'The Woman In White' Maria Friedman makes her Broadway debut.


Jill Paice, Maria Friedman and Angela Christian
In the London production of The Woman In White


Maria Friedman, the leading lady of the British musical theatre, makes her Broadway debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, The Woman In White, opening on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre on the 17 Nov 2005, following previews from the 28 Oct 2005.

The Woman In White will feature two other performers who created their roles in the London production: Angela Christian (Thoroughly Modern Millie) re-creates her performance as Anne Catherick and Jill Paice makes her Broadway debut recreating her performance as Laura Fairlie. They are joined by Adam Brazier (Into the Woods) as Walter Hartright, Ron Bohmer (The Scarlet Pimpernel) as Sir Percival Glyde and Walter Charles (Aspects of Love) as Mr. Farlie.

The remainder of the cast will be announced shortly.

Maria Friedman - winner of three Olivier Awards and nominated for an additional four - will arrive on Broadway in her Olivier-nominated performance as Marian Halcombe, a care-free woman of privilege who proves herself unexpectedly fearless and ingenious when she and her beloved sister are in jeopardy. London critics praised "the over-whelming power of Maria Friedman's dazzlingly-sung performance" (Sunday Express) and called her, "a divine spark of a singing actress who finds the perfect mix of passion and intellect" (Newsweek). The Daily Mail, called the performance "Maria's white-hot triumph."

Maria Friedman has proven herself over the last decade the unrivaled interpreter of Lloyd Webber and Sondheim, among others. She created roles in the original London productions of Passion, Sunday in the Park�, Ragtime, Chicago and The Woman in White, among her many credits.

Produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, Nederlander Presentations Inc., Sonia Friedman Productions Ltd. and The Really Useful Theatre Company Ltd. and directed by Trevor Nunn (Nicholas Nickleby, Cats, Les Miserables), The Woman In White features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Cats, The Phantom of the Opera), lyrics by David Zippel (City of Angels) and a book by Charlotte Jones (Humble Boy).

The Woman In White is based on Wilkie Collins's Victorian thriller. The tale begins when a dashing young man, employed as the art tutor to two devoted sisters, is stranded at a remote railway station. 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.

The Woman In White had its world premiere at London's Palace Theatre on the 15 Sep 2004 where the show continues its run.

The London design team, William Dudley (production and video design), Paul Pyant (lighting design) and Mick Potter (sound design) will recreate their groundbreaking work for the Broadway production.

The Woman In White opened to mixed notices in London. The Financial Times wrote "There are not many take-home tunes and David Zippel's lyrics are often bland. Still, as a gorgeous-looking piece of daft escapism, it works a treat." The Times said "This lady is too pale and plump for thrills." The Evening Standard published "So old-fashioned it deserves to be stuffed and displayed in a museum for deceased musicals... I came out humming with boredom." , however the Independent said " Fluent production....I suspect The Woman In White will be haunting the West End for some time to come."

(Click here to read a review of the London production by our sister site, www.londontheatre.co.uk.)

THE WOMAN IN WHITE received five 2005 Olivier Award nominations, including Best New Musical and Best Actress in a Musical (Maria Friedman).

The score - recorded in its entirety at the London opening night performance - was released in May as a 2-CD set by EMI Classics/Really Useful Records.


Biogaphies:

Maria Friedman (Marian Halcombe). Ms Friedman won an Olivier Award for her one-woman show Maria Friedman - by Special Arrangement, Donmar Warehouse and a second Olivier Award followed for Best Actress as Fosca in Stephen Sondheim's Passion, Queen's Theatre. Her performance as Liza Elliot in Lady in the Dark, Royal National Theatre, earned an Evening Standard Award as well as an Olivier Award nomination. Most recently, Maria starred in the West End as Roxie (Olivier nomination) in Chicago, Adelphi, and as Sukie in The Witches of Eastwick, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, as the Narrator in the film video of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, as Mother in Ragtime, Piccadilly, (for which she won her third Oliver Award) and last September's opening of The Woman in White, which won Maria an historic seventh Olivier nomination.

