Maria Friedman will take another leave of absence from the Broadway production of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical The Woman in White beginning tonight, following exploratory surgery yesterday related to her recently diagnosed Stage 1 breast cancer. No firm date for her return has been set, but the producers are hoping that she might be able to perform in the show this weekend.
Her understudy, Lisa Brescia, will appear as Marian Halcombe in her absence; Brescia has been playing the role on Wednesday and Saturday matinees since Friedman was first diagnosed in early November and took over the role during the star’s prior absence in the week before the show’s opening on November 17.
Directed by Trevor Nunn, The Woman in White also stars Michael Ball, Angela Christian, Jill Paice, Walter Charles, and Ron Bohmer. The show has music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by David Zippel, and is based on Wilkie Collins’ classic novel of the same title.