'Dear Evan Hansen' Co-Producer Seeks $524K in Dispute Over Elvis Presley Show

Courtesy of MGM

Darren Bagert, the Tony Award-winning producer who has credits on such shows as Dear Evan Hansen and The Color Purple, is looking to confirm an arbitration award worth $524,196 over an agreement for a theatrical show featuring the digital likeness of Elvis Presley.

Bagert was originally tapped for the show by Pulse Evolution, which specializes in "digital humans," the new and probably more technically accurate buzzword for holographic images. Bagert was to work on the Elvis show, but then in March 2016, Pulse elected to go with a partnership with American Idol creator Simon Fuller.

According to court documents, Bagert had a deal for The King, the title of the Elvis show, that entitled his production company to 200,000 shares of Pulse common stock, a non-recoupable fee of $75,000 and an interim advance against the production fee.

Bagert and Pulse Evolution argued with each other over whether the stock grant would be restricted. Bagert insisted it should not be, while Pulse contended that it was not allowed to issue freely traded stock without a registration statement.

The matter was brought before a JAMS arbitrator who, in late June, sided with Bagert, awarding him damages for those shares as well as other payments due.

Pulse didn't put up much of a fight before the arbitrator, but could fight to vacate the award now that the dispute has landed in New York federal court.

Meanwhile, the status of The King isn't clear, but Fuller has focused his attention to a "virtual" ABBA show being produced in conjunction with Universal Music.