Broadway-Bound Musical Rebecca Delayed, Again, Due to Death of Major Investor

By Michael Gioia
and Kenneth Jones
September 8, 2012

Rebecca, the new musical based on the classic novel by Daphne du Maurier, has delayed the start of its rehearsals by two weeks due to the death of a key investor responsible for a $4.5 million investment pool in the production, producers announced Sept. 8.



"Since the tragic and sudden death of a major investor in early August, we have been working with the representatives of the estate to complete the committed investment," said lead producers Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza in a statement. "We had been reassured that the commitment would be honored, and have tried day and night to finalize this matter, but as of yet have been unable to do so, which has left us no choice but to delay the start of rehearsals for Rebecca by two weeks. We are fiercely committed to resolving this issue as soon as possible and getting the production back on track in two weeks." 

The musical, which was originally scheduled for the 2011-12 Broadway season with Sierra Boggess and Tam Mutu as its stars, was initially postponed in January 2012 due to incomplete capitalization.

The production was rescheduled — with Jill Paice and Ryan Silverman as its new leading players, "I" and her husband, Maxim de Winter, respectively — to begin rehearsals Sept. 10 with a Nov. 18 opening at the Broadhurst Theatre. Previews were scheduled to begin Oct. 30.

Rebecca will now begin Sept. 24 with a first preview and opening night date to be announced.

As previously announced, Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore (Noises Off, Copenhagen, City of Angels) and Francesca Zambello (The Little Mermaid, Little House on the Prairie) co-direct.

The musical has 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.

The Broadway production marks the English-language premiere of the show, and includes storytelling amendments and new staging since its popular engagements in Europe.

Multiple Tony-nominated director-choreographer Graciela Daniele (Once On This Island, Ragtime) will create the musical staging for the Broadway production.

Here's how producers bill the show: Rebecca is a spectacular 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 [known only as '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."

The principal cast of Rebecca will feature 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 Misérables) as Giles and Henry Stram (1996 Obie winner, Broadway's Titanic) as Ben. The ensemble will be announced.

Scenic design is by Peter J. Davidson, costumes are by Jane Greenwood, lighting is by Mark McCullough, sound is by Peter Fitzgerald, hair and wig design is by Tom Watson, make-up design is by Ashley Ryan, special effects are by Gregory Meeh and projections are by Sven Ortel. Musical direction and supervision are by Kevin Stites.

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

For more information, visit RebeccaTheMusical.com.

Here's a look at the German company: