Producers Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza have lost the Broadway producing rights to the oft-delayed, scandal-plagued musical Rebecca. The information was revealed during the opening arguments of a New York State Supreme Court trial that pits Sprecher and Forlenza against the production's former publicist.
"By the end of last year, they had lost the rights to Rebecca and will not be bringing it to Broadway," attorney Erik S. Groothius told the jury. Groothius also stated that because of this, the producers are on the hook for $5.5 million, which they owe their investors.
The beleaguered production was set to open at the Broadhurst Theatre at various points throughout 2012. The frequent postponements resulted from a lack of funding as well as an outlandish scheme involving fake investors, deaths from malaria, an untrustworthy middleman who was convicted of fraud, and a Broadway publicist who warned potential investors about the production.
The Broadway production was to be codirected by Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello. The musical features an original book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, an English book adaptation by Christopher Hampton, and English lyrics by Hampton and Kunze. The creative team was set to include Graciela Daniele (musical staging), Peter J. Davidson (scenic design), Jane Greenwood (costume design), Mark McCullough (lighting design), Peter Fitzgerald (sound design), Tom Watson (hair and wig design), Gregory Meeh (special effects), Sven Ortel (projections), and Kevin Stites (musical direction and supervision).
Jill Paice (Matilda The Musical) and Ryan Silverman (Chicago) were set to lead the cast had been announced to star as "I" and Maxim de Winter, respectively. The principal company was also to include Karen Mason, Howard McGillin, James Barbour, Donna English, Nick Wyman, and Henry Stram.
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