Three-time Tony Award nominee and Olivier Award winner Andy Karl will step into the role of wealthy businessman Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman: The Musical on Broadway. The actor will assume the role from Steve Kazee, who starred in the Chicago staging. The Tony winner departs the production due to family reasons, according to a press representative.
Karl was last seen on Broadway in a starring turn in the musical Groundhog Day (having won an Olivier for the London world premiere); his additional stage credits include On the Twentieth Century, Rocky, Jersey Boys, and Wicked.
Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, Pretty Woman will open at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre August 16 after beginning previews July 20.
Joining Karl from the Chicago cast will be Samantha Barks as Vivian, Orfeh (Karl's wife) as Kit, Eric Anderson as Mr. Thompson, Kingsley Leggs as James Morse, and Jason Danieley as Philip Stuckey.
“I always figured I’d be playing the part of ‘audience member’ for Pretty Woman,” said Karl in a statement. “When Paula Wagner and my longtime friend Jerry Mitchell asked if I would take over the role of Edward, it was a total surprise. I was already a fan of the show after watching my wife in the pre-Broadway workshops and then during the run in Chicago. She’s part of a tremendously talented cast. Also, I was lucky enough to be friends with the great Garry Marshall, having worked with him before, and he created one of the most romantic stories of the 20th Century, so it didn’t take much arm twisting to get me to agree.”
Based on the 1990 romantic comedy, Pretty Woman features a book co-written by the film’s director, the late Garry Marshall, and screenwriter J.F. Lawton, and music by Grammy winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.
Completing the cast on Broadway will be Allison Blackwell, Tommy Bracco, Brian Calì, Robby Clater, Jessica Crouch, Nico DeJesus, Anna Eilinsfeld, Matt Farcher, Lauren Lim Jackson, Renée Marino, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Jillian Mueller, Jake Odmark, Jennifer Sanchez, Matthew Stocke, Alex Michael Stoll, Alan Wiggins, Jesse Wildman, and Darius Wright.
“Andy Karl is one of the funniest and most heartwarming actors I have had the pleasure of directing,” said director-choreographer Mitchell. “He is an actor of great integrity and finds the humanity in the characters he portrays, plus he has an incredible voice. It will be a joy to work with Andy again as he brings Edward to life for all of Broadway opposite the exquisite Samantha Barks as Vivian. We couldn’t be more thrilled and grateful he agreed to step in to join the Pretty Woman company."
The production features scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and Philip S. Rosenberg, sound design by John Shivers, hair design by Josh Marquette, music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Will Van Dyke, and casting by Telsey + Company.
Pretty Woman: The Musical is produced by Paula Wagner, Nice Productions, LPO, New Regency Productions, Caiola Productions & Co., James L. Nederlander, Roy Furman, Hunter Arnold, Graham Burke, Edward Walson, deRoy Kierstead, Michael Cassel Group, Stage Entertainment, Ambassador Theatre Group and John Gore Organization. 101 Productions, Ltd is the Executive Producer and General Manager.