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Rialto Chatter Exclusive: BAT OUT OF HELL Musical Aiming for 2016 Premiere; Rundgren Joins Team?


First announced back in 2009, has learned some updates today about the long gestating BAT OUT OF HELL Musical.

In first from London, musician and producer Todd Rundgren revealed that he had joined the BAT OUT OF HELL musical production team telling UNCUT Magazine, (a UK music publication), that he's working on the show, noting "Jim (Steinman)'s enlisted some ridiculously big choral section, so I've effectively signed on as the choirmaster."

Additionally, has learned that the show is hoping to make a 2016 world premiere in Toronto. Producers Michael Cohl and David Sonenberg have joined the project as co-producers, alongside the previously announced Elva Corrie. Both Broadway and London's West End are under consideration for the show's next stops, and a new workshop is to take place in the coming months as well.

Note, no official production timetables, creative team or schedules have been announced as of publication. As always, we will bring you further updates as they become available!

The first Bat Out of Hell album, with Meat Loaf, was released in October 1977 on Cleveland International/Epic Records and sold over 40 million copies worldwide. The stage adaptation has long been in development. 2014 news on the project revealed the involvement of director Kenny Ortega and book writer Stuart Beattie, both of whom are believed to no longer be associated with the project.

Jim Steinman began his writing career in theatre with Joseph Papp and the NY Shakespeare Festival in 1969, after Papp saw Dream Engine, a rock opera Steinman wrote and starred in at Amherst College. Composer, lyricist and producer Jim Steinman's theatre credits include Dance of the Vampires, Footloose, More Than You Deserve, Neverland and Whistle Down the Wind. He wrote produced Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell and Back Into Hell albums, and has worked with the likes of Bonnie Tyler, Air Supply, The Sisters of Mercy, Barry Manilow, Celine Dion, Boyzone and more.

Cohl's most associated in the theatre world with Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, but he remains active with an associate producer credit on Finding Neverland. Prior to that, he produced Broadway's A Night with Janis Joplin and Rock of Ages and was an associate producer on November, Spamalot, La Cage aux Folles and Bombay Dreams.

He was also involved as a producer on A Night With Janis Joplin's Off-Broadway production which was canceled just 48 hours before re-opening at the Gramercy Theater in 2014, and as lead producer of the canceled Jesus Christ Superstar arena concert tour. That tour was canceled after rehearsals had begun, under two weeks before it was to kick off officially.

Prior to that, Michael Cohl was at the top of the worldwide concert tour market, working with The Rolling Stones, U2, Pink Floyd, and Barbra Streisand, etc., produced Emmy Award-winning films ("Pete Seeger: The Power of Song" and "John Lennon: The New York Years"), films for the big screen (Live at the Max and Martin Scorsese's Shine a Light) and Billboard's Creative Content Award-winning Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! He is a multiple award winner, receiving Emmy, Tony (Spamalot) and Juno awards, Canada's Walk of Fame, Music Hall of Fame and was the first recipient of Billboard's Legend of Live Award.

Todd Rundgren is an multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and record producer. First hailed in the early stage of his career as a new pop star, supported by the certified gold solo double LP Something/Anything? in 1972 Rundgren engineered and/or produced many notable albums for other acts, including Straight Up by Badfinger, Stage Fright by the Band, We're an American Band by Grand Funk Railroad, Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf, New York Dolls by the New York Dolls, and Skylarking by XTC. Since then, he's been touring, recording, producing and in April 2013, Rundgren released his 24th solo album, State.

David Sonenberg is the founder and CEO of DAS Communications Ltd., a full-service management company located in New York and Los Angeles for artists in the entertainment industry. DAS's first management project, Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell, set an industry record for a debut album with worldwide record sales to date of more than 50 million. Other clients of DAS Communications have included Jim Steinman, Jimmy Cliff, Southside Johnny, Jimmy Iovine, BeBe & CeCe Winans, Keith Thomas, The Spin Doctors, Joan Osborne, Spacehog, The Fugees including Lauryn Hill, The Black Eyed Peas, John Legend and Indiggo.

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