×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway stumble for ‘Rebecca’

Musical cancels spring opening amid fund-raising problem

Broadway-bound tuner “Rebecca” has hit another roadblock, with producers, unable to raise funds in time, pulling the plug on an upcoming spring bow at the Broadhurst Theater.

Lead producer Ben Sprecher, who had raised 80% of the $12 million capitalization costs, vowed to get the show on the Rialto next season. The musical had been set to begin rehearsals in two weeks ahead of a March 27 start for previews.

“‘Rebecca’ is a grand and spectacular musical requiring substantial capitalization, and it’s no secret that in this very negative economic climate, raising money for Broadway has become even more difficult and laborious than it has historically always been,” Sprecher said in a statement.

The economy was similarly flagged as the reason another large-scale tuner, a revival of “Funny Girl,” fell through earlier this season. Some legiters take issue with such explanations, arguing instead that fund-raising troubles hit specific shows based on investor confidence in individual projects.

Overall, the tide of musicals hasn’t slowed this spring, with new tuners “Newsies,” “Once,” “Ghost” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It” set to open alongside revivals of “Evita” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”; “Porgy and Bess” recently opened.

“Rebecca” previously had targeted a West End bow, but that staging was scuttled due to complications involving a complex tech effect.

Based on the 1938 Daphne du Maurier novel about a woman seemingly haunted by the ghost of her new husband’s first wife, the musical version of “Rebecca” originally preemed in a 2006 German-language production from book writer-lyricist Michael Kunze and composer Sylvester Levay. Helmed by Francesca Zambello, the tuner ran in Vienna for more than three years and also spawned other incarnations in Europe and Asia.

New, English-language version of the show has a book by Christopher Hampton with English lyrics by Hampton and Kunze. Michael Blakemore joins Zambello as co-helmer, with Graciela Daniele on board for musical staging.

The spring production of “Rebecca” had lined up a cast of principals that included Sierra Boggess, Tam Mutu, Karen Mason, James Barbour and Howard McGillin.

“Rebecca” is produced by Sprecher, Louise Forlenza, the Shubert Org, David Mirvish/DC Tours, Nanda Anand and Peter Bogyo, among others.

Despite the quick turnaround required by the Tony eligibility cutoff of April 26, it’s looking likely another production can be found to fill in the vacancy at the Broadhurst, with a number of producers circling for an in-demand spot on the Rialto.

More Legit

  • CAROL CHANNING HERSCHFELD. Actress Carol Channing

    Remembering Carol Channing: A Master of Channeling the Power of Personality

    There was only one Carol Channing, and her outsize personality was a source of delight to many fans — and imitators. Gerard Alessandrini’s stage spoof “Forbidden Broadway” had many incarnations over the years, including the 1994 edition when an audience member was selected every evening to come onstage and impersonate Carol Channing with the cast. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Celebrities Remembering Carol Channing

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bernadette Peters are among the slew of celebrities taking to Twitter to pay tribute to late singer, comedienne and actress Carol Channing. Known for her starring roles in Broadway’s “Hello Dolly!” and “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” the legend of the stage and screen died Tuesday at her home in Rancho Mirage, [...]

  • What the Constitution Means to Me

    Listen: How Things Got Scary in 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    For a decade, writer-performer Heidi Schreck had wanted to write a play inspired by her experiences as a teen debater. But over the years the show started to develop into something both urgently political and deeply personal — and things got scary. In the Broadway-bound “What the Constitution Means to Me,” Schreck reimagines her speech-and-debate [...]

  • Carol Channing Dead

    Carol Channing, Star of Broadway's 'Hello, Dolly!' and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,' Dies at 97

    Larger-than-life musical stage personality Carol Channing, who immortalized the characters of Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello, Dolly!,” has died. She was 97. Channing died Tuesday of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Her publicist B. Harlan Boll confirmed the news. He wrote, “It is with [...]

  • 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    'What the Constitution Means to Me' Transfers to Broadway

    “What the Constitution Means to Me,” a buzzy Off-Broadway production that counts Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem among its fans, is making the move uptown. The play will come to Broadway this spring for a 12-week limited run at the Helen Hayes Theater. “What the Constitution Means to Me” is one part civics lesson, one [...]

  • Choir Boy review

    Broadway Review: 'Choir Boy'

    Honestly, I was afraid that “Choir Boy” — the sweetly exuberant account of a gifted prep school boy’s coming of age, written by “Moonlight” Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney — would be swallowed up in a Broadway house, after winning us over in an Off Broadway staging in 2013.  But aside from the odd set [...]

  • Jason Robert Brown

    Listen: How Ariana Grande Got Jason Robert Brown to Madison Square Garden

    Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown never expected to find himself performing onstage at Madison Square Garden. But he did — thanks to his pal Ariana Grande. Brown met Grande before she was a superstar, when she was in the 2008 Broadway cast of his teen musical “13.” The two have kept in touch ever since [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content