Monday, April 02, 2007

Thriller Live: What's Really, Really Bad?

Thriller Live: What's Really, Really Bad?

As noted a week ago, the British have a certain unbridled passion for jukebox musicals. After all, they practically invented the genre with the ABBA-inspired Mamma Mia! back in 1999 (the show continues to run in the West End and on Broadway, as well as nearly two dozen venues worldwide).

However, as a story from Friday's edition of The Times suggests, London impresarios are simply catering to all those darned German tourists since they could never personally love something so gauche, right?

Well, that same story, entitled "Just What The West End Needs - The Wacko Jacko Musical," tells us that it's now Michael Jackson's turn in the jukebox spotlight as his foundering career is apparently being rehabilitated via Thriller Live!

Thriller Live! is described as:
"[A] stage and video spectacular celebrating the wonderful career of the World's Greatest Entertainer: Michael Jackson. This amazing show, featuring over 30 performers including a full company of singers, dancers, gospel choir and live band will celebrate the King of Pop like never before! With fantastic dancing (from the MTV award winning choreographer LaVelle Smith Jr.) and brilliant vocal performances, Jackson's amazing songs and videos are brought to life on stage in a spectacular and sensational way.

The show, which was first presented at London's Dominion Theatre via one lone performance last summer, will now tour the U.K. for three weeks starting in Reading on May 6.

Reporter Jeremy Austin notes, "No doubt if it proves successful, it will be ushered into the first available West End theatre big enough to host it."

I don't wanna be startin' somethin' and hate to beat it without seeing it, but this dangerous attempt at one more chance seems completely off the wall and makes me want to scream. I'm sorry, Michael, but that's the way you make me feel -- really, really bad.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for U.K. tour information.

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At 02 April, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh lordy.

This sounds like a really bad idea. I love Michael Jackson's music but I don't really think it belongs onstage.

It seems to me like the states are done with Jukebox musicals. We're on to making subpar movies (Wedding Singer) into musicals or in some cases making movies into subpar musicals (High Fidelity).

It will be an interesting one to take in. I'll be interested in how it is received in London. What's the plot?

Now what might be interested is Michael Jackson as Bill Sykes in Oliver.

At 03 April, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Corey, Thanks for checking in.

The Michael Jackson "musical" actually is described as being more of a revue-type show than having an actual story line, but as we saw with Tony-winning musicals near the end of the last century (meaning 1900s), they were largely revues, too: Contact, Fosse and Swing! come to mind.

I'm not sure that Broadway is quite done with the jukebox musical genre just yet, considering that last year, three opened up: Ring Of Fire (Johnny Cash), The Times They Are A-Changin' (Bob Dylan) and Jersey Boys (Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons). Even though the first two closed quickly, that third one is likely sparking some producers to bring the musical catalogue of another artist to life. Time will tell.



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