OFFICIAL: REBECCA Is Delayed Indefinitely; Producers Blame Anonymous Email for Scaring Away New Investor This Week
According to a statement from the producers, "After Paul Abrams, a major investor, passed away in London, on August 5th, 2012, and who, with three other colleagues, represented the last portion of $4.5 million of the full capitalization for the production, The Shubert Organization generously granted a delay and rehearsals were postponed for several weeks. Sprecher and Forlenza had subsequently managed to virtually fill in the missing gap during the last three weeks, primarily from a new investor, their own funds and an additional commitment from an investor who had already made a substantial investment.
On Friday, September 28th, at approximately 1pm, Sprecher and Forlenza were informed that an extremely malicious e-mail, filled with lies and innuendo, had been sent directly to the new investor that morning from an anonymous third party. The e-mail was designed to scare this investor away and it succeeded. The investor withdrew.
Says Sprecher, “Why anyone would be so hateful and cruel and would go to such a huge amount of effort to uncover confidential information, including the details of a private transaction and the identities of an individual and his attorneys, and send such an e-mail with the goal being to shut down a production that involves the jobs of over a hundred people and their families, is something I am having a terrible time grasping. This is devastating for everyone involved in this wonderful and unique production. All that we have ever wanted to do is put on this amazing show.” Ticket sales of over $1 million have been a good indication that New York wanted the show. Already an international sensation, Rebecca continues to enjoy success around the world. Sprecher went on to say, “We will not stop our efforts to mount this show and alternatives are already unfolding. We will continue doing everything we can to protect this asset and our investors. We have provided a copy of this e-mail to the proper authorities and a criminal investigation is already under way. ”
The Shubert Organization, who has been unfailingly supportive of the producing team and the show itself, said “that they were sorry to learn of the postponement of Rebecca. They wish Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza success in bringing this show to Broadway in the future”"
REBECCA, the new musical based on the classic novel by Daphne Du Maurier novel, previously delayed the start of its rehearsals by two weeks due reportedly to the death of a key investor responsible for a $4.5 million investment pool in the production. REBECCA was scheduled to begin rehearsals Monday, September 10 prior to an October 30 first preview and November 18 premiere at the Broadhurst Theatre.REBECCA features original book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, English book adaptation by two-time Tony Award winner Christopher Hampton (Sunset Boulevard), English lyrics by Hampton and Kunze, and direction by Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore (Kiss Me, Kate; City of Angels; Noises Off) and Francesca Zambello (Little Mermaid). Multiple Tony-nominated director/choreographer Graciela Daniele (Ragtime) will create The Musical staging for the show. Scenic design is by Peter J. Davidson, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting by Mark McCullough, sound by Peter Fitzgerald, hair & wig design by Tom Watson and special effects by Gregory Meehand projections by Sven Ortel. Musical direction and supervision is by Kevin Stites. The cast of REBECCA was to feature Jill Paice as “I”, Ryan Silverman as Maxim DeWinter, Karen Mason as Mrs. Danvers, James Barbour as Jack Favell, Howard McGillin as Frank Crawley, Donna English as Beatrice de Winter, Henry Stram as Ben and Nick Wyman as Giles.REBECCA is a new musical drawn from the classic Daphne Du Maurier novel about love and obsession reaching from beyond the grave. In this romantic thriller, Maxim de Winter brings his new wife (“I”) home to his estate of Manderley. There she meets the intimidating housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who had a very special relationship with Maxim’s first wife, the beautiful Rebecca, who died a year earlier in a boating accident. The young woman discovers Manderley is a house of devastating secrets, and the mystery of Rebecca may be the greatest of them all as she finds the strength to challenge Mrs. Danvers and save her marriage. REBECCA had its world premiere in 2006 at Vereinigte Buhnen Wien in Vienna, where it played to sold-out houses for more than three years. Vastly successful productions of REBECCA have also played Budapest, Hungary; Bucharest, Romania; Helsinki, Finland; Stuttgart, Germany; St. Gallen, Switzerland and at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo.
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