Talk:Rebecca (musical)

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The recordings section is still a mess. Can anyone put it in chronological order and take out the all caps? Do we really need a full track list of two separate recordings? Eventually, they can be put in a separate article called Recordings of the musical ''Rebecca'' or something like that, leaving just a summary description of the recordings here. -- Ssilvers (talk) 21:28, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

English or German?[edit]

The productions section says: "Rebecca was written in English. Workshops and presentations to producers from London were not successful." Was that in 2006? A reference was given that did not support the statement that it was written in English, which I have now moved to the Vienna production paragraph. Later, the article it says that there was a new English translation for the 2009 London workshops (which is presumably also the translation used for the US reading). So, was it premiered in Vienna in German? The article does not say so! -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:27, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

West End reading[edit]

It was with Pia Douwes as Mrs. Danvers. Don't know how to change it (the reference etc.) But if you look at: (it's dutch) also another site: and if you look at the site of Michael Kunze it is said that Pia was there and not Susan. Also if you look to the reference #9 there was also said it was Pia and not Susan. Only reference #1 said it was Susan - but they are wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:23, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

No, Ref #1 from Playbill, October 2009, is later than the other Playbill cite that you give above (and the Dutch cite), from August 2009, and the only difference is this name, so it looks like it was going to be Douwes, but she was replaced by Rigvava. Playbill is more reliable than BWW, and the Dutch article. I don't see the Kunze site you mention, but it would have to be very specific to raise the question. The most reliable evidence was that it was Rigvava on this date. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:11, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

The site is: But you have to go to the older one --> 'ältere beitrage (Mär-Aug2009)'. Then you have to fill in: West End Pia Douwes. If that's correct, the 2nd,6th and 13nd question. - I see the answers are also from August (end of August 2009). so maybe you're right. But I can't read anywhere that Pia was replaced by Susan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Links to capital cities and explanations of which country they are in[edit]

You will, I hope, be explaining that New York is in America and London in England? Tim riley (talk) 19:23, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

NYC and London are both well-known to most English speakers. Vienna is not as well known a geographical reference to Americans, who are, I am embarrassed to say, not very good at geography. I would bet that most Americans do not know that the language of Austria is German. This is a grey area, since Vienna is obviously a major capital, but given the importance of it in this article, I think it is work linking once in the Lead and once in the body of the article. Likewise Helsinki, but not Tokyo, which is a well-known location even to the bulk of my countrymen. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:50, 4 November 2011 (UTC)


Can anyone give a synopsis of the plot? -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:55, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

I happened upon this, which gives a synopsis [1]. (Also, the linked NYT article at the bottom discusses a technical change made for Broadway.) Softlavender (talk) 04:06, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Two more articles with synopses if you are still looking: [2]; [3]. Softlavender (talk) 08:41, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Wow, this person has very kindly given a blow-by-blow description of every single scene in the entire musical: [4] (scroll down to Parts II and III; Part I is just about the actors). Softlavender (talk) 06:34, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Questionable material, removed from article[edit]

OK that makes no sense because it's clear that the orginal libretto is in German and that it was later translated by Christopher Hampton for the West End or Broadway stage [5]. There is also no citation for this mythical English-language recording, which is even more suspect in that both singers are German speakers, not English speakers. In addition, the Daily Mail blurb is so vague it appears the author was just making some of the stuff up. I've therefore quarantined all of this material until further notice. Softlavender (talk) 03:32, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

UPDATE: OK, maybe I overreacted. There is evidence of an April 2003 noncommercial, unreleased, English-language recording: [6], and there is evidence from November 2002 that the musical was slated to go the West End in 2003 (last line of this piece): [7], [8], [9] (providing multiple listings to establish date). Perhaps Christopher Hampton did not translate down the line, but merely adapted (to use the word some venues use)? In any case, I'm not sure exactly how to present this material as it's rather under-reported, plus there's no proof yet that the original libretto was not in German. (Perhaps Kunze wrote two versions as he went along, one in each language.) Hard to tell whether the libretto was written specifically with a West End premiere in mind. Softlavender (talk) 05:14, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Also, OT, there is evidence that Kunze held the musical-theatre rights to the du Maurier novel by 2002 (if anyone cares): [10]. Softlavender (talk) 05:24, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

It was workshopped "many" times (so sez the Daily Mail, as cited above: "A workshop -- one of many -- was done several years ago [in London]. Few were excited by it, so Rebecca was packed off to Vienna....") and recorded in English: Listen to this: this and this). Then it was translated into German and later on translated/adapted back into English. It seems that it was described correctly. -- Ssilvers (talk) 06:21, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Wow thanks for the YouTube links -- those are great to listen to!! Plus thanks for re-adding and rewording the material. Softlavender (talk) 06:50, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
PS: To respond to my own edit summary, Christopher Hampton studied German and French in college, but it's still rarely ever said that he translated the musical -- it's usually stated as having adapted it, or having written the English-language book (and the English-language lyrics along with Kunze). Softlavender (talk) 06:50, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, the original script in English was probably revised during rehearsals for the Vienna production, so even if you translated it back faithfully, it would not be exactly the same. In addition, the London references seem to be saying that the proposed 2009 West End production would have been a revised book anyway. So I am sure that Hampton's script is exactly the same as the German version, and probably even less like the original English version. Anyhow, they're all based on DuMaurier. But the song lyrics might be largely the same. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:13, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

New info on Development[edit]

From Michael Kunze's site: Google Translate: [11]; original German [12].

