According to a press statement, Friedman, "as part of her ongoing treatment for stage 1 breast cancer, underwent exploratory surgery on Monday, December 12th. It was an outpatient procedure and she was never admitted to the hospital. Because her course of treatment is still being determined, the date of Maria's return to the production is not set; but it is hoped she will re-join the show as early as this weekend."
Friedman previously underwent surgery for stage 1 breast cancer on Nov. 3 and required a few days to recover before returning to the show Nov. 10.
Maria Friedman 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 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).
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. For ticket information, go to www.ticketmaster.com.