Producers Ben Sprecher, Louise Forlenza, The Shubert Organization, Peter Bezemes, Tony Fusco, Larry Feinman, Nanda Anand and Peter Bogyo by special arrangement with/and based on the Vereinigte Buhnen Wien GmbH production, announced that the new musical REBECCA, based on the classic novel by Daphne Du Maurier novel, will open on Broadway Sunday, April 22 at The Broadhurst Theatre (235 West 44th Street). Previews will begin Tuesday, March 27. Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid, Love Never Dies, Master Class and as Christine in last month's 25th Anniversary Concert of The Phantom of the Opera in London) will play the lead role of "I". Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
REBECCA features original book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, English book adaptation by two-time Tony Award winner Christopher Hampton (Sunset Boulevard), English lyrics by Hampton and Kunze, and direction by Tony Award-winner Michael Blakemore (Kiss Me, Kate; City of Angeles; Noises Off) and Francesca Zambello (Little Mermaid). Multiple Tony-nominated director/choreographer Graciela Daniele (Ragtime) will create the musical staging for the show. Scenic design is by Peter J. Davidson, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting by Mark McCullough, special effects by Gregory Meeh and projections by Sven Ortel. Musical direction and supervision is by Kevin Stites.
Based on the classic Daphne Du Maurier novel (and later turned into an Oscar-winning film by Alfred Hitchcock), REBECCA is the story of Maxim de Winter, his new wife ("I") and Mrs. Danvers, the controlling and manipulative housekeeper of Maxim's West Country estate of Manderley - where the memory of his first wife, the glamorous and mysterious Rebecca, still casts a shadow.
REBECCA had its world premiere in 2006 at Vereinigte Buhnen Wien in Vienna, where it played to sold-out houses for more than three years. Vastly successful productions of REBECCA have also played Budapest, Hungary; Bucharest, Romania; Helsinki, Finland; Stuttgart, Germany; St. Gallen, Switzerland and at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo.
Sierra Boggess ("I") recently starred in London's West End in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies as Christine Daaé, a character which she also played in The Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas. She recently reprised that role in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Phantom at London's Royal Albert Hall. Sierra was last seen on Broadway in the MTC revival of Master Class. She also appeared on Broadway as the title character in Disney's The Little Mermaid and in the City Center Encores! production of Music in the Air. Concert appearances: BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series, New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and Broadway by the Year at Town Hall. Recordings: Symphonic recording of Love Never Dies and the original cast album for The Little Mermaid.
Michael Kunze (Original Book & Lyrics) grew up in Munich, where he studied law, history and philosophy. In the late 1960s, he started to write pop songs, and soon became one of the best known songwriters of Germany. As a producer of first international acts, he hit the top of both the Billboard and Cashbox charts in the US and was the first German ever to win the coveted Grammy Award. At the top of his success, he wrote a book on the witch hunt, "Highroad to the Stake", that not only was awarded the 1981 Faculty Prize by the Munich University Law School, but also was translated into several languages. It was highly praised in a two-page review in the New York Times Book Review Supplement. Collaborating with Roman Polanski (director) and Jim Steinman (composer), Michael wrote his first English libretto and lyrics for the musical Dance of the Vampires. A German version opened in October 1997 at the Viennese Raimund Theatre to rave reviews and became an international hit. (He was not involved in the Broadway production of the musical). Michael's next hit was Mozart! (music by Sylvester Levay; director: Harry Kupfer) a show about Mozart‘s dramatic life. In 2006 his Rebecca premiered at Vienna‘s Raimund Theatre. It became the number one musical of 2007 (97 % average attendance, best musical poll of musicals magazine). Marie Antoinette, a musical dramatizing the events of the French Revolution, had a grand opening in Tokyo‘s most prestigious Imperial Theatre on November 1, 2006. Its European production premiered in 2009 at the Bremen Musical Theatre. His hit shows Elisabeth, Dance of the Vampires, Mozart!, Rebecca and Marie Antoinette have reached an audience of more than 20 million people in many countries. The worldwide box office gross of his works has passed the $1 billion mark. As a lyricist he has created more than 200 chart songs and was honoured with a Grammy and an Echo Lifetime Award. He also wrote several books. His musicals are regarded the foundation of a new genre of the contemporary popular musical theatre, called the Drama Musical. As an adaptor, he has been connected to the success of many international shows in the German-speaking countries, among them Follies, Evita, Cats, A Chorus Line, Phantom of the Opera, Company, Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Sunset Boulevard, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Lion King, Aida, Mamma Mia and Wicked. In addition to his Grammy, Michael holds an Echo Lifetime Award, 79 Gold and Platinum Records, 3 Golden Europe Awards, 2 Best Musicals Awards (Image 1996 and Image 1998), Musical Of The Year Award 2000 (Mozart!), 2001 (Elisabeth), 2003 (Dance Of The Vampires), 2007 (Rebecca). Michael is a member of GEMA, Deutsche Dramatiker Union and The Dramatists Guild, Inc. New York.