Variety reports that Ball is currently in negotiations for a 40-week run as Count Fosco — the role created in London by Michael Crawford — in the new musical, which will officially open Nov. 17. Ball eventually succeeded Crawford in the West End run, playing three months at London's Palace Theatre.
The New York company of Woman in White, Variety says, will also feature Olivier Award winner Maria Friedman, who will repeat her London role as Marian Halcombe on Broadway. Angela Christian (title role) and Jill Paice (Laura Fairlie), two American performers who opened the London production, will also be part of the New York cast. The Toronto Star also recently reported that Adam Brazier will play Walter in the Broadway production.
The Woman in White features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by David Zippel and a book by Charlotte Jones. The remainder of the creative team comprises Trevor Nunn (direction), William Dudley (set and costume design), Paul Pyant (lighting design), Mick Potter (sound design), Wayne McGregor (dance and movement) and Simon Lee (musical supervisor).
The London production — now starring Ruthie Henshall — began previews at the newly refurbished Palace Theatre Aug. 28 with an official opening Sept. 15. Woman in White was nominated for five Olivier Awards.
According to production notes, The Woman in White concerns "a dashing young man, employed as the art tutor to two devoted sisters, [who] is stranded at a remote railway cutting. Out of the darkness looms a woman, a mysterious figure dressed in white, desperate to share a chilling secret. He and the sisters soon find themselves trapped in a web of betrayal and greed, the victims of a seemingly flawless crime. Together they will need all their resourcefulness and courage to outwit a hugely charismatic and ingenious villain. As the compelling plot twists and turns, low villainy vies with high romance in a world where nothing is as it first appears and where it is impossible to know who to trust." Michael Ball made his Broadway debut as Alex in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love, a role he created on the London stage. His other London stage credits include The Woman in White, The Pirates of Penzance, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Passion and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Ball's numerous, best-selling solo recordings include "Centre Stage," "Christmas," "Live at the Royal Albert Hall," "The Movies," "The Musicals," "First Love," "Always" and "Michael Ball." Ball will make his New York City Opera debut in September in Patience, which runs Sept. 10-Oct. 5 at the New York State Theater.
For more information about The Woman in White visit www.womaninwhitethemusical.com. For ticket information, go to www.ticketmaster.com.