In looking at both of those, here's the prose I have developed:

So how about it? Could I enter that into the article as a "Development" section? And then you could factor in the information that it leaves out about the failure of an early West End launch and about the 2003 English demo recording? And also fix any transitions to the Production section or any over-redundancies if necessary? [By the way, du Maurier's son is named Christian (not mentioned there; don't know if it's worth adding).] Softlavender (talk) 08:27, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Update: Anyway, went ahead and did it. Softlavender (talk) 09:17, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Cool. I'll take a look. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:16, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Much better. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:30, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

The Times review of Vienna production; more reviews[edit]

It would be nice (and fairer) to find a review where an understudy wasn't playing the lead character that night. Softlavender (talk) 10:28, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Update: I've found some reviews from 2006 (which is the only year I looked for them); there are probably more out there for the rest of the show's Vienna run:

  • ORF TV: Google Translation: [13]; German original: [14]
  • German original: [17]; Google Translate (have to copy & paste): [18]
  • ORF (further; plus snippets from other reviews): Google Translate: [19]; German original: [20]

At the very least, they give a fuller picture of the production, including the incredible giant staircase, and the fiery ending of the show, where it and the rest of the house burns up and falls into the ocean. Softlavender (talk) 06:35, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Also, I happened upon this American blogger's review from a 2007 viewing: [21]. (As I mentioned, I did not Google for anything past 2006 so I'm sure there are also some official or RS English-language reviews from 2007 or even 2008.) Softlavender (talk) 06:41, 9 October 2012 (UTC)


Does schatten mean ghosts in this case, or literally shadows? -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:05, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, I had the same question, but the English versions give "Shadows" in the track listings; plus Schatten is very specific and always means shadow and never ghost; if they had meant ghosts they would have used a different German word like Geisten. Cf. Die Frau ohne Schatten. From what I'm reading in various English-language venues these characters are people in the shadows. Softlavender (talk) 02:33, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
OK, cool. Just askin'.  :-) -- Ssilvers (talk) 05:04, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I know; it's a good question though and speaks to the plot of the production, if one ever is posted for it. I've dug a little further and found out the following: "The show starts with a very beautiful projection of [waves breaking on] rocks on the coast but with a misty Manderley mixed with it. ... Ich appears in the back of the screen as if she was inside a movie. On the floor, the "shadows" (actors all dressed in black coats and hats ...) stand up from the floor and start to walk around as Ich walks mixed with them." [22]. Evidently one can see them here, for instance, from 8:52–10:22, behind the servants [23]. One YouTube commenter said they are very creepy in person. They sing lyrics like: MRS. DANVERS & SHADOWS: "She will not be replaced!" "Do not invade her space!" "If you try, you will die!" And Ich mentions the shadows; in a much later lyric for instance ("I Am Mrs. De Winter") she sings "I was surrounded by shadows but now they are gone" ... Softlavender (talk) 06:27, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Korea and other planned int'l productions[edit]

Per WP:CRYSTAL, and since productions of this show tend to crater, I really would recommend that we don't mention productions unless they actually open and have reviews (except if there is another try at a B'way or West End production that goes so far as casting). -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:30, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

I'd like to mention that the Asians and continental Europeans have all done gangbusters with it; it's only the Anglophones -- specifically, Ben Sprecher -- who has dropped the ball. Maybe lean towards whatever the style guide is for theatre/musicals. One of my perceptions is that the article is weighted very negatively, which belies the great success the musical has had. Unfortunately most of the WP:RS good press is not in English (even though the blogosphere and forums are full of Anglophone fans). One thought I had was that noting the Korean production balances out some of the negative POV, especially that enormous fiasco of the Broadway attempts on the heels of West End attempts. Since the production section ends with all that bad news, I thought that made it even more negative. If not in the body text, could put the Korean link (with its lovely music) in the External Links?
Anyway, I've been off the case because I kind of OD'ed on the article and had to get away. Thanks for taking up the slack. I've updated the fraud news just now; yes, it's the same NYT journalists, but they are the ones following the story most closely and they have the inside scoop. Softlavender (talk) 10:06, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Obviously, if the Korean production opens and is mentioned in the press, we can add it to the Productions section. Do you have any reviews or box office info from the Japanese or European productions? You wrote: "One of my perceptions is that the article is weighted very negatively". I get the opposite impression – we are only giving the positive reviews, when the show has had negative reviews, some of which you have linked to above. The very long Variety quote is 'way too much to quote for an encyclopedia article. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:14, 16 October 2012 (UTC)


I wrote a synopsis from the sources that you listed above, but I am sure that it needs refinement. Please try to improve it. All the best, -- Ssilvers (talk) 21:10, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

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