4-performance run at the Winter Garden.