Born in Vienna, Musical Rebecca Will Open on Broadway in 2012; Sierra Boggess May Be Narrating Wife

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12 Jul 2011

Sierra Boggess
Sierra Boggess

The romantic musical thriller Rebecca, inspired by the novel of the same name, will open on Broadway in spring 2012, producers announced on July 12. In an unusual scenario, Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello will co-direct.

Olivier Award nominee Sierra Boggess (Love Never Dies, Broadway's The Little Mermaid) appeared in industry workshops, readings and presentations of the show. No Broadway casting has been announced, but Boggess (Master Class) is in negotiations to star, the producers said.

The musical will open April 22 at a Shubert venue to be announced. Previews will begin March 27.

Graciela Daniele (Ragtime, Once On This Island) is in talks to choreograph.

As previously reported, Rebecca, about a young new wife brought to a country estate called Manderley, in the West Country of England, 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) and English lyrics by Hampton and Kunze.



Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza, in association with Tony Fusco and Larry Feinman, and by special arrangement with/and based on the Vereinigte Buhnen Wien GmbH production, will produce.

Michael Blakemore
photo by Michael O'Neill

Here's how producers characterize the show: "Based on the classic Daphne du Maurier novel, Rebecca is the story of Maxim de Winter, his new wife [simply, 'I,' as in the first-person] and Mrs. Danvers, the controlling and manipulative housekeeper of Maxim's West Country estate of Manderley — where the memory of his first wife, the glamorous and mysterious Rebecca, still casts a shadow."

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. Productions have also played Budapest, Hungary; Helsinki, Finland; Stuttgart, Germany; St. Gallen, Switzerland and at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo.

"Rebecca," which was also a 1940 Academy Award-winning film by Alfred Hitchcock, is a suspense novel by British writer du Maurier that begins with the famous line, "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

Blakemore is the only director ever to win Tony Awards for both a play, Copenhagen, and a musical, Kiss Me, Kate, in the same year. Zambello, a busy opera director, staged the tour of Little House on the Prairie and Broadway's The Little Mermaid.

Hampton's plays, musicals and translations have earned three Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, four Evening Standard awards and the New York Theatre Critics Circle Award while prizes for his film and television work include an Academy Award, two BAFTAs, a Writer's Guild of America Award, the Prix Italia, a Special Jury Award at the Cannes film festival, Hollywood Screenwriter of the Year 2007 and The Collateral Award at the Venice Film Festival for Best Literary Adaptation. He has written (with Don Black) the book and lyrics for two musicals — Dracula (2004) with music by Frank Wildhorn and Sunset Boulevard (1992) with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; and the libretto for two operas Appomattox (2007, San Francisco Opera House) and Waiting For The Barbarians (2005 Erfurt, Germany), both with music by Philip Glass.