It’s a big surprise this afternoon: for the upcoming musical version of “Pretty Woman,” the role of Edward– the millionaire playboy businessman lead– one Tony winner is out, and a popular Broadway actor is in.
Steve Kazee, who won a Tony for “Once,” and played Edward in the Chicago tryout, is out.
In, replacing him, is Andy Karl, star of the “Groundhog Day” and “Rocky” musicals of seasons past. Karl’s wife, the singer Orfeh, is already in the show.
Samantha Barks stars as Vivian, the hooker with a heart to whom Edward offers $3,000 to be his arm candy for a weekend in New York.
Rock star Brian Adams wrote the songs with Jim Vallance, Jerry Mitchell directs. The late great Garry Marshall directed the original movie which had a screenplay by J.F. Lawton.
No word has been given for Kazee’s departure, although he recently suffered a loss when his family home in Kentucky burned to the ground. He has since started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the mounting expenses.
“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 (Orfeh) 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.”