Jerry Mitchell Reveals Details on New Songs, New Scenes & More for Broadway-Bound PRETTY WOMAN Musical
In a new interview with EW, director Jerry Mitchell (KINKY BOOTS, LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL) reveals details of the upcoming stage musical adaptation of Garry Marshall's 1990 classic Pretty Woman. Featuring a book by Marshall and the film's original screenwriter J.F. Lawton, and a new score by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, the musical is aiming to premiere on Broadway during 2018-2019 season.
Discussing how he will translate some of the film's iconic moments to stage, Mitchell shares, "I knew she [Vivian] was going to have to go back to Rodeo Drive and go back to that shop and say, "Big mistake. Huge." It's in a song called "You're Beautiful." It's a big number, and she succeeds in a big way." For the classic scene in which Vivian and Edward go to the opera, the director explains, "I'm going to have an opera box that's sort of going to be floating around the stage while the opera is going to be happening all around them. [Vallance and Adams have] written a beautiful, beautiful ballad called "You and I" that takes us from the night they're getting dressed to go to the opera, all the way to the opera, then I've included the opera ball, where everybody's dancing after the opera at the gala. That takes them back to the penthouse suite where they're getting undressed and getting ready for bed and he falls asleep. It's all in one number. It's going to be quite romantic and magical, I hope."
Regarding the casting of the iconic roles, Mitchell shares, "Vivian 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. 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."
The director explains that the show will also dive more into the backstory of Edward, portrayed on film by Richard Gere. To play the role, he is looking for "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 shares that the show will feature a new character named Mr. Thompson who will serve as a sort of "fairy godfather" to Vivian. And while some scenes from the movie will not appear in the show, such as the iconic bathtub scene and the polo match, they will be replaced by new scenes which the director hopes will be "equally as fun and funny."
Speaking on the new score of the show, Mitchell reveals "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."
He continues, "And [Edward] also sings a beautiful song - you know in the film when he goes down to the lobby to play the piano and she finds him and they have sex on top of the piano? We put the piano in the penthouse, so she's in the other room changing, and he goes over to the piano and he starts singing about where he is and where he wants to be, and she comes out and sees him and then they do it on top of the piano. It's a beautiful song for Edward, and lets you know a lot about him that you weren't expecting."
Read the interview in full HERE