Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay's Rebecca made its long-awaited English-language premiere with an official opening September 18 after beginning previews September 4 at London's Charing Cross Theatre, and the reviews are coming in. The German musical based on the Daphne Du Maurier novel will continue through November 18.
The production stars Richard Carson as Maxim de Winter, Lauren Jones as Second Mrs. de Winter, and Kara Lane as Mrs. Danvers. The cast also includes Alex James-Ward, Piers Bate, Sarah Harlington, David Breeds, Shirley Jameson, Neil Moors, Nicholas Lumley, Nigel-Joseph Francis, Elliot Swann, Scott McClure, Emily Apps, Melanie Bright, Gail MacKinnon, Tarisha Rommick, James Mateo-Salt, and Rosie Glossop. Casting is by Stephen Crockett of Grindrod Burton Casting.
Rebecca follows the wealthy Maxim De Winter as he brings his naïve new wife home, to the dismay of housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who is loyal to Maxim's first wife Rebecca. The musical features a book and lyrics by Kunze and music and orchestrations by Levay. The London production is using the English book adaptation by Christopher Hampton (Sunset Boulevard), with English lyrics co-written by Hampton and Kunze.
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The U.K. premiere follows a planned 2012 Broadway bow that was thwarted by an international fraud scheme. Producer Ben Sprecher had been planning English-language productions of the musical as early as 2009, with Broadway favorite Sierra Boggess attached to star. Main Stem bows were announced and later canceled twice in 2012, the latter instance following the "sudden death" of a major investor. As it turned out, that investor never actually existed, the creation of now-convicted fraudster Mark Hotton. Sprecher, who in unrelated charges was arrested in 2019 for downloading and sharing child pornography, is not involved with the London premiere.
Director Alejandro Bonatto leads a new creative team for the Charing Cross run, including choreographer Ron Howell, musical director Robert Scott, production designer Nicky Shaw, lighting designer David Seldes, projection designer Matt Powell, and sound designer Andy Johnson. Casting is by David Grindrod. Charing Cross Managing Director Steven M. Levy is producing for Charing Cross Theatre Productions Limited.