Best known as a three-time Olivier Award-winning (with seven nominations) star of the musical stage, the heart of Maria’s career has been centered around the love and work of her dear friend Stephen Sondheim. She has played Dot in Sunday in the Park with George at the National Theatre, Fosca in Passion at the Queen’s (Olivier Award), Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at the Royal Festival Hall with Bryn Terfel, and Mary in Merrily We Roll Along at the Leicester Haymarket. Additionally, in concert, she has played Sally in Follies and both Charlotte and Petra in A Little Night Music. In May 2009, Maria was honoured to sing for Stephen at his 80th birthday celebrations in New York and Washington, as well as at the special all-Sondheim Prom in July 2010. She was also invited by Marvin Hamlisch to appear as guest singer at the reopening of the famous Venetian rooms in the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, and starred in The Invisible Man at The Menier Chocolate Factory.
Maria’s other leading musical roles include Anna in The King and I at the Royal Albert Hall, Mother in Ragtime (Olivier Award), Liza in Lady In The Dark at the National, Sukie in The Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Roxie in Chicago at the Adelphi, and Marian in The Woman In White at London’s Palace and also at Broadway’s Marquis (Theatre World Award). She also starred in the original London production of Blues In The Night, and played Hayyah in Nicholas Hytner’s acclaimed National Theatre production of Ghetto. Non-singing roles include Break of Day (Royal Court), Square Rounds (National) and April in Paris (Ambassador’s).
In 1994, the Donmar Warehouse presented Maria Friedman: By Special Arrangement, a series of concerts with a virtuoso 11-piece band. The show went on to win an Olivier Award, and transferred to the Whitehall Theatre in 1995 as Maria Friedman: By Extra Special Arrangement. In 2008 she was invited to present a new version of the show at the Menier Chocolate Factory - Maria Friedman: Re-arranged, which went on to transfer to the Trafalgar Studios.