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Maria Friedman Makes Broadway Debut In Woman In White

Maria Friedman, the leading lady of the British musical theatre, makes her Broadway debut in London's smash hit musical, THE WOMAN IN WHITE, opening on Broadway Thursday, November 17th at the Marquis Theatre (211 W 45th St). 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). Preview performances begin Friday, October 28th.

THE WOMAN IN WHITE will feature two other performers who created their roles in the London production to great acclaim: 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.

About Maria Friedman
From musical theatre to plays, film, television, radio, concerts and recording, Maria Friedman is one of Britain's finest exponents of the performing arts. Maria 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. Other work for the stage includes: Blues in the Night, Piccadilly Theatre and Donmar Warehouse; April in Paris, Ambassadors Theatre; Hayyah in Ghetto, and Sunday in the Park with George, which won an Olivier Award for Best Musical and for which she gained her first nomination for Best Actress, both Royal National Theatre; Break of Day, Royal Court and tour, and Square Rounds, Royal National Theatre. 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. Her work for television includes: Trish Baynes in Casualty, In Deep and Red Dwarf all for BBC; Frank Stubbs Promotes, Carlton; Orlando, BBC2 and Tony Harrison's Black Daisies for the Bride, BBC. The New York Times hailed as "exquisite" her auspicious New York cabaret debut in 2004, at which she was welcomed to the city from the stage of The Café Carlyle by Stephen Sondheim and Barbara Cook.

She arrives 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, calling the performance "Maria's white-hot triumph," stated flatly, "it is the most breathtaking performance in London at the moment."

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.

About The Woman In White
A sweepingly romantic new musical of love and intrigue, THE WOMAN IN WHITE captures the lush atmospherics of its source, Wilkie Collins's sensational 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 September 15, 2004 and continues to play to packed houses.

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 rave notices in London, where John Peter of the Sunday Times wrote, "THE WOMAN IN WHITE is more than a musical, it is a big, powerful popular opera, both romantic and spectacular, a thriller, a swaggering, flamboyant Victorian melodrama, a visual feast, a tempestuous story of love and intrigue and a great arching narrative, brilliantly told. This is a big, big triumph, a very palpable hit, no question." Sheridan Morley writing for the Daily Express said, "A dazzling white hit. Lloyd Webber and Nunn have delivered exactly what the West End needs - a soaring, lyrical, romantic drama whose every scene lends itself, as if my magic, to precisely the kind of music that Lloyd Webber writes best." The Mail on Sunday's Georgina Brown raved, "An irresistible feast - luscious, lavish, sensual and romantic."

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.

Cast and Creative Bios
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. Premieres: Johnsy in O.Henry's Lovers; Maggie in Maggie's Riff. Television: Kerry in "Law & Order Criminal Intent" (NBC).

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 Bohmer (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. TV: "Law & Order: SVU," "Ryan's Hope" and "As The World Turns." Recordings: two solo CD's, Everyman and Another Life. Personal: recently married to actress Sandra Joseph, father of two daughters, Cassidy and Austin, owner of two dogs, Murphy and Griffin.
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. Television: "Law & Order," "Kate & Allie," "Cagney & Lacey," "Sweeney Todd" (PBS Great Performances), "1983 Grammy® Awards," "All My Children."

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 Bête and Daisy Pulls It Off. In summer 2002 in London he presented the groundbreaking A. R. Rahman musical Bombay Dreams. The film version of The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Joel Schumacher, was released in December 2004. 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. He was knighted in 1992 and created an honorary life peer in 1997.

Trevor Nunn (Director). America has seen his stage productions of Nicholas Nickleby (five Tony Awards), Cats, Les Misérables (eight Tony Awards), Sunset Boulevard, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love and Chess; his TV productions "Nicholas Nickleby," "Anthony and Cleopatra," "Macbeth," "Comedy of Errors," "Othello" and "Porgy and Bess"; and his films Hedda, Lady Jane and Twelfth Night. 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. He is currently director and lyricist of the Broadway-bound musical Princesses.

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. Film credits include: Ruby on a Tuesday and Dogstar. 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; People's Choice Award for Best New Play 2001. Charlotte also won the Critics' Circle Most Promising Playwright Award in 1999 for In Flame and Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis.

William Dudley (Production & Video Design). West End credits include: Hitchcock Blonde, The Breath Of Life starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, The York Realist, Blue/Orange, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Lenny, A Streetcar Named Desire, Rat In the Skull, My Night With Reg, Heartbreak House, Matador, Kiss Me Kate, Mutiny!, I Claudius. For The National Theatre: Honour, The Coast Of Utopia, All My Sons (Olivier award 2001: Best Set Designer), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Olivier award), Pygmalion, The Crucible, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Waiting For Godot, The Mysteries (Laurence award), Dispatches (Laurence award). He has also designed the sets for Roman Polanski's musical version of The Dance of the Vampires, which opened in Vienna in October 1997, and for Peter Hall's production of Amadeus at the Old Vic and Broadway.

