Rebecca Finds Funds to Haunt Broadway this Season
In one of the most epic showdowns of financial issues for a show in recent years on Broadway, it seems the saga continued heading into the weekend right as rehearsals for the financially strapped Rebecca are slated to begin Monday. Rebecca the Musical, originally slated for the 2011-2012 Broadway season, cancelled last year due to major financial mishaps and then once again found itself in the same trouble come this season. This time they only delayed the start to the production by two weeks due to the death of a major investor responsible for over 1/3 of the shows budget. However, it seems as though Rebecca‘s producers have gotten their act together and pulled together the money they need to make Manderley come to life on Broadway.
Lead producer Ben Sprecher announced on Friday that he had secured new financial commitments from various investors to help fill the $4.5 million dollar hole left by the death of an investor in late August. While he did confirm the final agreements are awaiting signatures, he declined to produce the names of those who are now supposedly attached to the production. Those papers have reportedly been sent to the new investors and the transfer of money is expected within the next few days. There is also the strong possibility that Mr. Sprecher is placing his own money into the production and is not choosing to make that public at this time.
For the time being, Sprecher has promised to begin paying cast members come Monday and announcing that he hopes rehearsals would start this week. Sprecher does not plan to begin rehearsals until all the money is in the bank. Of course with this delay comes also the delay of previews and opening, which were originally scheduled for October 30th and November 18th. Sprecher commented, “I have confidence in the artistry and cast, but I can’t put into words how stressful it’s been to put the money in place.”
While Sprecher has declined to recognize the investor who died in August, Luner on Theatre has learned the name of that investor is Paul Abrams. Abrams had planned to place $2 million dollars of his own money into the production and raise another $2.5. Many have thrown around the idea that Mr. Abrams was never indeed a real investor in the production and Rebecca was still looming from its financial mistakes last season. When asked about this, Sprecher responded with, “You’ll have to go and get that information somewhere else.”
However, despite all the drama of a supposed investor, cast members and the Shubert Organization are remaining hopeful about the promise of Rebecca on Broadway. Nick Wyman, a cast member and the President of Actor’s Equity Association released the following statement;
“Ben has been far more forthcoming than most producers are, keeping us in the loop about the status of the show, and I have no reason to doubt him when he says he has the financial commitments in place. I think the trump card in Ben’s favor, too, is that the Shubert Organization is supporting him here. The Shubert leaders wouldn’t let themselves be strung along; if they thought Ben was blowing smoke, they would not hold a prime theater for him.”
Rebecca the Musical features a original book and lyrics by Michael Kunze with music by Sylvester Levay. The musical comes based of the novel written by Daphne Du Maurier which was later turned into an Oscar Award winning film by Alfred Hitchcock. Rebecca the Musical premiered in Vienna in 2006 where it played to sold out houses for over three years. Many other productions has been produced across Europe and in Tokyo as well. It looks like for now, Broadway is next.
Rebecca the Musical will make its Broadway debut in Fall 2012 at The Broadhurst Theatre on 44th street in New York City. Let’s hope that all these final financial committments come through for Ben Sprecher so Rebecca the Musical can start haunting Broadway and stop haunting itself. For more information, check out Rebecca the Musical’s Official Broadway Website. Be sure to check Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know!