Bell Media Ventures into Live Theatrical Production; Announces New Partnership with Michael Cohl's Iconic Entertainment Studios

− First production from new partnership to be the upcoming Bat Out of Hell: The Musical, helmed by celebrated stage director Jay Scheib
Bat Out of Hell brings legendary composer Jim Steinman's massively successful, iconic classic rock album to the stage –
Bat Out of Hell begins previews at U.K.'s Manchester Opera House on February 17, 2017

 "Nobody writes songs like Jim Steinman." – Q Magazine

To tweet this release:

TORONTO and LONDON, Sept. 6, 2016 /CNW/ - 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.

Produced by David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl for Iconic Entertainment Studios, Randy Lennox for Bell Media, and Tony Smith, Bat Out of Hell brings legendary composer Jim Steinman's original concept full circle: Steinman's 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."

In 2017, the iconic album finally comes to the stage, the place Steinman had always intended for it to be performed. Directed by innovative, award-winning stage director Jay Scheib (Powder Her Face, World of Wires, Platonov), Bat Out of Hell: The Musical is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland. The musical incorporates songs from the Bat Out of Hell albums, including Paradise by the Dashboard Light, You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night), Bat Out Of Hell, I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), and Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad.

For more information about Bat Out of Hell, visit

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About Bell Media
With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada's leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada's #1 television network; 31 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada's most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada's largest radio broadcaster, with 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across Canada. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home, one of Canada's most dynamic and innovative out-of-home advertising companies with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with premium subscription on-demand streaming service CraveTV, as well as its innovative GO video streaming services including CTV GO, Discovery GO, TMN GO, and TSN GO; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; holds an equity stake in digital startup Hubub; is partners in Cirque du Soleil Media, a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit

About Iconic Entertainment Studios
Michael Cohl and IES's management team has over 80 years of proven success in large scaled live entertainment touring, exhibitions and events, Broadway productions and high tech set design and implementaion. The company's current and past productions include: Barbra Streisand, David Gilmour, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Transformers Live!, The Pink Floyd Experience, An Evening with Oprah Winfrey, An Evening with Al Pacino, A Night with Janis Joplin, The Marvel Experience, the Broadway smash hit Rock of Ages, the off-Broadway sensation Fuerza Bruta and the internationally acclaimed and three-times Tony Award-winning Spamalot.

About David Sonenberg
David Sonenberg is a music manager and producer. Clients of his management company, DAS Communications, have sold over 400 million albums. DAS has managed The Black Eyed Peas, The Fugees, Meat Loaf, Jimmy Iovine, John Legend, Lauryn Hill, Fergie and Jim Steinman, the creator of Bat Out of Hell – The Musical. Sonenberg has also produced several films, including the Academy Award-winning film When We Were Kings (1997) about Muhammad Ali.

About Tony Smith
Tony Smith is best known for managing Genesis and its members throughout their subsequent solo careers, in addition to co-managing Pink Floyd from 2007. After founding the Hit & Run Music Publishing House, Smith expanded into film production, and has overseen the production of Children of Men (2006), Black Oasis (2005) and Eye of the Beholder (2000). He also produced the original West End production of Rock of Ages (2012).


SOURCE Bell Media

Image with caption: "Bat Out of Hell (CNW Group/Bell Media)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Bat Out of Hell (CNW Group/Bell Media)". Image available at:

For further information: Patricia Garcia, Bell Media, 416.384.2645 or; Renee Dupuis, Bell Media, 416.384.3154 or; Matthew Garrow, Bell Media, 416.384.5258 or


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