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Controversy Over Spanish Anne Frank Premiere???

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Coming up later this month is a controversial but “serious” and “emotional” musical based on the diaries of Anne Frank, entitled Anne Frank: A Song to Life. The £2.3 million, Spanish-language production starts performances on 28 February at Madrid's Calderon Theatre, directed by Rafael Alvaro who claims that he spent 10 years securing the rights to stage the musical from the Swiss-based Anne Frank Fund, who famously turned down a request by Steven Spielberg to produce a film of Frank’s life. But now, the fund may be launching legal action in an effort to halt the production, after a cease and desist notice.

Buddy Elias, who is Frank's only surviving relative and heads up the fund, has said that "The Holocaust is not a theme to be made into a musical” but Alvaro disagrees. "If the musical - done in an exquisite, delicate, important way - reaches the great public not only here but worldwide, that is success for me” he said. But Alvaro isn't the first to come up with the idea of an Anne Frank musical - Yours, Anne, with a book by Enid Futterman, opened at off-Broadway's Playhouse 91 in October 1985,a production which the New York Times claimed transformed "Anne Frank's spiritual legacy to mankind into mush".

Producers of the new Spanish adaptation hope to take the show on tour, and translate it into other languages for productions all over the world. Perhaps we’ll see it in the West End in the not too distant future…?


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