Chicago’s Largest ‘Thriller’ Flash Mob Ever Being Planned For Halloween

Sources: Chicagoist |The Local Tourist Chicago |All Things Michael

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Flash mobs may seem beyond passé at this point, yet not even the most jaded flash mobster can resist the siren call of the Thriller dance. And so, I|O Urban Roofscape at The Godfrey Hotel hosts what they are dubbing Chicago’s largest “Thriller Flash Mob on October 31 to celebrate their first Halloween.

Here’s how it goes down:

Don’t worry if you don’t know all the creepy, crawly moves, because instructors at Flirty Girl Fitness will be happy to teach them to both men and women that night. Thriller classes will be held at their studio located at 2215 N Halsted Street at 6:00pm, 7:00pm and 8:00pm. Come in costume or bring it with you. Either way, Flirty Girl’s staff can help transform you into the living dead with nail, hair and make-up services for $5 – $15.

To complete the party atmosphere, alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase from Flirty Girl’s bar. Take adult beverages into the disco-lit, fog machine enhanced studio while learning when to clap your hands over your head and slide to the right. (That’s the only move I remember from the video.)

After the Thriller choreography is perfected, or at least sort of learned, the mob will head to the Halloween party at I|O Urban Roofscape beginning at 9:00pm. Then, at 10:31pm and again at midnight, all the preparation will pay off as the dance floor will be invaded by ghouls and zombies breaking out into coordinated dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

You’re nobody if you haven’t tried to do the Thriller dance at least once in your lifetime. But whether or not you want to try to do so amongst a group of perfect strangers in Halloween costumes is an entirely different matter. Tickets to this macabre soirée can be bought here.

Just remember to have someone do the Vincent Price narration as well.

Flirty Girl Fitness is located at 2215 N. Halsted Street in Lincoln Park; I|O Urban Roofscape is located at 127 W. Huron St. 


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Massive Zombie Thriller Dance Coming To City Hall (Toronto)

Sources: Blog To – By Aubrey Jax| All Things Michael


Those sleepovers where you danced the zombie dance while your friends’ parents begged you to go to sleep and stop making noise up there are about to pay off. Next weekend a spooky cast of dancers are calling on Toronto to rattle its gross, brain eating (costumed) bodies in an attempt to set a new world record for the most people sashaying the zombie dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Toronto held claim to the first such record in 2006, in case you dance best under pressure.

If you’d like to take part, bring a donation for the Prostate Cancer Canada to Nathan Phillips Square, specifically “the washroom, at the skate rental area” (sketchy), at 4:30pm Saturday, October 25th – it’s the same day as Zombie Walk, so you don’t have to worry about over-zombie-ing your pores this year – and join the hour long rehearsal before the 6pm showdown. If you just want to watch, look out for the bitey ones.


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The Michael Jackson “Dittmar Collection” Exhibit Ends Tomorrow

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Gronau – Anyone looking for a cozy place away from the fresh autumnal temperatures can still quickly take advantage of the last opportunity to visit the Michael Jackson exhibition in the rock’n’ popmuseum. The exhibition will be on display until Sunday, October 19, before it goes back in private.

In recent months, many fans of the King of Pop have came to rock’n’popmuseum. In addition to the interested museum visitors, fans clubs traveled in buses and even went in costumes through the exhibition.

Visitors get to see an extract from the “Dittmar Collection,” the private collection of Chris Dittmar Julian, one of the largest and most valuable Michael Jackson collections worldwide. The collector has complied hundreds of exhibits from his possession with the aim to bring visitors closer to both the private individual as well as the world famous Mega Star, who held the breath of the world for decades.

Its artifacts include garments of the singer, including an original Billie Jean jacket that he wore in Pensacola during rehearsals for his “BAD World Tour” in 1988 and also a worn shoe signed by the artist.

The exhibit includes several original awards, such as the eye-catching Platinum Award presented to Michael Jackson for 7 million records, CDs and cassettes sold of the album “Dangerous.”


The skurrileren exhibits includes an original invitation to the private funeral and burial of Michael Jackson, which was held in Glendale on September 3, 2009 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Video clips and audio round off the varied appearances of the exhibition.  The audio guide gives the visitor detailed information about the objects that lift the veil of legend.


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Edited By – All Things Michael


Thriller Live Coming To Wolverhampton Grand Theatre November 11-15

Source: Broadway World | All Things Michael


As it continues its record-breaking 6th year in the West End, a brand new production of THRILLER LIVE is to visit only four regional UK theatres including Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (11 – 15 November) before jetting off to Australia and New Zealand into 2015. THRILLER LIVE has now performed to nightly standing ovations in 28 countries.

The West End production of THRILLER LIVE is now the longest-running production in the Lyric Theatre’s 125-year history. It first moonwalked into the West End in January 2009 after three acclaimed UK tours.

Recently, THRILLER LIVE has entered the record books to officially become the 20th longest running musical in West End history. The production overtook the records set by the legendary stage musicals The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady, which are no longer included in the top 20.

THRILLER LIVE is a constantly evolving music concert celebration. When Michael Jackson died, the Lyric Theatre became a focus for fans from all over the world, who created a massive shrine of flowers, candles, and tributes. More than 40 books of condolence were signed in the foyer then sent to the Jackson family. A year after his death, a permanent West End memorial to Michael was unveiled in the theatre foyer.

THRILLER LIVE brings to life on stage the distinctive high-energy dancing and pulsating sound of many of pop’s greatest hits, blending eye- popping video footage and effects together with dazzling choreography by the show’s award-winning director Gary Lloyd.

