Bell Media announced today it is entering into live theatrical production in a partnership with legendary Canadian producer Michael Cohl’s Iconic Entertainment Studios (Spamalot; Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark; Rock of Ages: The Musical).
The first production from the new joint venture is Bat Out of Hell: The Musical, a new live theatrical spectacle that celebrates the 40th anniversary of one of the best-selling albums of all time when it hits stages next year. To be directed by award-winning theatre and opera director Jay Sheib, Bat Out of Hell begins previews February 17, 2017 at the Manchester Opera House. Casting is currently underway in the U.K.
Co-produced by Randy Lennox for Bell Media and Michael Cohl for Iconic Entertainment Studios, along with David Sonenberg and Tony Smith, Bat Out of Hell brings legendary composer Jim Steinman’s original concept full circle: his workshop of a 1974 theatre piece laid the foundation for the record-breaking album Bat Out of Hell, released in 1977. Featuring the opulent vocals of recording industry great Meat Loaf, the album made music industry history, selling more than 50 million albums worldwide and earning platinum album status 14 times over by the Recording Industry Association of America. It is one of only 11 albums to reach Double Diamond status in Canada.
“Bell Media has so much to offer to live productions it’s surprising they haven't been in this area before,” said Michael Cohl, Chairman, Iconic Entertainment Studios. “I look forward to working with Randy and his great team.”
“Bell Media’s foray into live theatrical production emphasizes our commitment to producing engaging content on diverse platforms,” said Randy Lennox, President, Broadcast and Content, Bell Media and Co-Producer. “We are excited to bring Bat Out Of Hell to the stage as our inaugural production, and look forward to capturing the heart, soul, and imagination of audiences around the world, as this musical masterpiece enters its 40th anniversary.”
Lennox added: “Bat Out of Hell represents a strategic revenue opportunity for Bell Media, modeling the phenomenal success of other musical adaptations including Mamma Mia! which went on to gross more than $1 billion worldwide and is still running in several major cities more than a decade since its debut.”
Cohl’s Iconic Entertainment Studios was in the news last week via its involvement in a massive Pink Floyd exhibition coming to London’s V & A Museum next year. Read the FYI feature here.