'Pretty Woman: The Musical' Sets Summer Closing Date on Broadway

Matthew Murphy
'Pretty Woman: The Musical'

The show features a book by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton, the director and screenwriter, respectively, of the 1990 romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

Having reached its twelfth month on Broadway, Pretty Woman: The Musical is set to close later this summer at the Nederlander Theatre in New York, scheduling its final performance for Aug. 18.

Along the way, the production will have played a total of 27 previews and 421 regular performances, giving it the distinction of being the longest-running new musical of the 2018-2019 Broadway season to date. Whether that makes it a hit or not remains open to debate, however, given that the production has not yet announced recoupment.

The show has broken the box office record at the Nederlander four times during its run and was regularly pulling in north of $1 million a week in its early months, despite opening on Aug. 16 last year to cool reviews. Cumulative box office to date stands at a decent $46.7 million, though business in the past month has dropped to less than 50 percent of the gross potential. 

The musical features a book by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton, the director and screenwriter, respectively, of the 1990 comedy film starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere; music and lyrics by Grammy winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance; and direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, La Cage aux Follies). Paula Wagner, former producing partner of Tom Cruise, is the lead producer. 

A recent addition to the show is Roy Orbison and Bill Dee's song, "Oh, Pretty Woman," which served as inspiration for the original film and was a conspicuous absence when the musical opened.

Leading the cast as Vivian is Manx actress Samantha Barks (Les Miserables), starring opposite Andy Karl (Groundhog Day, Rocky) as Edward, with Orfeh, Eric Anderson, Charlie Pollock and Kingsley Leggs rounding out the principal cast. 

From July 22 until the final scheduled performance on Aug. 18, Jillian Mueller will take over the role of Vivian, starring opposite Brennin Hunt, who makes his Broadway debut in the role of Edward. 

Pretty Woman: The Musical had its pre-Broadway world premiere at Chicago's Oriental Theatre in early 2018. The show is set to kick off its North American tour in 2020, with another production due to open on London's West End next year, and an engagement in Hamburg, Germany, beginning performances this fall. 

The announcement of a final performance for Pretty Woman is the latest in a string of Broadway closings since the Tony Awards, as under-performing shows get nudged out by the more popular competition and free up valuable real estate for incoming productions.

The plays King Lear, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus and Hillary and Clinton all closed their limited engagements a month or more ahead of schedule due to soft ticket sales, while the open-ended musicals King Kong, The Prom, Be More Chill and The Cher Show all have set August closing dates without recouping their investments.