REBECCA Producer Ben Sprecher Suing Press Agent Marc Thibodeau as 'Whisteblower' - Statement Inside + the Details of the Lawsuit

g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
This lawsuit will hopefully be dismissed as frivolous. Mr. Thibodeau was undoubtedly acting in good faith, and preventing someone from throwing good money after bad.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
Joviedamian
Broadway Star
joined:11/9/10
I can see Ben's side here though. He was most likely counting on ANY money that might have come forward just to save the show. So Ben is thinking that by Marc saying what he said, would have hurt the show going forward if no further money was coming in. It may have all happened on it's own, but did not help much more if Marc added too it.
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
Rebecca has just been made toxic. No one with a lick of sense would go near it now.

Sprecher may have made himself toxic as well.

I'd love to hear conversations in the League offices right now along with ATPAM and then Sardi's Bar a little later.

What a stupendously bad move and not very smart either.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
This calls for The Toxic Avenger.
'Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.' -- RW Emerson
PatrickDennis92
Understudy
joined:9/25/12
If he was acting in good faith, why wouldn't he use his real name?
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
First, let's open the floor with a theory. It's easy to assume Mark C. Hotton was pulling a by-the-numbers practice con, but I think differently. My theory, and I admit it's only a theory so no getting suit-happy with me, is that Sprecher knew Hotton was bad news, but hoped he'd deliver the goods here, so they played C.Y.A. with the Abrams story, and when Sprecher knew he'd been had, he tried even more C.Y.A. only for it to backfire in his face. It fits with all the facts of the situation that were known before the Abrams debacle, namely that they were hurting for money until "Abrams joined the fold."

Now, that said, let's suppose other producers engage in similar behavior, covering for investors with shady pasts (could happen). And let's theoretically assume a universe where this situation resolved itself, the show opened, and Thibodeau still did what he did, minus the anonymity. Is Thibodeau going to get a job on any other productions engaging in similar behavior if they know he's the guy who blew the whistle on Sprecher? I don't think so.

Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
Updated On: 1/29/13 at 04:39 PM
JMPlayer6
Featured Actor
joined:2/7/10
It will be interesting to see the outcome of this. I had tickets to see "Rebecca" before the collapse. Frankly, even back then, it didn't strike me as something that would be a commercial successful. If it ever comes to be, I'll still see it though.
Shows seen in 2014 (NYC unless otherwise noted): 1/12 Working (Lyric Stage, Boston); 1/18 The Underpants (Hartford Stage); 1/25 The Bridges of Madison County (had seen at Williamstown Theatre Festival); 1/25 Beautiful; 1/26 Machinal; 2/1 Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Ocean State Theatre); 2/2 The Lyons (2nd Story Theatre); 2/8 Outside Mullingar; 2/8 Bronx Bombers; 2/9 Little Me (Encores!); 2/16 Seven Keys to Baldpate (2nd Story Theatre); 2/23 Witness Uganda (ART, Cambridge MA); 3/8 The Happiest Song Plays Last; 3/8 Rocky; 3/9 The Other Josh Cohen (Paper Mill Playhouse); 3/15 4000 Miles (Long Wharf Theatre) ; 3/23 The Whale (Speakeasy, Boston); 3/29 Mothers and Sons; 3/29 Buyer & Cellar; 3/30 Of Mice and Men; 4/5 Becoming Cuba (Huntington Theatre, Boston); 4/6 45 Seconds from Broadway (Mansfield Music & Arts Society); 4/12 Bullets Over Broadway; 4/12 A Raisin in the Sun; 4/13 Les Miserables (saw original Broadway run plus recent national tour); 4/19 We Will Rock You (PPAC); 4/23 Veronica Meadows (Trinity Square Rep); 4/26 Aladdin; 4/26 Hedwig and the Angry Inch; 4/27 If/Then; 5/3 Book of Mormon (PPAC, Providence RI; seen twice on Broadway previously); 5/4 42nd Street (Ocean State Theatre; had seen original Broadway production); 5/10 Violet; 5/10 Cabaret; 5/11 The Cripple of Inishmaan; 5/18 Light in the Piazzo (Wilbraham Players); 5/24 Casa Valentina; 5/24 Heathers: The Musical; 5/25 The Realistic Joneses; 6/7 Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill; 6/7 Act One; 6/8 Grease (Paper Mill Playhouse); 6/22 Fingers & Toes (Ivoryton Playhouse); 6/28 Holler If Ya Hear Me; 7/3 Working on a Special Day (Barrington Stage); 7/4 Kiss Me Kate (Barrington Stage); 7/4 The Mystery of Irma Vep (Berkshie Theatre); 7/5 June Moon (Williamstown Theatre Festival); 7/6 Madagascar (Chester Theatre Company); 7/13 Me & My Girl (Reagle Music Theatre; had seen national tour); 7/19 Guys and Dolls (Ocean State Theatre); 7/20 Monty Python Live (Mostly) (local movie theater); 7/27 Hay Fever (2nd Story Theatre); 8/3 Finding Neverland (A.R.T.); 8/8 Dancing Lessons (Barrington Stage Company); 8/9 Design for Living (Berkshire Theatre); 8/9 The Visit (Williamstown Theatre Festival); 8/10 The Golem of Havana (Barrington Stage Company); 8/17 Singin' in the Rain (Reagle Music Theatre; previously seen at Ogunquit Playhouse); 8/23 Newsies (4th time overall); 8/23 Sex with Strangers; 8/24 Run For Your Wife (Granite Theatre; previously seen in London); 8/30 And Then There Were None (2nd Story Theatre); 9/6 It's Only a Play; 9/6 The Money Shot; 9/7 The Opponent; 9/11 Broadway Bound (Your Theatre; had seen on Broadway in 1989); 9/14 Ether Dome (Hartford Stage); 9/20 The Sorcerer (Theater at Monmouth); 9/21 The Witches of Eastwick (Ogunquit Playhouse); 9/28 Comedy Is Hard! (Ivoryton Playhouse) ... Forthcoming: 10/2 From Here to Eternity (local movie theater); 10/4 Far From Heaven (Speakeasy Theatre, Boston); 10/4 Sweeney Todd (Lyric Stage, Boston; saw original Broadway run); 10/11 The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time; 10/11 On the Town; 10/12 Can-Can (Paper Mill Playhouse); 10/18 Holiday Inn (Goodspeed); 10/19 My Fair Lady (Ocean State Theatre; seeing yet again); 10/25 You Can't Take It With You; 10/25 The Last Ship; 10/26 This Is Our Youth; 11/1 Love Letters; 11/2 Dial 'M' for Murder (Ocean State Theatre); 11/8 The Circus in Winter (Goodspeed); 11/15 The Elephant Man; 11/15 The River; 11/16 The Country House; 11/22 The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (Lyric Stage, Boston); 12/6 Disgraced; 12/6 Honeymoon in Vegas (had seen at Paper Mill Playhouse); 12/7 A Delicate Balance; 12/13 Picasso at the Lap in Agile (Long Wharf Theatre); 12/14 Barefoot in the Park (Trinity Square); 12/20 The Real Thing; 12/20 The Illusionists; 12/21 Side Show
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
It's a truth universally acknowledged that g.d.e.l.g.i. is the worst when it comes to theoreticals, and he's got a million of em.
'Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.' -- RW Emerson
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
It's also a truth universally acknowledged that if you want to get someone into bed with you, you compliment them. Keep going, Namo, and you might even get a little tongue with the kiss.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
I'm not into boys in their parents' basements.
'Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.' -- RW Emerson
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Joke's on you, my office is upstairs. Sort of like Anne Frank, but I'm Italian. I'll await the dozen roses with bated breath.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
PatrickDennis92
Understudy
joined:9/25/12
It isn't the press agent's job to interfere in any way with the producer's attempt to capitalize the show. If I found out that someone in my employ had intentionally (and anonymously) sabotaged what was otherwise a done deal to capitalize a project I'd been working on for years, I would feel well within my rights to sue them. I, for one, assuming we have the facts correct (big assumption), hope Mr. Sprecher wins his lawsuit. If Mr. Thibodeau had every good intention, he should have used his real name. It is a cowardly act to hide behind a false persona with the mindset of destruction. If you want to destroy something, you should take the risks associated with it. If Mr. Thibodeau thought it was so important to get this investor out of the show that it merited jeopardizing his own career by standing up for something he believed in, then I would applaud his efforts; but that isn't what he did. He thought he would just interfere without any consequences at all to his own reputation or career. It's very disturbing to me.
MarkBearSF
Understudy
joined:1/25/11
What is the liability of the Press Agent and other members of the office if probable fraud is known, yet they solicit other investors?
TheLadyoftheWood
Leading Actor
joined:3/21/10
Rebecca, the gift that just keeps on giving! It's like Christmas all over again and it's only January.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
I've said before that Sprecher was a good friend to me when I first moved to NYC in 1977, even subletting his apartment to me while he toured with ROBBER BRIDEGROOM. So all of this REBECCA stuff just makes me sad. (I've also said I have no inside knowledge and haven't seen Ben since I moved to California.)

