Rebecca's Manderley Will Rise This Fall at the Broadhurst; Lead Casting Yet to Be Revealed
By Kenneth Jones
Rebecca, the musical based on the classic novel by Daphne du Maurier, about mysterious doings in an English estate called Manderley, will begin Broadway previews on Oct. 20 at the Broadhurst Theatre, the producers announced on May 3. Opening night will be Nov. 18.
The show had been previously announced for the 2011-12 season, but capitalization for the romantic thriller stalled, prompting a postponement.
No casting has been announced for the role of romantic leads "I" or Maxim de Winter. Sierra Boggess was previously announced to play the narrator-wife, but she has since been announced for the new musical Prince of Broadway, which recently had its own financing hiccup, but will also launch in 2012-13. Tam Mutu was previously announced as Maxim, but the role is not officially cast as of May 3.
The cast of Rebecca will feature the previously announced Karen Mason (Sunset Boulevard, Mamma Mia!) as Mrs. Danvers, two-time Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin (The Phantom of the Opera) as Frank Crawley, James Barbour (Beauty and the Beast, A Tale of Two Cities) as Jack Favell, Donna English (Lend Me a Tenor) as Beatrice de Winter, Nick Wyman (Les Miserables) as Giles and Henry Stram as Ben.
The Broadhurst is currently home to the limited engagement of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Rebecca is produced by Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza; with The Shubert Organization, DC Tours Pty Ltd, Manderley Partners, Julian Spencer, Paul Abrams, Tony Fusco, Nanda Anand, Peter Bogyo, Peter Bezemes and Dennis Grimaldi, in association with David Mirvish, Stage Entertainment and Larry Feinman and by special arrangement with Vereinigte Bühnen Wien GmbH. The executive producer is Marshall B. Purdy.
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 (The 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 Meeh and projections by Sven Ortel. Musical direction and supervision is by Kevin Stites.
According to the producers, "Rebecca is the story of Maxim de Winter, his new wife (known only as 'I') 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," 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."
Rebecca had its world premiere in 2006 by Vereinigte Buhnen Wien at the Raimund Theater in Vienna, where it played 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.
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