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Michael Jackson Musical Aims For 2020 Broadway Opening

Melissa Rodriguez | June 19, 2018
Michael Jackson Broadway Musical

This just in: Michael Jackson is Broadway-bound

A musical exploration of the life and catalog of The King of Pop is confirmed to take a bow on a New York Broadway stage in 2020. The bio-musical is the result of a collaboration between The Michael Jackson Estate and Columbia Live Stage and will be penned by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage of Sweat and Ruined.

The musical will encourage fans to “leave that nine to five upon the shelf, and just enjoy yourself” as they relive the pop icon’s lengthy history and behold the mark he left on the globe upon his passing. Woven into the dialogue will be a myriad of “the man in the mirror’s” classic hits for that extra kick of nostalgia. Jackson’s catalogue includes a list of pop favorites like “Thriller,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Beat It,” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”

Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon has been tapped to direct and choreograph the musical, bringing to the stage his artistic experience as an associate of the Royal Ballet in London. He is well-known for his work on An American In Paris, for which he won the Tony.

Jackson has been the subject of many previous entertainment ventures, including a staged concert, “Thriller Live”, that has been running for nearly a decade in London. The Michael Jackson Estate has collaborated with several projects, including “Michael Jackson ONE,” a Cirque du Soleil show running for the last five years in Las Vegas; a documentary, “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” released a few months after his death in 2009; and “Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall,” a documentary from 2016.

It's too soon to know who will be cast in the musical, and the exact dates of the run, so stay tuned for updates here on Event Tickets Center!

Who Is Michael Jackson?

Michael Joseph Jackson was born as the eighth child of the Jackson family and grew up in a two-bedroom house in Gary, Indiana. In 1964, Jackson joined the Jackson Brothers, a band of his siblings formed by their father, as a backup musician on congas and tambourine. The next year, it would be renamed the Jackson 5, with Michael sharing lead vocals with his brother Jermaine. The success of the Jackson 5 put Michael on the map and facilitated his rise to prominence as a solo artist. A musical prodigy, Michael's singing and dancing talents were amazingly mature, and he soon became the dominant voice and focus of the Jackson 5.

His idols included Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelley, Berry Gordy, Quincy Jones, The Three Stooges, and Walt Disney. Solo success for Michael was inevitable, and by the 1980s, he had become infinitely more popular than his brotherly group. Record sales consistently rose, culminating in the biggest-selling album of all time, "Thriller" in 1982. A TV natural, he ventured rather uneasily into films, such as playing the Scarecrow in The Wiz (1978), but had much better luck with his elaborate music videos.

In 1983, Jackson reunited with his brothers for a performance taped at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium for Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, an NBC television special. The show would become known for Jackson's solo performance of "Billie Jean,” which earned him his first Emmy nomination. Wearing a distinctive black-sequined jacket and a golf glove decorated with rhinestones, he debuted his signature dance move, the moonwalk, which former Soul Train dancer and Shalamar member Jeffrey Daniel had taught him three years earlier.

Jackson became a figure of controversy in the 1980s due to his changing physical appearance, his relationships, and behavior. This stemmed from the physical and emotional securities of his childhood, his fast-paced lifestyle in the spotlight, and a skin condition called vitiligo that affected the pigmentation of his skin, making it lighter. While preparing for his comeback concert series, "This Is It", Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication in 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. His death was ruled a homicide, and his personal physician, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Upon his untimely death, Jackson left behind a record-breaking career that spanned across 10 albums and four decades. Through his group, solo, and family work, he became one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.

Jackson's other achievements include 39 Guinness World Records—including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 26 American Music Awards, 16 World Music Awards. Winning countless awards for his humanitarian endeavors, Michael has been honored by two Presidents of the United States. He has also been named as the artist of "the Decade", "Generation", "Century", and "Millennium" and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Jackson is the most awarded recording artist in the history of popular music.

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