Don't "Count" on Him: Michael Ball Permanently Out of Woman in White

News   Don't "Count" on Him: Michael Ball Permanently Out of Woman in White
 
Michael Ball, the London stage star who created the role of Count Fosco for the Broadway production of The Woman in White, has permanently left the production.

Michael Ball
Michael Ball Photo by Aubrey Reuben

A spokesperson for the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical told Playbill.com that Ball, who was last in the show Jan. 20, has a "viral infection in [his] throat" and will not play the show's final performances.

The Woman in White, as previously announced, will play its last performance at the Marquis Theatre Feb. 19. The show began previews Oct. 28, 2005, and played 20 preview performances. It will have played 109 regular performances since its opening night, Nov. 17, 2005.

Though the show's leading lady, Maria Friedman, has been battling breast cancer throughout the Broadway run, she remains in the cast and will stay with the show through its closing performance.

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." He was also recently seen in the New York City Opera production of Patience.

* The musical is directed by Trevor Nunn (Nicholas Nickleby, Cats, Les Miserables), with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Cats, The Phantom of the Opera), lyrics by David Zippel (City of Angels) and a book by Charlotte Jones (Humble Boy).

The Woman in White is based on the Victorian gothic novel by Wilkie Collins. According to production notes, "The tale begins when a dashing young man, employed as the art tutor to two devoted sisters, is stranded at a remote railway station. 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."

The principal cast also includes Angela Christian, Adam Brazier, Jill Paice, Ron Bohmer and Walter Charles.

The Woman in White is produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, Nederlander Presentations Inc., Sonia Friedman Productions Ltd., The Really Useful White Company, Inc., Lawrence Horowitz/Jon Avnet, Ralph Guild/Bill Rollnick, Live Nation/PIA and Thomas L. Miller.

Tickets may be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com, by calling (212) 307-4100 or visiting the Marquis Theatre box office. Visit www.womaninwhitethemusical.com for more information.

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