Theater News

Ben Sprecher Still Hoping to Bring Rebecca the Musical to Broadway

Post fraud-scheme, the producer gives it a fourth try.

Ben Sprecher won’t let Manderley burn.

The beleaguered producer is still hoping to bring the even more beleaguered Rebecca the Musical to Broadway, according to a report in The New York Times. His fourth attempt to produce the musical, which features a book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, and a translation by Christopher Hampton (Les Liaisons Dangereuses), could play out as early as this year.

“As a property, Rebecca is more valuable today than it was six months ago, through no fault of our own,” Sprecher told the Times‘ Patrick Healy. He extended his contractual rights to produce the show on Broadway through 2013, Healy reported, noting that an amendement to Sprecher’s original agreement with investors does not require him to refund their money – so long as he produces the show sometime in 2013.

Sprecher and his producing partner Louise Forlenza are still attempting to raise $4.5 million to produce the musical, the Times reported. That sum fell through after it had been revealed that it was tied up in an outlandish scheme involving fake investors, deaths from malaria, and an untrustworthy middleman.

Rebecca, based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, was originally set to open on Broadway in Spring 2012 and was postponed for lack of financing. Another opening was then set for November 2012, but was ultimately canceled under similar circumstances. An earlier London production similarly fell through.

Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore (Kiss Me, Kate) and Francesca Zambello (The Little Mermaid), were set to direct the show and are still expected to be attached to the project. Jill Paice (The 39 Steps), Ryan Silverman (Phantom of the Opera), Karen Mason (Hairspray), James Barbour (Assassins), Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin (Anything Goes), Donna English (Lend Me a Tenor), and Nick Wyman (Bullet for Adolf), were set to star in the most recent version.

Broadway’s dreams of Manderley might come true after all. For the complete synopsis of the show’s off-stage drama, check out #9 on our best of 2012 news stories list.