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'Happy Days,' 'Pretty Woman': Stage Musicals

October 26, 2001|DON SHIRLEY | TIMES THEATER WRITER

TV producer and film director Garry Marshall is developing stage musical versions of two properties with which he is associated: "Happy Days" and "Pretty Woman."

The previously announced "Happy Days" project, based on the '70s sitcom about Richie and Fonzie and friends, has advanced far enough that Marshall held three readings of his script at his Falcon Theatre in Burbank last weekend. Marshall said he wants the show's score to include period songs from the '50s as well as a few new songs, but he has not yet hired anyone to write the music.

Paramount Pictures, which produced the "Happy Days" TV series, is providing seed money for the musical, Marshall said. Paramount officials could not be reached for comment.

Marshall said his initial goal for "Happy Days" is a tour and not necessarily Broadway. "It seems to be the right time to make people smile about a period of innocence," he said. Marshall said he has consulted the creators of a production about "The Brady Bunch" for advice on turning sitcoms into stage shows.

Meanwhile, Marshall is also working on a script for a musical based on "Pretty Woman," the 1990 movie about a prostitute and her wealthy client. Disney, which produced the movie under its Touchstone label, has discussed the project with Marshall, but Disney officials declined comment.

Marshall, who directed the film, said obtaining rights to do a musical of "Pretty Woman" could take a year, and "it's in the hand of the lawyers." No composer has been hired.

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