Andy Karl Joins Cast of ‘Pretty Woman’ Musical

Posted May 23, 2018 8:55 p.m. EDT

“Pretty Woman” has a new leading man.

The Broadway-bound musical unexpectedly announced Wednesday that its Tony-winning male lead, Steve Kazee, was leaving the production, and that Andy Karl would replace him in the key role of Edward Lewis, the affluent businessman who falls for the title character. Samantha Barks remains in that role. (Richard Gere and Julia Roberts played the parts in the original movie.)

The production said Kazee, who won a best leading actor Tony in 2012 for “Once,” was leaving for family reasons. Kazee’s family home burned down recently, and he has been helping his father resettle.

Karl is a three-time Tony nominee, for “Rocky,” “On the Twentieth Century” and “Groundhog Day.” (He soldiered through the last of those shows after suffering a knee injury just before opening night.) And his wife, Orfeh, is already a member of the “Pretty Woman” cast, starring as Kit.

“Pretty Woman,” with songs by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, a book by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton, and direction by Jerry Mitchell, had a pre-Broadway production in Chicago this spring, and is scheduled to begin previews on Broadway on July 20 in anticipation of an Aug. 16 opening at the Nederlander Theater.