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Crawford, Lloyd Webber re-team

March 03, 2004|From Associated Press

LONDON — Michael Crawford, who starred in the London, New York and Los Angeles productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera," will return to the West End this summer to appear in the composer's latest show, "The Woman in White."

Crawford, 62, will play the villainous Count Fosco in the musical version of the classic 19th century thriller by Wilkie Collins. Director Trevor Nunn's production starts preview performances Aug. 28 at the Palace Theatre and opens Sept. 15.

Lloyd Webber said he spoke to Crawford late last year and urged him to "read the book over Christmas. Michael called me the first week in January and said, 'Have you cast it? I'd love to do this,' and I said, 'For God's sake, if you're really interested.... ' "

The composer described Crawford's part as "a big cameo role." The leading role of Marian will be played by Maria Friedman, who recently won her third Olivier Award for best actress in a musical, this time for starring in "Ragtime."

Charlotte Jones wrote the adaptation, David Zippel the lyrics.

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