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Maria Friedman Rearranges Menier Show, 19 Mar

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West End diva Maria Friedman (pictured) picked up one of her three Laurence Olivier Awards to date for her concert show By Special Arrangement, first seen 13 years ago. Following on from that, Friedman is now launching a newly conceived piece entitled Maria Friedman: Rearranged, which will have a limited season at the Menier Chocolate Factory 27 March to 4 May 2008 (previews from 19 March).

Accompanied by an 11-piece band, Friedman will perform new rearranged versions of some of her favourite show tunes and contemporary songs, from the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Jacques Brel, Burt Bacharach, Jason Robert Brown, Andrew Lippa, George Gershwin, Leslie Bricusse, Kander and Ebb, Randy Newman, Michel Legrand and Stevie Wonder.

In addition to By Special Arrangement, Friedman has won Oliviers for Ragtime and Sondheim’s Passion. She also won Best Actress in a Musical in the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards for her last West End outing, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White, which she also starred in on Broadway.

Friedman’s other musical credits Chicago, Lady in the Dark and Sunday in the Park with George and, reopening the Royal Festival Hall last year, Sweeney Todd, in which she played Mrs Lovett opposite Welsh tenor Bryn Terfel’s demon barber. She has also had three concert seasons at the Café Carlyle in New York.

Currently at the Chocolate Factory, Terry Johnson’s revival of Jerry Herman’s 1983 Broadway musical comedy La Cage Aux Folles finishes its limited season on 8 March (See Review Round-up, 11 Jan 2008). It stars Douglas Hodge and Philip Quast, who, coincidentally starred opposite Friedman in the 1990 UK premiere of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George at the National Theatre.

- by Terri Paddock


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