Bob Boyett (Producer) has been represented on Broadway as a producer of Spamalot, The Pillowman; Democracy; The Frogs; Tom Stoppard's Jumpers; Fiddler on the Roof; Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, which won the 2002 Tony Award for Best Play; Topdog/Underdog, which won the Pulitzer Prize for 2002; Dance of the Vampires; Hedda Gabler; Sweet Smell of Success; The Crucible; The Elephant Man; Fortune's Fool; and A Year With Frog and Toad. In London: David Mamet's Boston Marriage, Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, Fuddy Meers and the West End production of Jumpers.

OSTAR Enterprises (Producer). OSTAR Enterprises has produced Spamalot, The Pillowman, Democracy, Jumpers, Proof, The Scarlet Pimpernel, High Society, The Green Bird, Freak, Dirty Blonde, Bea Arthur, The Smell of the Kill, Amour, Imaginary Friends and the acclaimed revivals of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, 1776, The Iceman Cometh, Hedda Gabler, Dance of Death, Noises Off, Man of La Mancha. London: The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Hay Fever, Madame Melville. Off-B'way: The Shape of Things, If Love Were All, If Memory Serves, Madame Melville.

Nederlander Presentations, Inc. (Producer) is a producing arm of a family company prominent for three generations in management and operation of theatres and productions of distinguished entertainment. In addition to producing innumerable plays and musicals, operas, ballets and concerts, and presenting artists ranging from Nureyev to Sinatra to U2, the Nederlander Organization owns a notable chain of legitimate theatres on Broadway, across the USA and in London. Movin' Out, Copenhagen and Fiddler on the Roof are recent presentations.

Sonia Friedman PRODUCTIONS LTD. (Producer). Sonia Friedman began her professional theatre career as a Producer in 1989 and has produced over 60 plays in London. Recent productions includes: As You Like it (starring Helen McCrory, Sienna Miller and Dominic West), Endgame (starring Michael Gambon and Lee Evans), Whose Life is it Anyway (starring Kim Cattrall), The Home Place (starring Tom Courtenay), Guantanamo 'honor bound to defend freedom', Hitchcock Blonde, Absolutely! {perhaps} directed by Franco Zeffirelli (starring Joan Plowright), Jumpers, Noises Off (also on Broadway), Sexual Perversity in Chicago (starring Matthew Perry, Minnie Driver and Hank Azaria), Afterplay (starring John Hurt), Calico (starring Imelda Staunton), By the Bog of Cats (starring Holly Hunter), Ragtime, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (also on Broadway) (starring Clive Owen and Eddie Izzard), Up For Grabs (starring Madonna), Macbeth (starring Sean Bean), On An Average Day (starring Woody Harrelson and Kyle McLachlan), Spoonface Steinberg by Lee Hall Maria Friedman at the New Ambassadors, In Flame written by Charlotte Jones, Maria Friedman By Special Arrangement and the original London production of The Woman in White.

THE Really Useful Theatre Company, Ltd. (Producer) has produced Starlight Express, Daisy Pulls It Off (Olivier Award, Comedy of the Year), The Hired Man, Lend Me A Tenor, Aspects of Love, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sunset Boulevard, By Jeeves, Jesus Christ Superstar, Whistle Down the Wind, The Beautiful Game and Bombay Dreams. The company co-produced Jeeves Takes Charge, Cats (Olivier Award, Musical of the Year), Song & Dance, On Your Toes, The Phantom of the Opera (Olivier Award, Musical of the Year) and the recent West End revival of Daisy Pulls It Off and Tell Me On A Sunday. On Broadway, its American counterpart produced and/or co-produced the Tony award-winning productions of Cats (and US tours), Starlight Express, Song & Dance, The Phantom of the Opera (and US tours), Shirley Valentine, Lend Me a Tenor and Aspects of Love. Other productions include La Boheme (Broadway), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Los Angeles, Broadway and US tour), The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (US tour) Sunset Boulevard (Los Angeles, New York and US tour) Whistle Down the Wind (Washington), Jesus Christ Superstar (Broadway) and By Jeeves (Broadway). The Really Useful Theatre Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Really Useful Group which is actively involved throughout the world in theatre and concert production, recording, merchandising, music publishing, television, film and video. The group also co-owns and manages thirteen theatres in London's West End.

The company

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