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From Hollywood Boulevard to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to … Broadway?
The 1990 big-screen romantic comedy Pretty Woman, which starred Richard Gere as a cold businessman who falls in love with a hooker played by Julia Roberts, is — once again — on its way to the Great White Way, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The New York Post’s Michael Riedel first reported that director Garry Marshall is in New York this week to meet with composers, lyricists and directors for the adaptation.
Accompanying him is Paula Wagner, the former UA partner and film producer who has been dipping her toes into Broadway waters in recent seasons, notably with The Heiress, starring Jessica Chastain. Wagner also is on the producing team for Mothers and Sons, the Terrence McNally play starring Tyne Daly, which is in previews.
J.F. Lawton, who wrote the screenplay for Pretty Woman, is co-writing the stage adaptation with Marshall, though no composer or lyricist is yet attached.
To date, Marshall’s most significant foray into theater has been a musical version of his hit sitcom Happy Days, which debuted at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank in 2006 (starring Joey McIntyre as Fonzie) and toured regionally but never found a home in New York City. The Happy Days musical recently launched a European tour after the first-ever successful crowdfunding effort for a major stage production.
Before that, Marshall was grilled for his first Broadway play, The Roast (co-written with Jerry Belson), which closed after only four performances in 1980.
This isn’t the first time Marshall is meeting with prospective creatives for a Pretty Woman musical. Riedel first reported on the project in 2001, when Marshall was set to write the script and produce alongside Peter Schneider, the former Disney executive who brought The Lion King and Aida to Broadway. The two worked together at Disney on The Princess Diaries.
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek