“Rebecca,” the Broadway musical- in-storage that grows ever more expensive, has attracted the attention of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Based on a murder mystery by Daphne du Maurier, the musical has been buffeted by two postponements and attracted an assortment of characters worthy of their own drama.
At the center is Ben Sprecher, a New York producer hoping to score with this Austrian concoction of Sacher-Torte tunes and mammoth sets. The show has been produced in Europe with varying degrees of success.
“The SEC subpoenaed all of our files,” said Ronald Russo, a lawyer for Sprecher. “I have no concerns about this.”
The commission is trying to determine whether Sprecher misled a prospective investor, Larry Runsdorf, said Jeffrey Lichtman, a lawyer who has spoken with the regulator.
Lichtman represents the show’s former press representative, Marc Thibodeau, who is being sued by Sprecher for defamation and breach of contract.
Runsdorf decided not to invest $2.25 million in the show after receiving an anonymous e-mail saying “the walls are about to cave in” on the production. Thibodeau later admitted to having written the e-mail.
The SEC is investigating whether Sprecher “made misrepresentations to Larry Runsdorf, either by commission or omission,” Lichtman said. The producer, said Russo, is an innocent victim of fraud.
Sprecher and his producing partner, Louise Forlenza, have been short a few million every time the show approaches a Times Square opening.