Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

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Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  TheMaskedLion on Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:30 am

I have recently discovered this story, and the musical. Mrs Danvers is by far one of the most interesting women I have ever read about!

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  Scorp on Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:17 pm

Haven't read the book though I do keep meaning to and I want to see the Hitchcock film one day.

The Kunze/Levay musical was being advertised EVERYWHERE in Vienna when I was there back in '06. I didn't see it (though I did go to the theatre to pay a pilgrimage to where the Vienna Phantom finished its run, it's a lovely-looking theatre), and I can't say I regret not seeing it. The title song is nice, but I can't stand Uwe Kröger in frankly anything (I've been told he's good in Elisabeth, but knowing nothing of that musical, I can't judge) and worst of all Kunze's lyrics are......well, worse than even Glen Slater's for that song in Love Never Dies. Simply awful. "Ich kann Cookies backen und gewinn bei Bridge"? "Wir sind Britisch, wir sind stolz, wir sind aus ganz besonderem Holz"? Is that even funny to Austrians? Just no. Quite possibly the worst lyric-writing I've ever seen in a professional musical, and that's saying something. If it's true that Christopher Hampton is translating the lyrics and book for a Broadway production of this, he's got a héll of a lot of work on his hands.

As for the score...eh, it's nice but overall too Euro-poppy. The title song is nice but it's reprised so often it makes you wonder if ALW wrote it.

I'm very sceptical of Kunze's work generally. What he claims to be his own invention, the so-called "Dramamusical", is really nothing but a copycat attempt at what Tim Rice and ALW did with Evita. I don't find it a coincidence that so many of his shows are about the life story of some historical figure.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  ML6 on Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:32 pm

My views on Rebecca:

I read the book before the musical came out. Personally, I don't care for a good portion of the lyrics, but some of them I love. And I think they fit the characters quite well: Zeit in Eine Flasche - A Bottle Full of Memories is a lovely song for Ich ; Gott Warum - God, Why is an amazing song for Maxim ; Rebecca is an amazing song for Mrs. Danvers ; and Ich Habt Vier Traumt Das Manderley is a wonderful company song. Otherwise, I don't listen to the 'live' album or the 'two disc' that much. Just the concept recording and the demo.

As for Scorp pointed out, Uwe is a hit or a miss in the his roles. Personally, my favorite role (and the only role he's done good in) is Elisabeth, but for Maxim - I think he conveys the emotion (angry, upset, dark and broody) quite well, as for the singing ... not so much. I would have preferred someone with a deeper voice, and not so 'high'. I'd love Thomas Borchert in the role, but I doubt that'd ever happen.

Christopher Hampton and Kunze are supposed to 'present' their lyrics to the West End again, because they keep deciding if they want it over there. I know that the family of Du Maurier REALLY wants the show, and finds it quite lovely. (I was even told once that Webber wanted the rights to it, but they turned him down.) But I agree with Scorp that it will be difficult, and I think the overall product will sound a bit like Sunset's lyrics. Not exactly good, and not exactly bad either.

Otherwise, the set pieces were pretty awesome. (I can't say much for the Wir Sind British set, because that whole scene is GASTLY and not really mentioned in the book). I think they made better use of the projecter scenes (like the Woman in White) quite well. And the special effects are amazing - the whole mansion engulfed in fire and the 'lighting of Mrs. Danvers on fire'. I don't know how they'll do a lot of that on Broadway since there would be lawsuits up the wall for that kind of stuff if someone got hurt.

So, in the end, do I love it as much as Elisabeth? No. But do I hate it? No. I think that it's a nice show, but it needs a lot of work.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  Paula74 on Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:42 pm

Plans are in place for a New York reading sometime next month with Sierra Boggess as I, Hugh Panaro as Max, and Carolee Carmello as Mrs. Danvers.

Should be interesting to see how it goes.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  ML6 on Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:57 pm

Why the hell is Hugh Panaro doing a reading for Maxim? He's FAR too YOUNG. And Sierra Boggess as "I"? No. She's far too pretty looking. Maxim is supposed to be in his 40's ; "I" is supposed to be 19 or 20 and PLAINLY which is why her whole character is dumbfounded that a rich, handsome, older man like Maxim de Winter would fall for her. Duh! Rolling Eyes

I only pray they don't get attached to the roles. The only one that seems good for the reading is Carolee and if she gets it, that's *amazing*!

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  Riene on Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:16 pm

I've read the book many times--had no idea this had been made into a musical! Does anyone know if it will be touring?

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  operafantomet on Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:53 pm

ML6 wrote:Why the hell is Hugh Panaro doing a reading for Maxim? He's FAR too YOUNG. And Sierra Boggess as "I"? No. She's far too pretty looking. Maxim is supposed to be in his 40's ; "I" is supposed to be 19 or 20 and PLAINLY which is why her whole character is dumbfounded that a rich, handsome, older man like Maxim de Winter would fall for her. Duh! Rolling Eyes

I only pray they don't get attached to the roles. The only one that seems good for the reading is Carolee and if she gets it, that's *amazing*!
I agree about Sierra Boggess - she can definitely come across as a young lady, but plain she is NOT. But Hugh Panaro... he may look rather young, but is he really far too young for the role? He IS in his 40's, isn't he? And he might have a slightly androgyne appearance on stage, but he doesn't come across as a youngster, I think.

Riene, I think it's too early to tell whether the production will tour or not. This first stage is only a reading, not a full-scale production.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  Paula74 on Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:03 pm

I agree...definitely too early really say if it'll ever tour. That would be very largely dependent on the success of a Broadway or West End production first.

I have to admit I really haven't heard a lot of the musical because German has just always been a difficult language for me. I've liked the bits and pieces I've heard, but not enough to really say if I like the musical as a whole. But I've always liked the book and the film with Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier (though I have some quibbles with that version)...so I'm definitely curious about the workshop.

As for Hugh...it feels a bit strange to say it, but he's closer to 50 than to 40 now. He'll be 47 in a week and he does age really well on stage. Back when he did Les Miserables, I expected to see him in make-up as old Valjean, but even expecting it, there was a real sense of shock actually seeing him so old.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  ML6 on Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:37 pm

Paula74 wrote:I agree...definitely too early really say if it'll ever tour. That would be very largely dependent on the success of a Broadway or West End production first.

I have to admit I really haven't heard a lot of the musical because German has just always been a difficult language for me. I've liked the bits and pieces I've heard, but not enough to really say if I like the musical as a whole. But I've always liked the book and the film with Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier (though I have some quibbles with that version)...so I'm definitely curious about the workshop.

As for Hugh...it feels a bit strange to say it, but he's closer to 50 than to 40 now. He'll be 47 in a week and he does age really well on stage. Back when he did Les Miserables, I expected to see him in make-up as old Valjean, but even expecting it, there was a real sense of shock actually seeing him so old.

Really? I hope they add a bit of age with him with make-up, then. He has such a boyish looking face that it just jumps at me that he's playing the role.

The English Demo is pretty good. I wonder how much they'll be changing from that. I too have quibbles with the movie. I hate Lawrence Oliver, he is such an ass. Esp. how he treated Joan Fontaine.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  Scorp on Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:46 am

Riedel says this is going straight to Broadway because the Shaftesbury in London can't stage it. He also mistakenly says Sierra will star in the "title role"...which does not exist in Rebecca, as far as I'm aware. Razz

AS long as we're on the subject of London, here's a strange fact: The Thames isn't confined to its banks.
The ancient river seeps all over the city -- as the producers of the upcoming musical "Rebecca" discovered to their dismay a few weeks ago.
To make room for the grand staircase of Manderley, the producers dug a hole under the stage of the Shaftsbury Theatre.
But the hole, says producer Ben Sprecher, "immediately filled up with water; apparently, we struck a hidden artery of the Thames."
As a result, Sprecher's scrapped plans for a London production; "Rebecca" will go straight to Broadway next year.
Michael Blakemore will direct the $16 million show, which will star Sierra Boggess -- of "The Little Mermaid," whose tail would have come in handy at the Shaftsbury -- in the title role.
Sprecher's looking for a theater in New York, a theater under which, he hopes, the Hudson doesn't flow.


http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/the_knightley_news_hour_1TxYa981rQ55P1RcKM12NK#ixzz1E76AUJYj

Unless there's some major MAJOR reworking, I reckon this show will sink on Broadway.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  operafantomet on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:17 pm

I think the whole sung-through euro-popera-musical genre is dead. And I think it died in the 80s. There's still lots of musicals in this style written in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway and such, but I don't see a future for the style. They all consists of a heavy storyline, often based on a famous novel, or a famous person, with a sung-through score, and just too much to tell in a short span.

