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 Angels; 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, sound by Peter Fitzgerald, hair & wig design by Tom Watson and special effects by Gregory Meeh and projections by Sven Ortel. Musical direction and supervision is by Kevin Stites.
The cast of REBECCA will feature Karen Mason (Sunset Boulevard, Mamma Mia!) as Mrs. Danvers, two-time Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin (The Phantom of the Opera) as Frank Crawley, James Barbour (Beauty and the Beast, A Tale of Two Cities) as Jack Favell, Donna English (Lend Me A Tenor) as Beatrice de Winter, Nick Wyman (Les Miserables) as Giles and Henry Stram as Ben. Casting for the leading roles of “I” and Maxim de Winter will be announced in the coming weeks.
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.
KAREN MASON (Mrs. Danvers) most recently originated the role of The Queen of Hearts in the Broadway production of Wonderland. She originated the role of Tanya on Broadway in Abba's Mamma Mia! and was awarded a 2002 Drama Desk nomination as Best Actress. Her other leading roles include Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, which she performed to critical acclaim on Broadway and in Los Angeles for three years; Velma von Tussel in the final Broadway company of Hairspray; "Monotony" singer, Mazeppa in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway; Rosalie in Carnival ( Drama Desk nomination) and And the World Goes Round (Outer Critics Circle Award). Karen is a ten-time MAC Award winner and has won the MAC Award for Major Female Vocalist of the Year for six consecutive years. She has also won the 2006 Nightlife Award for Major Female Vocalist and has three Bistro Awards. Karen has headlined Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Feinstein's at The Regency, Rainbow & Stars, the Algonquin, Arci's Place, The Supper Club and The Ballroom in NYC; The Cinegrill and the UCLA/ASCAP Concert Series in Los Angeles; The Plush Room in San Francisco; and Davenport's in Chicago. She has released several albums. (www.karenmason.com).
HOWARD McGILLIN (Frank Crowley) is best known for his record-setting performance in the title role in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Recent appearances include the premiere of the new musical It Shoulda Been You with Tyne Daly at The George Street Playhouse, and a successful solo run at the Algonquin’s fabled Oak Room. He appeared in last season’s Where’s Charley with Encores. Howard starred in the Stephen Sondheim/John Weidman musical Bounce directed by Harold Prince in its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and later in its Kennedy Center run in Washington, D.C., where his performance was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. Other leading roles on Broadway have included She Loves Me, The Kiss Of The Spider Woman, Anything Goes (for which he earned Tony and Drama Desk nominations), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Tony and Drama Desk nominations, Theatre World Award) and Sunday in the Park with George. On London’s West End, Howard starred in Mack and Mabel and in Anything Goes. He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his New York theatrical debut in the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of La Bohème. He has sung on concert stages around the world, from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center to the Israel Philharmonic Hall in Tel Aviv. Having recorded many audio books and narrated numerous episodes of Nature
for PBS, he has also provided voices for the animated feature films “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” and “The Swan Princess”. His solo CD “Howard McGillin: Where Time Stands Still” is available online at cdbaby.com.
JAMES BARBOUR (Jack Favell) most recently starred in the world premiere of Nightmare Alley at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. He has also starred on Broadway in A Tale Of Two Cities (Sydney Carton) for which he was nominated for Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for Best Actor, Carousel (Billy Bigelow), Jane Eyre (Rochester, Drama League Award Nomination), Beauty And The Beast (Beast), Urinetown (Lockstock), Assassins (Czolgosz), and Cyrano The Musical. He was part of the original national tour of The Secret Garden and starred as Lancelot in Camelot opposite Jeremy Irons (Hollywood Bowl) and Michael York (National Tour). He co-starred in Lewis And Clark Reach The Euphrates (Mark Taper Forum), the world premiere of 20th Century (Signature Theatre) and has appeared in many other regional and Off-Broadway productions including A Tale Of Two Cities at the Asolo Theatre, for which he won the Sarasota Magazine Award for Best Actor, Back From Broadway (which he also co-produced and for which he received an LA Weekly Garland Award) and he was nominated for an LA Ovation Award for The Ghost And Mrs. Muir at the NOHO Arts Center in Los Angeles. His voice can be heard on the recordings of A Gift Of Christmas, Jane Eyre, Assassins, A Tale Of Two Cities, Broadway In Concert, The Gift and the upcoming release of Frank Wildhorn’s Dracula. (www.jamesbarbour.com)
DONNA ENGLISH (Beatrice de Winter) has appeared on Broadway in Lend Me a Tenor and 1987. Off-Broadway creditsinclude Forbidden Broadway: SVU: Special Victims Unit, Taking a Chance on Love, Ruthless and Company. Additional New York and regional production credits include Princesses, Harold and Maude, The Sound of Music, O. Henry’s Lovers and The Gig.
NICK WYMAN (Giles) has appeared on Broadway in Catch Me If You Can, A Tale of Two Cities, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Les Misérables. His Off-Broadway credits include Howard Katz, Take Me Along, Three in the Back, Two in the Head, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, Kennedy of Colonus and Paris Lights. Regional stage credits include A Wonderful Life, Carnival!, Applause and Sweeney Todd.
HENRY STRAM (Ben) Broadway: Titanic, The Crucible. Recent credits include Rocket to the Moon (Long Wharf Theatre), Stanley in The Birthday Party(McCarter Theatre) and See What I Wanna See (Public Theater). Henry received a 1996 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence.
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.
SYLVESTER LEVAY (Music & Orchestrations) was born in Maria Theresiopolis (Subotica) and is of Hungarian descent. His mother was a music teacher and his father a journalist and novelist. Sylvester studied composition, piano, and clarinet. At the age of fifteen he won his first composition competition. He left his home town in 1962 to become a professional musician, and toured for ten years through Europe as a member of different orchestras, until he settled in Munich in 1972. Working as a keyboard player, arranger, composer and a conductor in recording studios, he met Michael Kunze in the mid-seventies. Together they wrote and produced world hits like "Fly Robin Fly", "Get up and Boogie" - Silver Convention, Lady Bump - Penny McLean and various other records. For "Fly Robin Fly", Levay and Kunze received a Grammy Award. Between 1977 and 1980 he wrote and produced songs for Elton John, Donna Summer, Herbie Mann and Sister Sledge. Sylvester composed, orchestrated and conducted all his works by himself. He plays different instruments such as piano, organ, saxophone, clarinet, and flute. In the 1980s Sylvester lived in Los Angeles where he worked as a film composer for Hollywood studios. He collaborated with Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, George Lucas, Sylvester Stallone, Whoopie Goldberg, Peter O´Toole and Steven Spielberg. He composed music for Films such as Cobra with - Sylvester Stallone, Hot Shots - with Charlie Sheen, Burglar - with Whoopie Goldberg, Touch and Go - with Michael Keaton, Creator - with Peter O' Toole, Flashdance - with Jennifer Beals, and many more. During that time Sylvester has created the music for more than 100 American feature and television movies. He is a member of the national Academy of Recording Art & Sciences (NARAS) and the Academy of Television Art & Sciences (ATAS). He also held lectures on film composition at the American Universities UCLA and USC. Starting from the 90s Sylvester Levay dedicated himself to the world of musical theater. Together with Michael Kunze he created the musical Witches, Witches in 1991. In 1992, they presented their second musical production Elisabeth in the Viennese Theater an der Wien. Elisabeth has been performed ever since in countries such as Japan, Nederlands, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Hungary. By now the show has become the most successful German-language musical of all times. Kunze & Levay’s third musical Mozart! premiered in 1999. With the drama-musical Rebecca, Sylvester continued the successful collaboration with Michael Kunze. It opened in Vienna in 2006. Their latest work Marie Antoinette had its world premiere in November 2007 in Tokyo/Japan; a German production opened in early 2009.
CHRISTOPHER HAMPTON (Translation/Adaptation & English Lyrics). Christopher Hampton’s plays, musicals and translations have garnered three Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, four Evening Standard awards and the New York Theatre Critics Circle Award while prizes for his film and television work include an Academy Award, two BAFTAs, a Writer’s Guild of America Award, the Prix Italia, a Special Jury Award at the Cannes film festival, Hollywood Screenwriter of the Year 2007 and The Collateral Award at the Venice Film Festival for Best Literary Adaptation. His plays include Embers (2006 Duke of York’s Theatre) and the following at the Royal National Theatre - The Talking Cure (2002), Alice’s Adventure’s Under Ground (1994), White Chameleon (1991) and Tales from Hollywood (1983); Les Liaisons Dangereuses which began at the R.S.C.’s Other Place in Stratford in Sept 1985 and subsequently ran at the Ambassadors Theatre for over five years; Treats (1976), Savages (1973), The Philanthropist (1970), all of which transferred from the Royal Court Theatre to the West End, where the Philanthropist ran for more than 1100 performances; Total Eclipse (1968) and When Did You Last See your Mother? (1966) also at the Royal Court Theatre, the last of which, when it transferred, made him the youngest playwright ever to have a play in the West End, a record which still stands. He has written (with Don Black) the book and lyrics for two musicals - Dracula (2004) with music by Frank Wildhorn and Sunset Boulevard (1992) with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; and the libretto for two operas Appomattox (2007, San Francisco Opera House) and Waiting For The Barbarians (2005 Erfurt, Germany) both with music by Philip Glass. His translations include: from Chekhov, The Seagull (2007, Royal Court), Three Sisters (A.T.G, 2003) and Uncle Vanya (1970, Royal Court); from Ibsen An Enemy of the People (1997), The Wild Duck (1979), and Hedda Gabler (1970) all at the Royal National Theatre; Ghosts for the Actor’s Company (1978) and A Doll’s House (1971) with Claire Bloom on Broadway and in the West End, subsequently filmed (1973); from Odon von Horvath Tales From The Vienna Woods (1977) and Don Juan Comes Back From The War (1978) at the Royal National Theatre and Faith, Hope and Charity (1978) at the Lyric, Hammersmith; and from Yasmina Reza Life x 3 (2000) at the Royal National Theatre, Conversations After a Burial (2000) at the Almeida, The Unexpected Man (1994) at the R.S.C. and Art which opened at Wyndham’s in Oct 1996 and ran for over 2500 performances. Screenplays include: Atonement (2007), The Quiet American (2002), Mary Reilly (1996), Total Eclipse (1995), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), The Good Father (1986) and The Honorary Consul (1983). He has also written and directed three films: Imagining Argentina (2004), The Secret Agent (1996) and Carrington (1995).
