Friedman's show will officially open Dec. 4 and play 25 performances only to Jan. 4, 2009. The West End season will be produced by Chocolate Factory Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions, Robert G. Bartner and Bob Boyett.
Friedman is accompanied for the show by an 11-piece band, comprising some of the UK's best soloists who between them play over 50 instruments. Some of the world's most renowned orchestrators and arrangers – including Jason Carr, David Cullen, Michael Starobin, Jeremy Sams, Jonathan Tunick and Chris Walker — have re-arranged versions of some of the performer's firm favorites and contemporary songs, including the work of Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Jerry Herman, Michel Legrand, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Kate Bush, Randy Newman, Stephen Sondheim, Charles Strouse and Suzanne Vega.
This new production is being directed specifically for the Trafalgar Studios by David Babani, artistic director of the Menier Chocolate Factory, and will feature a mix of the program from the Menier season (which ran March 27-May 4) with some new additions.
Friedman's first solo show in London at the Donmar Warehouse, By Special Arrangement, seen in 1994, won her an Olivier Award. She subsequently won two further Oliviers in 1997 and 2004, respectively, for the West End premiere runs of Sondheim's Passion (in which she played Fosca at the Queen's Theatre) and Ahrens and Flaherty's Ragtime (playing the role of Mother at the Piccadilly Theatre).
Among Friedman's many other stage credits are the original West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White in 2004 (subsequently reprising her performance in the show's Broadway premiere in 2005), taking over as Roxie Hart in Chicago in 1998 (for which she was Olivier-nominated), and the British premiere of Sunday in the Park With George at the National Theatre in 1990. Last summer she appeared in the Royal Festival Hall concert version of Sweeney Todd, playing Mrs. Lovett opposite Bryn Terfel in the title role. She has also played three cabaret seasons at New York's Café Carlyle. In addition to numerous cast recordings, Friedman's solo albums include "Maria Friedman," "Maria Friedman Live" and "Now and Then." To book tickets, contact the box office at 0870 060 6632 or visit www.mariafriedmanlive.com.