The run was seen by many industry-watchers as a way of boosting her U.S. reputation ahead the Broadway run of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman In White, for which she starts rehearsals mid-September. However, says the Mail, Friedman’s representatives didn’t like things they were hearing about the Gypsy producer Tony Georges.
They were reportedly put off by what happened to Betty Buckley and Shuler Hensley, who were due to star in a Georges-produced Sweeney Todd at the Ector Theatre in Odessa, Texas. Buckley and Hensley withdrew from the production when contractual agreements were not met.
An earlier production this summer at the Ector of Beauty and the Beast featured Georges' own mother and his hairdresser in the cast. On hearing that, reports the Mail, Friedman’s people decided she was better off out of it.
For The Woman In White, she will reprise the role as Marian, which she created in London (and where she has now been replaced by Ruthie Henshall). Although there’s a family connection there too, since the show was produced in London by Friedman’s sister, Sonia Friedman is currently one of the West End’s most prolific producers. The Woman In White will open in New York on Nov. 17, 2005.