REBECCA Cast Member Karen Mason Speaks Out on Producer Controversy - Remains 'Invincible'

Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
I would rather think he had a temporary lack of competence caused by over-eagerness to get a show produced over the idea that he would try to commit something illegal. Is it possible he was duped? It certainly seems that way. But it looks like it wasn't particular hard to do, seeing as how he seems to have been easily sold a rather laughably implausible bill.

This will undoubtedly tarnish his career. Depending on what is discovered, possibly ruin it.
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Did the Republican party deliberately miss Ben Sprecher as potential president, this man seems to be perfect.
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
I would rather think he had a temporary lack of competence caused by over-eagerness to get a show produced over the idea that he would try to commit something illegal. Is it possible he was duped? It certainly seems that way. But it looks like it wasn't particular hard to do, seeing as how he seems to have been easily sold a rather laughably implausible bill.

This will undoubtedly tarnish his career. Depending on what is discovered, possibly ruin it.


Well put, Kad. I'm still catching up on all the details of this story, but a theater producer letting his dream of a new show interfere with his better judgment isn't exactly a new phenomenon. I don't say that to excuse it, just to acknowledge how show business works.

Based on the TIMES article, Ben may be too busy defending against litigation to do much producing for awhile, but I always assume everyone in show business is one lucky break (or one clever idea) away from a comeback.

Updated On: 10/4/12 at 07:55 PM
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Does anyone have an opinion as to WHY someone would perpetrate such a fraud? Traditionally, I think phony investors have enjoyed the attention, the glamor and the access to stars and chorus girls (or boys).

But why pose as a multi-million dollar investor (or the friend of same) if you aren't going to make yourself available for any of the above? $hits and giggles?

Of course, I don't understand the appeal of spending countless hours writing a computer virus when you won't be there to see the damage it does. Apparently, I have an impaired understanding of the pleasures of sadism and fraud.
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
If "Catch Me If You Can" and other narratives are reliable sources, then some people practice cons just because it makes them feel better about themselves - smarter, able to manipulate others, etc.
leefowler
Broadway Star
joined:7/13/04
No one knows what really happened, but we need to look at motive. There's no reason for someone to pretend to be a backer of a show, and then pull his money out, or fake his death, or whatever. Unless he's just nuts, or evil, or something.

On the other hand, Sprecher has plenty of reasons to make such a person up...to attract other investors. And when he couldn't attract enough investors, he had a motive to pretend his rich South African investor died. And to protect his image, he has a motive to portray himself as the victim of others.

Behind the fake tinsel of Broadway is real tinsel.
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
I was really hoping to see this, but given his track record, it looks like Sprecher was trying to break his flop record by closing a show before it rehearses.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
If "Catch Me If You Can" and other narratives are reliable sources, then some people practice cons just because it makes them feel better about themselves - smarter, able to manipulate others, etc.

True, newintown. And just because I don't understand the appeal doesn't mean it doesn't exist for others.

leefowler, I do see your point, I think: Sprecher might have invented a backer, hoping to raise the money from others before the ruse was detected. That's the basic theory you set out, yes?

As I wrote above, Ben was a good friend back in the day and I hope he's the victim here, not the con.
ZiggyCringe
Leading Actor
joined:5/16/05
Are you kidding me? So Ben is to be accoladed for trying to bring a crap show to Broadway, just because he really, really believes in it?

By any critical account, "Rebecca" was a train wreck. And the producer LIED and made up a mythical investor. Who died. Maybe.

But Karen Mason (a dubious talent, if there ever was one), wants to defend this fake show because she had a song in it.

Honestly, the mind reels.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
That was an ugly and mean-spirited attack on Ms. Mason that invalidates any point you thought you were making.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
"But Karen Mason (a dubious talent, if there ever was one)," I guess it really is true there's no accounting for a complete lack of taste.

"wants to defend this fake show because she had a song in it," more than that, I think she was politely asking people like you not the be the see you next tuesdays you are.
Can anyone tell me how the line has been?
ZiggyCringe
Leading Actor
joined:5/16/05
Hey, she started it. I'm just responding to her article about "Rebecca," and I'm entitled to my opinion. And in my opinion, she's second rate Broadway talent. Still, she should have known better.

