BMG Launches Its First U.S. Musical
Following the huge success of “Ku’damm 56” in Germany, “Punk Rock Girl!” has now opened in the U.S. It is BMG’s first musical production in the U.S. – and it won’t be the last: Three more BMG musicals are already in the pipeline. All of them feature a number of songs by artists on the BMG roster.
BMG is ramping up the development of new stage musicals in both the U.S., with its first production “Punk Rock Girl!”, and in Germany, following the wildly successful run of its first musical “Ku’damm 56.” The play was staged at the Argyle Theatre in Babylon Village, Long Island, New York – and, according to media reports, had the enthusiastic audience on their feet and dancing along repeatedly. “Punk Rock Girl!” is BMG’s first theatrical production in the U.S., and was developed in collaboration with New York-based Lively McCabe Entertainment. The musical features hits by a number of female artists and bands that are part of BMG’s wide-ranging portfolio, including Blondie, Pink, Avril Lavigne, Pat Benatar and Sleater-Kinney. The title song, “Punk Rock Girl,” is by the Dead Milkmen. The musical will also be marketed to high schools, community and regional theaters, BMG says. Concord Theatricals is serving as the exclusive distributor and sales agent for the production, handling all sales, marketing and licensing activities in the U.S. A film adaptation is also planned, BMG said.
120,000 tickets sold for ‘Ku’damm 56’BMG’s musical production “Ku’damm 56” has been a resounding success in Germany: In February of this year, BMG announced its extension through the end of September. In early March the team behind “Ku’damm 56” celebrated its 100th performance, and recently BMG reported that more than 120,000 tickets to the musical have been sold since its launch (see BENET report). “Ku’damm 56,” written by BMG-signed songwriters Peter Plate and Ulf Leo Sommer together with Grimme Award-winning author Annette Hess, is a musical adaptation of the popular UFA Fiction-produced TV series of the same name. The musical, praised by critics and audiences alike, premiered in November 2021 at Berlin’s 1,700-seat Theater des Westens.
“‘Ku’damm 56’ marked a steep learning curve for us, but the results speak for themselves and show our commitment to working with our artist and songwriter clients in every area of their careers” says Dominique Casimir, Executive Vice President Global Repertoire & Marketing at BMG. Elyse Cogan, Director, Theatrical at BMG, explains, “Using the iconic BMG catalog to develop content in the theater space is a new and creative way to help to secure the legacies of BMG artists and songwriters. Live stage has the potential to reach more diverse and multi-generational audiences. BMG looks forward to developing more new partnerships and relationships within the theater world.”
More musicals in the pipelineBecause “Punk Rock Girl!” is by no means the end of the story: According to BMG, three more musicals by BMG and Lively McCabe are being prepared or already in concrete planning. One of them, “May We All,” a country music production in collaboration with the superstar duo Florida Georgia Line, is scheduled to premiere in Nashville in June. A New Wave and a Christmas musical are also on the agenda, and other BMG productions are in the early stages of development.
“Punk Rock Girl!” follows 16-year-old Angela Quivers, a perfectionist who doesn’t take chances and feels like there is no place she belongs until she meets another teenager, Proxi, who introduces her to the world of grungy guitars, shocking secrets, and big, loud, messy emotions. The musical features these BMG-represented songs, among others: “Complicated,” “I’m With You” and “Sk8er Boi” by Avril Lavigne, “Call Me,” “Rip Her To Shreds” and “One Way Or Another” by Blondie, “Words and Guitar,” “Surface Envy” and “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” by Sleater Kinney, “Punk Rock Girl” by Dead Milkmen; “E. T.” by Katy Perry, “All Fired Up” by Pat Benatar, “Try” by P!nk and “Area 52” by the Yeah Yeahs.