MICHAEL BLAKEMORE (Director) is the only director ever to win Tony Awards for both a play, Copenhagen and a musical Kiss Me Kate in the same year. Other accolades include three Drama Desk Awards and Tony nominations for Joe Egg, Noises Off, City of Angels, Lettice and Lovage and The Life. He was recently represented on Broadway with Democracy, Deuce, Is He Dead? and Blithe Spirit. For Off-Broadway, Mr. Blakemore directed Death Defying Acts a series of one act plays written by Woody Allen, Elaine May and David Mamet. In England, he was Laurence Olivier’s associate at the National Theatre and directed him in Long Day’s Journey into Night. Mr. Blakemore’s National Theatre productions include Democracy, Copenhagen, Afterlife, Cherry Orchard and Arthur Miller’s After the Fall. His West End successes include Three Sisters, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, The Resistible Rise of Arthur Ui, Forget Me Not Lane, Design for Living, Knuckles, Separate Tables, All my Sons, Noises Off, Benefactors, Lettice and Lovage, Uncle Vanya, The Sisters Rosenzweig and Afterlife. For the RSC, he directed Privates on Parade (also the film) and for the Welsh National Opera, he directed Tosca, a production he repeated in Adelaide and Houston. At the Royal Court, he directed Don’s Party and George Bernard Shaw’s Widowers’ Houses. He wrote and directed two films, Country Life and A Personal History of the
Australian Surf. His books include a novel, Next Season currently published by Applause Books and his recently published memoir, Arguments with England published by Faber. Mr. Blakemore is the recipient of an OBE (Order of the British Empire).
FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO (Director). General and Artistic Director of the Glimmerglass Festival. Artistic Advisor to the Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera. Former Artistic Advisor of San Francisco Opera, where she has recently directed a new production of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle. She has staged plays and musicals on Broadway, at the Royal National Theatre, for National USA tours, BAM, the Guthrie Theater, Vienna’s Raimund Theater, the Bregenz Festival, Sydney Festival, Disneyland, Berlin’s Theater des Westens and at the Kennedy Center. Her work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi, Covent Garden, the Munich Staatsoper, Paris Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and English National Opera. She has been awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for her contribution to French culture, and the Russian Federation’s medal for Service to Culture. Her theatrical honors include three Olivier Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, two French Grand Prix des Critiques, Helpmann Award, Green Room Award, Palme d’Or in Germany and the Golden Mask in Russia. She began her career as the Artistic Director of the Skylight Opera Theatre and as an assistant director to the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. She has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Juilliard and Yale. www.francescazambello.com.
GRACIELA DANIELE (Musical Staging). Broadway as director/choreographer: Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, Annie Get Your Gun, Marie Christine, Once on This Island, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Dangerous Games; as choreographer: Ragtime (Astaire, Ovation, NAACP, Callaway Awards), The Goodbye Girl, Zorba, The Rink, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Pirates of Penzance(NYSF). Film: Pirates, Bullets Over Broadway, Mighty Aphrodite (1996 Fosse Award), Everyone Says I Love You (1997 Fosse Award). At LCT, where she is resident director, she directed and choreographed A New Brain, Elegies, Hello Again, Bernarda Alba, Dessa Rose and The Glorious Ones. She is the recipient of the Mr. Abbott Award (1998) for Outstanding Achievement, ten Tony nominations, six Drama Desk nominations and was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2006.
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