I also loathe the whole "I'm an actor with a job, so you better like my show, even though it sucks, because it's a job!" No. If a musical is horrible, and people are spending $125 per ticket for it, you don't get a pass. It's bad for the art form.

Just my opion. And like A-holes, we all have one.

Updated On: 10/6/12 at 02:33 AM
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
^ And think everyone else's stinks, apparently.

My condolences to the cast and crew of Rebecca. It stinks to lose a gig, however crappy the show may be depending on your opinion of it. And regardless of an audience's opinion of it, the talent involved has to (at least pretend to) believe in it to get themselves through their day. Ms. Mason, though I'm sure you're not at all discouraged by the words of anonymous Internet chatters, I'll just remind you that comments on talent should never be made by those who likely have none.

Re: the alleged misdeeds of one Ben Sprecher, I will not join in any gleeful grave-stomping as I did with Ken Davenport's misguided revival of Godspell (that one's for you, Namo; who loves ya, baby?). I'm sure of two things: 1) desperation pushes little boys who want to play in the big leagues into dangerous arms, and 2) there is definitely more going on here than meets the eye. One can only hope Mr. Sprecher and his partners in Global Broadway Productions have learned their lesson. Ben, don't take money that isn't verified to the utmost extent of verification; Mr. Sprecher's partners, ask for fund verification in future like you're agents of the federal government and he's being heavily audited, with extreme prejudice, by the IRS. I don't care if you have to hold face to face meetings, ask for birth certificates and Social Security numbers, or pay, like, twenty bucks for a background check from an Internet service: thoroughly "vet" the people coming to the table.

And now, a special notice for Michael Kunze, for whom I feel especially sorry. This is twice that he's been screwed out of a Broadway opening he can be proud of. There was this, and ten years ago there was Dance of the Vampires. At least this time he was approaching Broadway with something even remotely resembling the show he wrote.

As his bio on Rebecca's website blithely noted, he was not involved in the NY production of Vampires, by which I mean (quoting an article linked below) he spent most of the NY show's development time sitting at home in Germany waiting, assuming the producers would call when it was time for him to come in, that they would ask for advice or at least tell him rewrites were being done, seeing as he was the librettist and held rights to the book. But it was as if he wasn't there and the piece hadn't already been successful for years in Europe. They sent him the new version, which was nothing like his Vampires ("It was not my story... everything was different... the whole style of the play... they added silly new dialogue"), and he got (understandably) pissed. He took out a preliminary injunction to stop the musical from opening, only to be told by the producing team, "Sure, you could do that, but if we're gonna perform your version, then you also have to put up $10 million in the event the show flops so everybody's covered." Now, as a producer, I've already had to pull a few tricks early in my career that I'm not proud of, but that's no trick. That's blackmail and extortion.

It's a pity that both of Mr. Kunze's Broadway outings have been brought down by destructive behavior. Hopefully, he'll write something with crossover appeal one day that won't be perceived as Euro-pop and might actually play here without a hitch.




Tot oder lebendig
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik
Updated On: 10/6/12 at 03:04 AM
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Just my opion. And like A-holes, we all have one.

And, in my "opion," you are one.

And "she started it"? Really? Really? She engaged in an ad hominem attack against you first? She derailed the conversation about the closing down of the show by including in her letter a sompletely off-topic attack on YOUR talent? Really?
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Caring Soul
Understudy
joined:10/4/12
This is hardly the first time an investor has flown the coop. Remember Funny Girl? At least this time a valid reason was given: death.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Caring, I think the problem is not the investor's "death", but the lack of evidence that he ever lived.

Much to my surprise, this story made our small-town newspaper here in the wilderness, albeit via AP feed. The AP quotes Sprecher's lawyer as saying FOUR of the show's investors or potential investors have turned out to be fictitious, not just the one who was reported to have died.

Here's the most complete AP version of events that I've found, with considerable detail re the intermediary who supposedly brought the phony "investors" to Sprecher in the first place:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/broadway-producer-says-fraud-victim-063117746.html


The intermediary, Mark Hotton, seems to have committed numerous frauds in the past, so I can only wonder what he hoped to get out of this gambit. Was he just having fun playing "Broadway"?



Updated On: 10/7/12 at 08:04 PM

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