Will Maria Friedman Star in Broadway's Woman in White?

News   Will Maria Friedman Star in Broadway's Woman in White? Three-time Olivier Award winner Maria Friedman, who portrays Marian Halcombe in the West End mounting of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White, will likely repeat that role on Broadway.

Maria Friedman in the West End production of The Woman in White
Maria Friedman in the West End production of The Woman in White

"It's looking good," Friedman's agent told Playbill On-Line Nov. 22. "We assume she'll be coming [to New York], although I can't confirm that yet." (Woman in White would mark Friedman's Broadway debut, though she has played two critically acclaimed stints at the Cafe Carlyle.) The musical, based on the Wilkie Collins novel of the same name, is set to open at a Nederlander theatre on Broadway Nov. 10, 2005. Michael Crawford co stars in the London production, but no Broadway casting has been officially announced.

Maria Friedman recently won her third Olivier Award for her performance as Mother in the West End production of Ragtime. She also won Oliviers for her one-woman show, Maria Friedman—By Special Arrangement, and for her work as Fosca in the London production of Sondheim's Passion. She received Olivier nominations for her roles as Dot in Sunday in the Park with George and Roxie in Chicago. Friedman's other stage credits include Lady in the Dark, Blues in the Night, April in Paris, Break of Day, Square Rounds, The Witches of Eastwick and Ragtime. She can also be seen as the Narrator in the film video of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

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 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 musical — co-starring Maria Friedman and Michael Crawford — began previews at the newly refurbished Palace Theatre Aug. 28 with an official opening Sept. 15. Trevor Nunn directs.

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."

For more information about The Woman in White visit www.womaninwhitethemusical.com.