Everything you need to know about Pretty Woman: The Musical

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Moya Crockett
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If you love Pretty Woman but always thought the tale of a good-hearted prostitute could be improved by the addition of a few show tunes, you’re in luck. A Pretty Woman musical is officially in the works, and is set to hit the stage next spring.

Theatre producer Paula Wagner told the BBC that the musical “will have the heart, humour, warmth and joy of the film”, which has been ranked as the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time.

Here’s everything we know about the much-anticipated musical so far…

1) Julia Roberts’ role will be played by a familiar face

If you’ve seen the 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables, you’ll recognise the actress taking on the part of Vivian Ward. Samantha Barks, who played tragic Éponine in Les Mis, will star as the straight-talking call girl who falls in love with a rich client in Pretty Woman: The Musical.

Born on the Isle of Man, Barks first found fame on the BBC One talent show I’d Do Anything in 2008. Since then, she’s worked in theatre and film, with credits including turns as Nancy in Oliver! and Velma Kelly in the stage version of Chicago.

2) The actor playing Edward is an award-winning Broadway star

In Pretty Woman: The Musical, the character made famous by Gere will be played by actor Steve Kazee. Kazee won a Tony in 2012 for his starring role in the New York production of Once, and is – according to Wagner – “one of Broadway’s most dashing and talented leading men”. High praise indeed.

3) The music is in good hands

The original film version of Pretty Woman had an excellent soundtrack, featuring music from the likes of David Bowie and Roy Orbison.

Variety reports that the score for the musical is being composed by legendary soft rock musician Bryan Adams and his frequent collaborator Jim Vallance. Yep, the Bryan Adams who wrote Summer of ’69 and Heaven. Weird but true.

4) The script will honour the spirit of the original film

That’s because the script for the musical was written by JF Lawton, who penned the screenplay for the original film. Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall, who directed Pretty Woman, also worked on the musical script before his death at the age of 81 in 2016.

“I got to work with Garry for over a year on this musical adaptation and experienced first-hand his sense of humour, his joy, his uplifting attitude in life, and mostly his love for these characters,” said Jerry Mitchell, who will direct Pretty Woman: The Musical.

“I want that to infuse what I am doing with Pretty Woman as he is the true heart of this story.”

5) But you’ll have to wait a while to see the musical in the UK

Pretty Woman: The Musical will open at Chicago’s Oriental Theater in March 2018, before transferring to Broadway in New York. Details of a potential West End transfer are unlikely to be announced for some time.

However, given that some of the world’s biggest musicals – from Mamma Mia! to Wicked and The Book of Mormon – have appeared in theatres on both sides of the Atlantic, we think we can probably expect to see Pretty Woman: The Musical in London before too long. We’ll keep you posted…

Images: Buena Vista Pictures / Rex Features