REBECCA Producer Denies Fake Investor & New Production Being Developed
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by BWW News Desk
As BroadwayWorld reported on Sunday, Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza, producers for Rebecca, the Musical, announced that they were left with no option but to postpone the show. According to a statement from the producers, "After Paul Abrams, a major investor, passed away in London, on August 5th, 2012, and who, with three other colleagues, represented the last portion of $4.5 million of the full capitalization for the production, The Shubert Organization generously granted a delay and rehearsals were postponed for several weeks. Sprecher and Forlenza had subsequently managed to virtually fill in the missing gap during the last three weeks, primarily from a new investor, their own funds and an additional commitment from an investor who had already made a substantial investment.
On Friday, September 28th, 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."
Now according to the New York Times on Tuesday, October 2, the United States attorney's office is investigating whether the investor, Paul Abrams, ever existed in the first place. Sprecher told NYT: "I never made up or fabricated any investor, and I never made up Paul Abrams." He also revealed that a new production of Rebecca is in the works that he 'hoped to mount soon, on Broadway or elsewhere.'
REBECCA, the new musical based on the classic novel by Daphne Du Maurier novel, previously delayed the start of its rehearsals by two weeks due reportedly to the death of a key investor responsible for a $4.5 million investment pool in the production. REBECCA was scheduled to begin rehearsals Monday, September 10 prior to an October 30 first preview and November 18 premiere at the Broadhurst Theatre.