To blow the whistle or not blow the whistle? “Rebecca” begs an answer.
Well, it had been a whole six months since the ill-fated Rebecca had been in the news, so you knew something had to pop up pretty soon.
And pop up it did in a big way yesterday, as reported by Jeremy Gerard at Deadline.
In case you’re new to Broadway buzz, a quick recap. Rebecca was a big ol’ musical that tried to open on Broadway (twice!) a few years ago, only to flame out in a tabloid-like scandal that involved a con man now doing time, a fictitious investor who “died” of malaria, and a whole bunch of shell-shocked actors, musicians and technicians that ended up without jobs.
But there’s more.
See, it turns out the determined Producer of Rebecca, Ben Sprecher, had lined up another major investor to save the show, after he realized he was a couple million short.
But right before the investor was going to write the check, he got an anonymous email that suggested he should think twice before investing in Rebecca.
The investor got spooked. And the show shut down right before rehearsals began.
And there’s still more.
It was then discovered that the author of the anonymous email was on the Producer’s payroll, and that it was the guy in charge of promoting the show, the press agent Marc Thibodeau.
This is a show within itself, right?
And that brings us to yesterday.
See, the Producer of Rebecca sued Thibodeau saying that if it wasn’t for him, the show would have happened. He therefore cost investors millions of dollars. And just a few hours ago, a NY judge declared that Thibodeau had breached his agreement with the Producer of Rebecca as a result of his actions and that a jury could decide the amount of his liability.
Oh, man. Now things have gotten serious.
So why do I tell you this little tale of Broadway woe?
Because even I go back and forth about who was right and who was wrong.
As a Producer, of course, I want the people that work for me to support me in public and in private, and at least not go out of their way to undermine my show. Who knows, Rebecca might have surprised everyone that year, and it would certainly have put a lot of people to work.
As a person who, like most of us, just lived through a massive recession and lost money thanks to unregulated corporations making bad decisions with “our” money, I can’t help but think we could have used some whistle blowers back then to save a lot of money and a lot of jobs.
Where do you draw the line between being professional and being responsible? What would you have done in this circumstance if you were the Producer? The Press Agent?
I’m eager to hear your thoughts, because I’m still formulating mine.
But one thing I know for sure. You know who definitely lost? Broadway. Because as fun as it may be to gossip, and yeah, even blog about a juicy backstage story like this, it doesn’t do business any good. Do you know how many of my investors have asked me, “What happened with that Rebecca?”
Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.
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