Monday, January 19, 2009

Michael Jackson: The Musical

I am not making this up.

"Thriller Live" opened on January 2 at the Lyric Theatre in London.

Apparently, it's the jukeboxiest of all jukebox musicals. The Wall Street Journal review by John Jurgenson says, "
With a string of more than 30 song-and-dance numbers ranging from 'Ben' to 'Bad,' they're mounting what's essentially a two-hour tribute concert, billed as a 'musical celebration' on the posters plastered around London. There's no plot or dialogue -- just music."

The article also says that neither Michael Jackson nor his family is not directly involved in the production, except as the recipient of royalties from the public performances of his songs.

Four boys have been cast to perform young Michael's material and will rotate through the performance schedule. They include 14-year-old Layton Williams, who recently shared the lead role in the London version of 'Billy Elliot.' The boys represent one of the show's biggest hooks -- cooing 'aaws' from the crowd greeted 14-year-old Ashton Russell each time he appeared on stage last week -- as well as a potential weakness. 'Unfortunately they quickly grow up,' [producer Paul] Walden says. 'Once their voices break they can't sing the songs.'"

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