Angela Christian (Anne Catherick) created the role in the London production. Broadway: originated the role of Miss Dorothy Brown in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Outer Critics' Circle nomination), Lily in Richard Nelson's James Joyce's The Dead. Other theatre: Miss Molly Ivors in James Joyce's The Dead (Kennedy Center); Carol in Oleanna; Viola in Twelfth Night; Emmy in Our Town; Julie in A Pack of Lies; Doria in Smile; Belle in A Christmas Carol.

Jill Paice (Laura Fairlie) created the role in the London production. Theatre: Sophie in Mamma Mia! (Las Vegas); Les Miserables (National Tour); Delphi in Weird Romance (York Theatre); Gypsy; Shakespeare in Love with Broadway (Great Lakes Theatre Festival); Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest; Violet in Violet; Beth in Merrily We Roll Along; Lydia in The Rivals. Opera: Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance; Jennie Hildebrand in Street Scene.

Ron BohmerR (Sir Percival Glyde). Broadway: title role in The Scarlet Pimpernel, Enjolras in Les Mis, Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof. National tours: title role in The Phantom of the Opera, Joe Gillis in Sunset Blvd. (Jefferson Award nomination), Alex in Aspects of Love (Best Actor, L.A.'s infamous Robby Award), and The Scarlet Pimpernel (National Broadway Theatre Award nomination). Off-Broadway: 5th anniversary cast of Forbidden Broadway, Forbidden Broadway S. V. U. Regional: title role in Floyd Collins at Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Volodya in Bed & Sofa at the Wilma Theatre (Barrymore Award nomination), title role in U.S. premiere of Dracula at NSMT, Robert in Bee Luther Hatchee for the Rep. of St. Louis.

Walter Charles (Mr. Farlie). Broadway: La Cage aux Folles (Albin), A Christmas Carol (Scrooge), Grease!, Sweeney Todd, Cats, Me and My Girl, Aspects of Love, Anna Karenina, 110 in the Shade, Call Me Madam (City Center Encores!), The Boys From Syracuse (Roundabout). Off-Broadway: Wit (Pulitzer Prize), The Immigrant. Film: Prancer, Weeds, Fletch Lives, A Fine Mess.

Andrew Lloyd Webber (Music) is the composer of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, By Jeeves, Evita, Variations and Tell Me on a Sunday, Song & Dance, Cats, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, The Beautiful Game and The Woman in White. He composed the film scores of Gumshoe and The Odessa File, and Requiem, a setting of the Latin Requiem Mass. He has also produced in the West End and on Broadway not only his own work but the Olivier Award-winning plays La B�te and Daisy Pulls It Off. In summer 2002 in London he presented the groundbreaking A. R. Rahman musical Bombay Dreams. His awards include seven Tonys, three Grammys, six Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, an International Emmy, the Praemium Imperiale and the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre.

Trevor Nunn (Director). America has seen his stage productions of Nicholas Nickleby (five Tony Awards), Cats, Les Mis�rables (eight Tony Awards), Sunset Boulevard, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love and Chess. Royal National Theatre productions included Arcadia, Enemy of the People, Not About Nightingales, Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady and South Pacific, all staged while he was its Director. In 1968, he became the youngest-ever Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, directing a host of productions, including the original productions of Nicholas Nickleby and Les Miserables.

David Zippel (Lyrics). Mr. Zippel's lyrics have won him the Tony Award, two Academy Award nominations, two Grammy nominations and three Golden Globe nominations. He is one of the few lyricists to have achieved success on Broadway, in Hollywood and in the world of pop music. His songs appear on over 25 million CDs around the world. Musicals: City of Angels, The Goodbye Girl, A My Name Is Alice, Just So. Films: Hercules, Mulan, The Swan Princess, The Wedding Planner.

Charlotte Jones (Book) worked for six years as an actress in theatre and television before turning to writing. Her writing credits for theatre include: The Dark, Humble Boy, Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis, In Flame and Airswimming. Charlotte has won several awards including, for Humble Boy, a 2001 Critics' Circle Award for Best New Play; The Susan Smith Blackburn Award for Best New Play, 2000; Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Play 2003-04; Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play. Charlotte also won the Critics' Circle Most Promising Playwright Award in 1999 for In Flame and Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis.

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