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'Rebecca' on Broadway mired in confusion, apparently canceled

October 01, 2012|By David Ng
  • A roller-coaster ride at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park.
A roller-coaster ride at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

In recent weeks, the planned Broadway production of the musical "Rebecca" has turned into a roller-coaster ride of uncertainty. Is it on or is it off? The answer to that question seems to depend on which day of the week it is.

"Rebecca," based on the popular Daphne Du Maurier novel, was supposed to have its Broadway debut this fall at the Broadhurst Theatre. (The musical has already played in Austria and Germany, as well as other European countries.) But on Sunday, organizers officially pulled the plug on the production. The cancellation -- or is it a postponement? -- is the latest development in a confusing series of events to have visited the troubled production.

The musical made headlines in early September when organizers called off the show after one of its main producers was reported to have died. (The New York Times later cast doubt on the existence of the producer.) In September, the show was reportedly back on, with new investors in the wings.

Last week, it appeared the show was in trouble again, with investors reportedly pulling out. On Sunday, word came that producers have canceled the musical after a major investor apparently withdrew financial support for the show.  

"Rebecca" had a rather strange directorial arrangement with two prominent helmers attached to the show. Francesca Zambello was set to direct the musical with the assistance of Michael Blakemore. 

The musical was written by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay, and was first performed in German; the English translation of the show is by playwright Christopher Hampton. 

"Rebecca" had been initially slated for Broadway for the 2011-12 season, but the production was postponed due to financial issues. The musical had its world premiere in Vienna in 2006.

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