The Woman In White

  • Date:
    November 1, 2005

    Music by: Andrew Lloyd Webber,
    Lyrics by: David Zippel
    Book by: Adapted by Charlotte Jones from Wilkie Collins's novel.
    Directed by: Trevor Nunn
    Cast: Maria Friedman (Marian Halcombe), Angela Christian (Anne Catherick), Jill Paice (Laura Fairlie), Adam Brazier (Walter Hartright), Ron Bohmer (Sir Percival Glyde) and Walter Charles (Mr. Farlie.), Michael Ball (Count Fosco), Richard Todd Adams, Justis Bolding, Lisa Brescia, Roger DeWitt, John Dewar, Patty Goble, Daniel Marcus, Greg Mills and Danial Torres. The ensemble includes: Laura Dekkers, Courtney Glass, Leah Horowitz, Norman Large, Michael Sean Lewis, Elizabeth Loyacano, Sean MacLaughlin and Elena Shaddow.
    Synopsis: A dashing young man, employed as the art tutor to two devoted sisters, 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. As the 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.

    What the critics had to say.....

    BEN BRANTLEY of the NEW YORK TIMES says �Plot, characters, words and most of the performances in this tale of love, deception and unspeakable secrets in Victorian England emanate the aura of autumn leaves ironed into crisp immobility between sheets of waxed paper. ...even the music has the feeling of freeze-dried Lloyd Webber motifs to which water has been added for the occasion.... Maria Friedman, a longtime favorite of London musical audiences, makes an impeccably professional Broadway debut...she sings of hope and heartbreak and honorable vengeance for dirty deeds, her deeply expressive voice has the sheen of emotional truth.�
    HOWARD KISSEL of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS says "Lloyd Webber's score is entirely focused on keeping the story moving. In the early scenes, in which there are a few duets and trios, there is a shimmering delicacy to the music...What gives "Woman" its dramatic power is Maria Friedman's shattering performance as the sister of the unlucky bride. Hers is the most complex role in the complicated story, and she brings enormous emotional weight to what might otherwise be merely a whodunit with supernatural overtones....Only some clunky, happily brief bits of choreography mar the masterly stagecraft of this breathtaking piece of musical theater."
    CLIVE BARNES of THE NEW YORK POST says "Make no mistake about it: This is a thrilling musical with a weirdly engrossing tale full of artifice and spine-chiller twists. Friedman grabs hold of her role with passion and a richly emotive voice. "
    MICHAEL SOMMERS of STAR-LEDGER says "Thunder booms and gloomy tunes resound through composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's convoluted musical melodrama..... Friedman's emotional fervor and intense musicality propel the ponderous story and score."
    MICHAEL KUCHWARA of ASSOCIATED PRESS says "Despite all the passion in story and song, this lavish production, directed by Trevor Nunn, only fitfully raises the theatrical temperature. Most of the heat is provided by Maria Friedman.... Friedman plays heroine Marian Holcombe with an intensity and commitment that makes you believe all the more in her portrayal of the show's spunky, selfless heroine....This latest from Lloyd Webber is more refined and, consequently, a little dull around the edges."
    FRANK SCHECK of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER says "Webber's score, though typically lush and complex, lacks the melodic immediacy of his best work, though it may well gain power over repeated listenings...Friedman is deeply moving as Marian.....With its less than thrilling score and story, "The Woman in White" inevitably has the feel of "Phantom" lite. "

    External links to full reviews from newspapers

    New York Times
    New York Daily News
    New York Post
    Associated Press
    Hollywood Reporter