Julia Roberts sees 'Pretty Woman: The Musical' on Broadway — 28 years after playing Vivian

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Pretty Woman — and Garry Marshall — made Julia Roberts a star, and she’s never forgotten it.

On Thursday, there was a special tribute performance of Pretty Woman: The Musical in honor of the film’s late director, and Roberts — who played the original hooker with a heart of gold, Vivian — was front and center with his family for the festivities. The actress, 50, even wore a T-shirt featuring Laverne & Shirley, the beloved show helmed by Marshall, for the occasion, paired with leather pants. Honestly, a red opera gown — or those thigh-high boots with a barely there O-ring dress — would have been too much.

Julia Roberts joined Garry Marshall’s widow, Barbara Marshall, at a Garry Marshall tribute performance of <em>Pretty Woman: The Musical</em> at the Nederlander Theatre in N.Y.C. on Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Julia Roberts joined Garry Marshall’s widow, Barbara Marshall, at a Garry Marshall tribute performance of Pretty Woman: The Musical at the Nederlander Theatre in N.Y.C. on Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Roberts turned on that famous megawatt grin for the appearance. She posed for photos with Marshall’s widow, Barbara, and children — Scott, a filmmaker, and Kathleen, an actress. She then sat with the family to see the show, which officially opens on Aug. 16.

Julia Roberts posed with Garry’s family — daughter Kathleen Marshall,; widow, Barbara Marshall, and son, Scott Marshall — at the Garry Marshall Tribute Performance of “Pretty Woman:The Musical” at the Nederlander Theatre. They all sat together to watch the performance. (Photo: Getty Images)
Julia Roberts posed with Garry’s family — daughter Kathleen Marshall,; widow, Barbara Marshall, and son, Scott Marshall — at the Garry Marshall Tribute Performance of “Pretty Woman:The Musical” at the Nederlander Theatre. They all sat together to watch the performance. (Photo: Getty Images)

After the final curtain fell, Roberts and the Marshalls enjoyed photo ops with the entire cast.

Julia Roberts was front and center — with the Marshalls by her side — as she posed with the cast of “Pretty Woman: The Musical” on Aug. 2, 2018. To her left are Samantha Barks and Andy Karl, who play Vivian and Edward. (Photo: Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/WireImage)
Julia Roberts was front and center — with the Marshalls by her side — as she posed with the cast of “Pretty Woman: The Musical” on Aug. 2, 2018. To her left are Samantha Barks and Andy Karl, who play Vivian and Edward. (Photo: Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

She also posed with just Les Miserables actress Samantha Barks, who plays Vivian, and Andy Karl, a three-time Tony Award nominee who portrays Edward.

Julia Roberts and Barbara Marshall with Samantha Barks (Vivian) and Andy Karl (Edward) backstage at a special performance of “Pretty Woman: The Musical” honoring Garry Marshall at the Nederlander Theatre on Aug. 2, 2018 in New York City. (Photo: Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/WireImage)
Julia Roberts and Barbara Marshall with Samantha Barks (Vivian) and Andy Karl (Edward) backstage at a special performance of “Pretty Woman: The Musical” honoring Garry Marshall at the Nederlander Theatre on Aug. 2, 2018 in New York City. (Photo: Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

Barks took to social media to gush over meeting the original Viv, writing on Instagram, “What a beautiful woman inside and out! A night I will never forget!!” She also shared a photo of them embracing with Julia smiling as they hugged.

“What a way to celebrate the one and only legend that is Garry Marshall,” Samatha Barks, who has the lead in the show, wrote on Instagram. (Image: Samantha Barks via Instagram)
“What a way to celebrate the one and only legend that is Garry Marshall,” Samatha Barks, who has the lead in the show, wrote on Instagram. (Image: Samantha Barks via Instagram)

Roberts returned the compliment in her own Instagram post, writing, “Lovely to meet this talented woman.” We wish she gave her review of the show — perhaps an “It was so good, I almost peed my pants!” — but she left it at that.


Before the show, Barbara Marshall told USA Today that Richard Gere couldn’t make on Thursday because he was in London, but he promised to see a future show, which features music from Bryan Adams.

Julia Roberts played the role of Vivian Ward, a prostitute hired by Richard Gere’s businessman character Edward Lewis, in the 1990 film — and it put her on the map in Hollywood. (Photo: Touchstone Pictures/Entertainment Pictures)
Julia Roberts played the role of Vivian Ward, a prostitute hired by Richard Gere’s businessman character Edward Lewis, in the 1990 film — and it put her on the map in Hollywood. (Photo: Touchstone Pictures/Entertainment Pictures)

Roberts was just 22 when Pretty Woman came out and catapulted her to superstardom. She later teamed up with Marshall and Gere again for 1999’s Runaway Bride. She also appeared in Marshall’s films Valentine’s Day (2010) and Mother’s Day (2016), the latter of which was released just months before he died at 81 due to complications of pneumonia after suffering a stroke.

Roberts has another familiar collaboration in the works. She’s reuniting with her My Best Friend’s Wedding co-star Dermot Mulroney — who also shared screen time with her in August: Osage County – in the upcoming Amazon Video thriller Homecoming.

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