Thursday, May 23, 2024

“Rebecca,” A Musical No One Should Have to Hear


Great story in the New York Times: Broadway producer Ben Sprecher is still looking for $4.5 million to put his musical, “Rebecca,” on Broadway. It turns out his major backer disappeared, if he ever existed at all. Sprecher never met or spoke to the man; now it’s likely he never existed. It sounds like “The Producers.”

Well, remember, I actually saw a backers audition version of “Rebecca” about a year ago at Merkin Hall. It was dreadful. I’d gone as the guest of a possible major backer who, luckily, decided to stay out of the show after that afternoon.

“Rebecca” was like a bad Andrew Lloyd Webber fiasco. Maudlin, overstuffed, with anonymous terrible songs and a script that was contrived and unbelievable, “Rebecca” was at least polished. But it was also shrink wrapped. It reminded all of us of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” or “Jekyll and Hyde.” Those are not good memories.

The highlight of the afternoon was Carolee Carmelo, who has since go on to better things. If Sprecher is smart, he’ll cut his losses now. No one should invest in “Rebecca” unless they need to take a loss on their taxes. It’s just as well the mystery backer is gone.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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