Audiences hoping to finally catch the delayed Broadway musical Rebecca are going to have to keep waiting. The show has postponed its Broadway run indefinitely due to reports of accused harassment by unnamed parties that may have scared off a potential investor.
Lead producers Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza announced the production has been firmly delayed again after they were unable to raise the remaining $4.5 million needed to finance the show, the sum of which had been lost after the death of an investor this summer. The producers now claim to had found investors to replace the money that would have originally been contributed by the late Paul Abrams and three of his collegues. The potential new investors were however scared off by "malicious emails."
According to a press release sent out by the show's publicity team, "On Friday September 24 at approximately 1PM, Sprecher and Forlenza were informed that an extremely malicious e-mail, filled with lies and innuendo, had been sent directly to the new investor that morning from an anonymous third party. The e-mail was designed to scare this investor away and it succeeded. The investor withdrew."
In a statement Sprecher added, "Why anyone would be so hateful and cruel and would go to such a huge amount of effort to uncover confidential information, including the details of a private transaction and the identities of an individual and his attorneys, and send such an e-mail with the goal of being to shut down a production that involves the jobs of over a hundred people and their families, is something I am having a terrible time grasping. This is devastating for everyone involved in this wonderful and unique production. All that we have ever wanted to do is put on this amazing show."
Sprecher is still holding out hope for the show's future however. "We will not stop our efforts to mount this show and alternatives are already unfolding," his statement also read. "We have provided a copy of this e-mail to the proper authorities and a criminal investigation is under way."
Rebecca's troubles began in January when the show was forced to delay its planned opening of April 22 at the Broadhurst Theatre. The delay then caused original stars Sierra Bogges and Tam Mutu to depart the production. When funds were later recovered the show planned to begin previews October 30 and open on November 18, and Jill Paice and Ryan Sailverman were then named as the new leads . After Abrams' death the show was delayed again with no exact new dates announced. Rehearsals however had been scheduled to begin October 1.
The Shubert Organization, owners of the Broadhurst Theatre, said in a statement that they were "sorry to learn of the postponement of Rebecca" and "wish Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza success in bringing this show to Broadway in the future.”
Rebecca features an original book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, English book adaptation by Christopher Hampton and English lyrics by Hampton and Kunze. Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello serve as co-directors. Rebecca is the story of Maxim de Winter (Silverman), his new wife (Paice) and Mrs. Danvers, the controlling and manipulative housekeeper of Maxim’s West Country estate of Manderley. Upon moving into the grand house, the new Mrs. de Winter realizes the memory of Maxim's first wife, the glamorous and mysterious Rebecca, still casts a shadow.
The cast was also set to feature James Barbour as Jack Favel, Karen Mason as Mrs. Danvers, John Dossett as Frank Crowley, Donna English as Beatrice de Winter, Henry Stram as Ben and Nick Wyman as Giles.
To watch a promo video of the musical (including the famous burning staircase!) featuring footage from an international production, click below!