Maria made her directorial debut with her highly acclaimed and award winning production of Merrily We Roll Along which opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory in November 2012, transferred to the West End in May 2013, and opened in Boston in 2017. She went on to direct High Society at the Old Vic in 2015, which was equally well received and then Stepping Out which toured in 2016, and opened in the West End in the spring of 2017. Maria directed A Little Night Music in Japan in the spring of 2018.
Maria is best known as a three-time Olivier Award-winning star of the musical stage; the heart of Maria's career has been centred 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 Sweeny 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. 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 BBC Prom.
Maria's many international concert appearances include three sell-out seasons at New York's prestigious Café Carlyle, and many concerts with Michael Legrand and the late Marvin Hamlisch. Most recently, she premiered her new cabaret show Lenny and Steve with musical director Jason Carr at the Hippodrome's Matcham Room. Her most recent recording is Maria Friedman Sings The Great British Songbook on Sepia.
Merrily We Roll Along won Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards 2013, the Oliver Awards 2014 (for which Maria was also nominated for Best Director of a Musical), and the Critic's Circle Award 2013.
Maria has won three Olivier Awards, been nominated for nine and has won an Evening Standard Award.