Longtime live entertainment producers Brian Becker and Scott Zeiger have formed Base Entertainment, a producer, presenter, programmer and venue operator primed to become a major player in live entertainment.
Partnered with Clarity Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm whose other investments include Oxygen Media and Village Roadshow Pictures, Base has several high-profile legit projects in the works.
Base is among the producers of “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me,” now playing in San Francisco before it arrives on Broadway in July, and “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular,” Harold Prince’s $35 million, 90-minute restaging of global phenom “The Phantom of the Opera,” opening June 24 at Vegas’ Venetian Hotel.
Base is also an associate producer of “Delirium,” the Cirque du Soleil arena show that began touring in January.
In addition, company will construct and program two venues — flexible spaces topping out at 7,000 and 1,450 seats, respectively — in the new Planet Hollywood resort in Vegas. Base will develop and produce the shows that play there, the former Aladdin, including large-scale concerts and smaller theatrical productions.
Base will work with management org MBST, whose roster includes Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, to create theatrical and comedy attractions for Gotham, Vegas and the road. (MBST is owned by CKX, whose assets include “American Idol” and the rights to merchandise Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali.)
Becker and Zeiger are 20-year vets of the industry who developed national networks for road tours during their tenures at Pace, SFX and, most recently, Clear Channel Entertainment.
“We’ve gotten excited about the creative side, taking an active role in creating a property, owning it and nurturing it,” Zeiger said.
“We look at live entertainment as a strong source of intellectual property,” Becker said. “We’re interested in acquisitions where there’s a very strong live-entertainment component, and also a very strong brand we can promote” — with related products such as CDs, DVDs, TV shows and clothing lines.
Many of Base’s properties originated from Becker and Zeiger’s five years at Clear Channel Entertainment, now called Live Nation and in business with Base on “Delirium” and “Phantom.”
“Our ties run deep with Brian and Scott,” said Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation.
Robert G. Goldstein, prexy-chief operating officer of the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, is working with Base on “Phantom” as well as a Gordie Brown comedy show for the hotel.
“Live entertainment is one of the riskiest things in my industry,” he said. “Brian and Scott understand those risks and deploy capital intelligently.”
Base, with fewer than 15 people at the executive level, has offices in Gotham, Vegas and Houston.