As much as I love the genre (most of my favourite musicals are within this genre) - please. No more. They're giving musicals a bad name. OK, there are decent exceptions like "Elisabeth" and "Tanz der Vampire" (though they're certainly not perfect). But all the other are just so.... dull. Dull scores, dull storytelling, dull characters. I suffered through "Sophie's World - the musical" and "Vincent van Gogh - the musical", and although I see what they aim for, and although there are good moments, they more than anything made me realize why some people hate musicals. Done the wrong way, it's a bore. Like, Sleep

Why I write this here? Well, I think Rebecca (Austrian original) is of the same style. I don't know whether to blame Kunze or just a general mid-European way of writing musicals, or Uwe Kröger, but I'm not too thrilled about it. As for Tanz der Vampire, I like the scenography more than the actual musical. I assume heavy re-writings have been done/will be done for the Broadway production, but I'm really curious on whether they'll get past that first reading... Panaro/Boggess or not.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  ML6 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:29 pm

operafantomet wrote:I think the whole sung-through euro-popera-musical genre is dead. And I think it died in the 80s. There's still lots of musicals in this style written in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway and such, but I don't see a future for the style. They all consists of a heavy storyline, often based on a famous novel, or a famous person, with a sung-through score, and just too much to tell in a short span.

Why I write this here? Well, I think Rebecca (Austrian original) is of the same style. I don't know whether to blame Kunze or just a general mid-European way of writing musicals, or Uwe Kröger, but I'm not too thrilled about it. As for Tanz der Vampire, I like the scenography more than the actual musical. I assume heavy re-writings have been done/will be done for the Broadway production, but I'm really curious on whether they'll get past that first reading... Panaro/Boggess or not.

I have to agree with this. Unfortunately, Kunze won't drop it because of his epic success with Elisabeth. Elisabeth opened in 1991, and so far, and it's the response to Phantom (in terms of cast albums, money made, productions, etc.). I think Kunze is starting to realize this now, due to Marie Antoinette flopping in Vienna.

The problem with Rebecca is that there aren't many stand alone songs. Like Elisabeth had with Ich Geheor Nur Mir, Die Letzte Tanz, Die Schatten Werden Laenger, Boote in Der Nacht, etc. Most of them didn't have to tell a story to get by. They were songs that represented a character just by their feelings without making direct references to the situation. Rebecca, on the other hand, has a whole truckload of that. I can't see someone singing any of the songs for Rebecca outside the context of the actual piece.

As for Uwe, I really wouldn't blame him. On the whole, he's a really nice guy, just ego-centric because of his 90's career. And that's really it. The shows really don't mean anything with or without him. Except Elisabeth, because I think his role of Der Tod is equal to that of Crawford as The Phantom.

In a nut-shell, I like Rebecca, just not as much as I like Elisabeth. I have hope for Rebecca, far more hope than I had for the English version of Tanz der Vampire.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  Paula74 on Wed May 30, 2012 7:52 pm

Nothing official has been announced, but there was supposedly a press conference recently to announce the new leads. Not sure when an actual public announcement is coming, but word is the cast will be...

Helen Rosemund - "I"
Sean MacLaughlin - Maxim de Winter
Karen Mason - Mrs. Danvers
Howard McGillin - Frank Crawley
James Barbour - Jack Favell

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  TheFinnishPhantom on Wed May 30, 2012 8:25 pm

Apparently they're adding new songs and "sharpening up" the plot. When do they learn..? Rolling Eyes

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  ML6 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:13 pm

Personally, I'd rather have James Barbour as Maxim... but I can't wait to see him as a villain. BUT, Sean is good too! He deserves a strong character to create for a show.

Also, I hope the promotional stuff for this slays.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  Paula74 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:31 pm

There was some speculation that Sierra would be brought back into the project as "I" after all, but now there's a report (from the Daily Mail, I think) that she will take over the role of Fantine in London this summer.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  Scorp on Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:21 pm

Looks like the principals will be two very pretty people, Jill Paice and Ryan Silverman: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/167265-Rebeccas-Estate-Will-Be-Inhabited-by-Jill-Paice-and-Ryan-Silverman

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  LadyCDaae on Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:09 pm

Isn't Maxim supposed to be older and, well, not so conventionally attractive? Maybe I'm just biased from the Charles Dance version...

~LCD

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

Post  ML6 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:04 am

LadyCDaae wrote:Isn't Maxim supposed to be older and, well, not so conventionally attractive? Maybe I'm just biased from the Charles Dance version...

~LCD

No, you are correct. He IS supposed to be older. To be honest, I would prefer they ship Thomas Borchert over from Europe to play Maxim. He's my Maxim, voice and acting.

I've given up hope on people trying to cast Ich/I. Sad Everyone is always going to be too pretty in my eyes.

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Re: Rebecca (Story, Films and Musical)

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