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Biography

London's Broadway Baby

In the Golden Days...

NOTE: All contents and graphics on this site are a collection of our own from various articles and programmes or are credited to the apprpriate source.  If anyone has any problems with any of them, please notify us and we will gladly remove them. Thank you

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           Maria was born March 19th, 1960 in Switzerland.  The third child(of four) to musical parents, Leonard a violinist and co-founder of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Claire, a concert Pianist, and opera coach.  In such a musical family (All children played piano as well, but their brother Richard is a violinist and conductor of all sorts of orchestras, Older sister Sarah was a flutist, but took her career elsewhere and is now a university scientist, and younger sister Sonia also played cello, and violin, is now an acclaimed producer in the westend( see above link for details), Maria was supposed to  be a cellist, but didn't like to practice.  Ironically, her musical/vocal carreer was an accident. 

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At the age of 14 she saw Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music", but it wasn't until 5 years later when she got her first part.  In 1980, she was cast in the chorus of the national tour of Oklahoma! ,only becuase her boyfriend at the time got a part and he asked them to take her aswell.  Maria, eventually understudied an played the part of Ado Annie.

    After a few odds and ends jobs here and there, Maria's next big break came about 7 years later in "Blue's in the Night" - at the Piccadily Theatre which recieved a SWET - nomination for best Musical.  The show was later transferred to the Donmar. 

Maria next played Hayyah in The Ghetto at the Royal National Theatre, which won an Evening Standard Award for Best Play. 

 In 1990, Maria got the opportunity in her first Sondheim musical as Dot/Marie in Sunday in the Park with George - also at the Royal National Theatre, which won an Olivier Award for Best Musical and for which Maria was nominated for an Olivier for Best Actress in a Musical.   Maria had to audition 7 times before recieving the part.


Maria/Luisa in The Day You'll Love Me - at the Hampstead Theatre.


Mary in Merrily We Role Along at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester in 1992 was Maria's second Sondheim show. 

In 1994 Maria appeared in her one woman show at the Donmar Warehouse, Covent Garden "Maria Friedman by Special Arrangement". The production was a huge success winning Maria the Olivier award for "Best Entertainment"(1995). After the November birth of Maria's first son Toby, the show transferred to the Whitehall Theatre as "Maria Friedman by Extra Special  Arrangement"
It is from this show that Maria's first solo album was produced.  It can be found under two different names, "Maria Friedman" or "Broadway Baby".

Maria went on to play the role of Fosca in the London production of Stephen Sondheim's musical "Passion" to much acclaim. She played opposite Micheal Ball to rave reviews and won the Olivier award for "Best Actress in a musical". 

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Maria Friedman

Maria was next seen at the Royal National Theatre's Lytleton theatre in 1997. She played the role of Liza Elliott in the first London production of
"Lady in the Dark"
.    Maria received  was nominated for another Olivier award.  She also recieved an Evening Standard award.


Following Lady in the Dark, Maria took over the role of "Roxie Hart"   Maria starred along side Nicola hughes, and Valerie Pettiford .


In 1998, Maria took a break from Chicago to play the role of the Narrator in the video production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat". It was released early in 1999 and opened up a whole new audience to Maria world wide, particularly in the United States. It was released early in 1999 and opened up a whole new audience to Maria world wide, particularly in the United States. 
 
         Next Maria appeared in THE WITCHES OF EASTWTICK a world Premiere.  SHe played Sukie Rougemont at the famous Royal Drury Lane Theater.

After Witches Maria made several concert appearances. She has also appeared as senior police officer 'Gillian Raines' in the BBC drama "In Deep". She as also heard in the BBC Radio 4 play "Swan Song".
 
In  October of 2002, shortly after the birth of her second child, Alfie, she made an apearence at the International Theatre Festival in Wales, playing the role of Mother in "RAGTIME"  The show recieved such response that Maria teamed up with her sister, Sonia Friedman of Sonia Friedman Prouctions, and brought the show to the west end. 
 
MARIA FRIEDMAN LIVE! Maria's next appeared and toured with her concert, and finally debuting in the united states!  She was asked by Stephen Sondheim and Barbara Cook, to appear at the Cafe Carlyle in NY She also took the show to Spain, and Switzerland.
 
Maria Friedman took home the Olivier award for her performance in "Ragtime" in Febuary of 2004 at the 2004 Olivier Awards.
 
 With Sonia Friedman again, as well as Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and The Phantom himself Michael Crawford a Premiere  of a new Webber musical "THE WOMAN IN WHITE". Maira plays 'Marian Halcolmbe' the herione at the Palace theatre in London.
 
In May 2004, Maria retunrs to the Cafe Carlyle, premiering a song from "The Woman in White" in a new version of her show "By Special Arrangement."
 
The Woman in White opened on September 15th 2004 at the Palace theatre in London where she played "Marian Halcombe" until June 9th.
Now, she takes the role to Broadway on November 17th, opening with Michael Ball in "The Woman in White"!
 
In November Maria was diagnosed with Stage One Breast cancer just days before making her broadway debut. Despite undergoing additional treatments, Maria continued to perform as often as possible. Unfortunately, announcements were made that the Broadway production would close earlier than expected. The Woman in White will close on February 19th, and Maria will play it out until the end. No word yet on future projects, or on whether or not she intends to return to the West End or continue on Broadway.
On March 6th, 2006, Maria took part in Broadway's annual Nothing Like A Dame Concert that raised over 300,000 for the Phylis Newman's Women's Health Association. She appeared alongside stars such as Bebe Neuwirth, Ruthie Henshall, and Jill Paice, (Laura from "The Woman in White). She sang "Broadway Baby".  

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"All the lights and noise, and music in the air, in the golden days. And all those heartless boys, did any of them care? In the golden days...