I can understand why Sprecher feels betrayed by his press agent.

But can we speculate as to Thibodeaux' motivation? If he wasn't using his real name, how was he to get credit for his heroics? Maybe he really was trying to do the right thing and nothing more.

Any of us who feels our employer is engaged in unethical practices would find ourselves on the horns of a dilemma, I imagine.
lovesclassics
Broadway Star
joined:10/7/05
Why wouldn't the publicist just resign the account if he felt he was being ethically compromised? Potential investors could infer whatever they wanted from that action. To hang on long enough to warn the "angel" and then do damage control based on his own actions is just bizarre!
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
^^^^I can only speculate, but while resigning might get the whistleblower out of the line of fire, it wouldn't do anything to protect the investor Thibodeau thought to be at risk.

But one could well argue that resigning would still be the honorable thing to do, even if he went on to warn the potential investor.

Ah, the theatre! If only most shows had half as much drama on stage as they do off stage!

Updated On: 1/30/13 at 10:38 PM
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Oh, look. Thibodeau's defense is pushing basically the same theory I had (I mean, it's literally only a hop, skip, and a jump to my conclusion).




‘Rebecca’ saga will not die
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
Updated On: 1/30/13 at 09:04 AM
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10

I say "Sprecher, you got to go"

Sprecher answer "Who say so?"

I say "Marcus, Marcus Thibodeau"
CHURCH DOOR TOUCAN GAY MARKETING PUPPIES MUSICAL THEATER STAPLES PERIOD CUM OIL
Amalia Balash
Broadway Star
joined:7/2/08
I can't wait for the movie or Smash storyline about this!

I do feel for the Rebecca cast and crew. Seeing the cast members sing at BC/EFA's Gypsy of the Year was poignant.

As far as Thibodeau goes, I understand the desire to warn an innocent potential investor. But I'd respect him and his warning more if he'd resigned first.
PatrickDennis92
Understudy
joined:9/25/12
I think Riedel fails to capture the essence of what actually occurred here. It's not about whether or not Thibodeau is a "bad" guy-- I'm sure he isn't. But what he did was vicious... Good people are capable of vicious acts. The investor in question obviously knew the risks of investing in a musical. He didn't "save" them money, as they were prepared to lose it anyway. Almost everyone who invests in theatre is prepared to lose their money. People invest in theatre because they want to support the arts and artists. And anyone who has 2.25m to invest is almost certain to have known what they were doing... it wasn't a sweet little old lady with her life savings.

Even if his intentions were good, he still did it with the hopes that he would never be caught, which shows a premeditated act of a malicious nature. That is neither good nor admirable. Imagine, if you will, that you were supposed to work on this show... this one solitary and selfish act took your job away... I would be furious. Thibodeau is a successful press agent; he doesn't need the weekly salary to survive. His actions showed a complete disregard for those people he was affecting.

Again, I would like to point out that I'm not saying I know the facts; I am speculating as we all are. But I would feel completely betrayed.
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
"Even if his intentions were good, he still did it with the hopes that he would never be caught, which shows a premeditated act of a malicious nature."

Actually, all it shows was that he didn't want to be caught. Malice does not have to be involved. It's equally if not more likely that he feared retribution - and quite obviously, for good reason.
PatrickDennis92
Understudy
joined:9/25/12
Academically speaking, it at least shows premeditation... but alright, I'll go with it. However, what retribution could he have feared? Has anyone, and please educate me, ever heard of a casting director, press agent, general manager, company manager, actor, stage manager, or any other employee of a producer being held liable for performing the duties they were hired to do? He didn't perpetrate the fraud. He had nothing to worry about. If Ben Sprecher wants to take a risk and deal with a potential fraudulent act to fund his show, that's his own affair. His employees do not share in his liabilities.

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