The cast of the upcoming world premiere stage musical “Pretty Woman” — based on the iconic film starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts — arrived in Chicago Monday to begin rehearsals for the play, which begins previews March 13 at the Oriental Theatre.
On hand for a press conference at the theater (24 w. Randolph) were director Jerry Mitchell, who introduced his hugely talented cast of actors in main roles: Samantha Barks (as Vivian); Tony- and Grammy Award-winner Steve Kazee (as Edward); Tony Award nominee Orfeh (as Kit); Eric Anderson (as Mr. Thompson); Jason Danieley (as Philip Stuckey) and Kingsley Leggs (James Morse). Also present were Northwestern grad Kathleen Marshall (who had a small role in the film and is daughter to the late filmmaker Garry Marshall, director of the 1990 film and co-writer of the book for the musical); and the film’s screenwriter, J.F. Lawton (who co-wrote the musical with Garry Marshall.
For Mitchell, the Chicago production marks a homecoming. He previously staged pre-Broadway world premieres here including “Gotta Dance,” “Kinky Boots” and “On Your Feet: The Story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan.”
“The audiences in Chicago are smart. They’re the closest thing to a New York audience that I can find anywhere else. When I go out of town [to premiere a show] I’m working on the show every day, and I listen to the audience. The audience helps lead me in the right direction. Reviews in New York on opening night don’t do you any good; the shows already opened. … I come here looking for constructive criticism so I can make the show better,” said Mitchell about his penchant for staging pre-Broadway productions of his musicals in Chicago.
“Pretty Woman” features a score by the Canadian team of Grammy-winner and Academy Award nominee Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. It’s all about rock and roll and love ballads — “just exceptional and contemporary,” Mitchell said.
Read more of what the cast and creative team had to say in the coming weeks here.
Tickets are available at broadwayinchicago.com.