Job number one for a publicist: Never become part of the story. Alas Marc Thibodeau, the respected veteran flack of such shows as “The Phantom of the Opera,” is now being sued by his former client Ben Sprecher. The lead producer of “Rebecca” maintains that Thibodeau was part of the debacle that occurred when the $12 million Broadway musical was scuttled because of a byzantine fraud. That fraud was allegedly initiated by Mark C. Hotton, a Long Island businessman who had been paid a commission by Sprecher to deliver $4.5 million in investment funds for the musical. It appears that Hotton, who is now facing federal fraud charges, concocted fictitious investors, a scheme unveiled when he sent one of them to an “early death” from malaria. Now Sprecher’s lawyers have filed a suit charging defamation and breach of contract against Thibodeau, the show’s former publicist. (more…)
PLAY BY PLAY: Patrick Pacheco's inside look at the world of theater, and the crazy people who inhabit it
Posts Tagged ‘“Rebecca”’
If the producers of “Rebecca,” who are the victims of one of the most mystifying frauds in Broadway history, do not manage to open the epic musical on Broadway by the end of this year, they will be facing serious financial obligations to the tune of $7 million. “Securities law on theater investments state very clearly that they will have to pay back their investors if the show does not happen very shortly,” said a Broadway producer who wished to remain anonymous. “I can’t believe that they would have proceeded without the actual funds from this clown.”
The bizarre machinations surrounding “Rebecca,” the musical version of the classic Daphne du Maurier tale which was to have opened this Fall, have taken yet another twist with the lead producers Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza announcing yet another postponement of the $12 million Broadway show due to what they called “an extremely malicious e-mail.” The anonymous missive apparently incited a new investor—one brought in to fill a $4.5 million gap caused by the sudden death last August of another backer—to withdraw his commitment. This on the very eve of an entire company ready to resume rehearsals and in the midst of a major Broadway house half-gutted to accommodate the massive scenery of the epic musical.
Some shows are snakebit. “Rebecca,” a musical based on the classic 1938 Daphne du Maurier novel, was originally supposed to open last March but had to postpone due to a shortfall in its $12 million budget. Re-scheduled to open this November, stage hands were two weeks into the massive job of making a home out of the Broadhurst Theater for the Broadway epic when they heard the news last Friday: All work was to be halted for a two-week hiatus as the producers tried to sort out yet another body blow.
Another ghost story will soon be haunting Broadway. The producers of “Rebecca” have confirmed that the $12 million musical, which had been postponed last month due to a lack of financing, will be opening at the Broadhurst Theatre on Sunday, November 18. The musical is based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel about a beautiful young woman who must compete with the ghost of her husband’s former wife, the mysterious and alluring Rebecca De Winter. The 1938 bestseller inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s Oscar-winning film classic starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier as the tortured British aristocrat and Lord of Manderley.
“Rebecca,” the $12 million musical that was originally to have opened on April 22, just prior to the Tony Award cut-off, is now slated to open this fall on Broadway. In a statement issued in January, just before rehearsals were to begin, the producer Ben Sprecher announced that the show – based on the Daphne du Maurier novel which in turn inspired the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film classic – would not be a part of this season due to insufficient capitalization. That statement led to speculation that the expensive musical would never resurface, like the $12 million revival of “Funny Girl,” which was also removed from this season’s roster.