Cap'n Bob is back - but this time to London's West End.
A musical satirizing the comic aspects of the late media baron Robert Maxwell's career is slated to open Feb. 21. "Maxwell: The Musical Review" will take pokes one never could during the life of the litigation-happy publishing figure.
The producer, Evan Steadman, knows his subject first-hand: He sold his communications businesses to Mr. Maxwell for 16 million, or approximately $24 million - "three times more than what they were worth."
Under the terms of the contract, Mr. Steadman stayed with the business and joined Maxwell's board.
Quickly, Mr. Steadman realized Maxwell Communications Corp. was operating in chaos, qualifying as "a comic opera." Thus, the idea for the musical was born. After Mr. Maxwell died, Mr. Steadman drafted his script, writing new lyrics for Gilbert & Sullivan songs.
While only one line remains from his draft, Mr. Steadman is confident enough in the musical that he is putting 1.1 million of his own money behind it, and has committed to a five-week run.
The satire does, of course, illustrate Mr. Maxwell's pension woes - some 440 million stolen from Maxwell-controlled pension funds - but in a more serious vein. It questions where the regulators were and depicts the plight of Maxwell pensioners.
Mr. Steadman said he has considered sponsoring a fund-raiser for Maxwell pensioners, but the reviews first need to come in to ensure the musical's in good taste. Nevertheless, Price Waterhouse, administrators of Maxwell Communications, already have booked their seats.