The show was originally conceived and created by Adrian Grant, a long time associate of Michael Jackson, and author of Michael Jackson – The Visual Documentary. It is produced by Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.


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“Thriller” Time: Learn October’s Unofficial Dance

Sources: NBC Los Angeles – By Alysia Gray Painter


You could round up a group of thesis-writing post-doctoral students, and summon the greatest minds of our time, and they’d still reach the same conclusion we all would, to a person, when asked this question: “When dancing the ‘Thriller’ dance, which move do people always, without exception, start with?”

The answer: the claws.

It’s always the claws, in the air, first at one side of the head, then the other, but the funny thing, of course, is that the claws don’t appear in the “Thriller” video, Michael Jackson’s 1983 John Landis-directed, Vincent Price-narrated phenomenon, until deep into the dance of the undead.

Which means this: People probably need to learn the dance, from scratch, rather than tapping into their memories of what turned out to be one of the most famous, if not the most famous, music videos of all time (if such things can be measured, and we’re sure someone is working on that).

Thrill the World LA is stop one. It’s part of the global Thrill the World event, where zombies — are they zombies, really, or traditional, fresh-from-the-grave undead? — gather in spots around the planet to go claws up in one joyous, seasonal dance. There are typically rehearsals, and you can study past performances on line (hardcore Thrill-the-World-ers are prone to showing up at Staples Center and other local spots for flash mobs outside of October).

Thrill the World LA 2014 goes down at the Queen Mary on Saturday, Oct. 25. It’s free — parking isn’t — and you can come down and watch the merry madness. Or get involved with the “Thriller” crew. They like to wear spooky make-up and zombie-esque duds, which is fun stuff in our workaday world.

And Kim Blank, one of the original dancers from the video (and a ghoul who’s a friend to this writer, disclaimer), also teaches a yearly one-time-only dance class that flaunts all the moves she learned from Michael Peters, the video’s choreographer. Class size is limited, people do dress up, Swerve Studio is on West Third Street, and the moves?

Well, they go way, way beyond the claws in the air, as you’ll see if you sign up for the Sunday, Oct. 18 workshop. Prepare for disciplined and cheeky instruction from a professional dancer who was one of the few to shake it, undead-style, on-screen.

“Thriller,” after all, isn’t just about the big scary eyes and shreddy clothing but about those jerky but precise movements, the low, menacing squats, and, yes, the occasional clawed hand.

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Michael Jackson Tops Forbes’ List Of Top Earning Deceased Celebrities With $140 Million Haul

Sources: Forbes – By Dorothy Pomerantz| All Things Michael


The 13 late luminaries who rank on this year’s list of the Top-Earning Dead Celebrities brought in a total of $363.5 million over the last 12 months. While living, celebrities can be temperamental and demanding. In death, they simply become brands to be managed. Their images can be attached to everything from T-shirts and posters to fragrances and lingerie, and they can even return from the dead in the form of eerily life-like holograms.

Few celebrities prove the point that there is (financial) life after death better than Michael Jackson. The King of Pop tops our list yet again with $140 million in earnings. This year, the singer had his second posthumous album release with Xscape, which debuted at No. 2 on the charts. He also appeared (in hologram form) on stage at the Billboard Music Awards. The hologram performance left some fans thrilled and others a bit freaked out, but expect to see more of the same from other dead celebrities as the technology advances to the point where we won’t be able to tell the difference.

Bettie Page, who ties for ninth on our list with $9 million in earnings, is also about to get the hologram treatment. The star’s iconic look (severe bangs, jet black hair, pin-up girl clothing) is making a comeback and now CMG, the company that manages Page’s estate, is working on a show about the star’s life. Set to open in Vegas next year (a venue has yet to be determined), the show will feature a hologram Page doing one of her famous striptease acts.

To compile our list we talk to estate managers, agents, music publishers and other in-the-know folks to come up with estimates of what each estate brought in between October 2013 and October 2014. We don’t deduct for taxes or things like management fees.

Ranking second behind Jackson is Elvis Presley with an estimated $55 million in earnings over the 12-month period. Authentic Brands Group bought the rights to Elvis last year for a reported $125 million. Presley’s estate still rakes in millions thanks to the throngs of tourists who visit Graceland each year and Elvis’ extensive music library. But ABG plans to boost earnings with (you guessed it) a hologram Elvis. ABG CEO Jamie Salter told Ad Week that hologram Elvis will be up and running in the spring and that he might return to Las Vegas or even perform with hologram Michael Jackson.

Cartoonist Charles Schulz ranks third with $40 million. Schulz’s Peanuts characters have never really gone away thanks to online versions of the comic strip, successful merchandising and the ubiquitous MetLife MET ads featuring Snoopy and the gang. But now the Peanuts are being introduced to a whole new generation with an upcoming 3-D movie from Fox studios. The movie is slated to be in theaters in November 2015. If it’s a hit, expect Shulz’s earning to climb the following year.

Elizabeth Taylor ranks fourth with $25 million in earnings. Thanks to her best-selling perfume and her old movies, Taylor still rakes it in. But as the last embodiment of old Hollywood glamour, everyone believes there’s a lot more that can be done with her brand. Expect more Elizabeth Taylor merchandise to roll out in the coming years.

Rounding out the top five is reggae singer Bob Marley with an estimated $20 million in earnings. The singer’s mellow mug can be seen on everything from messenger bags to T-shirts to a line of fruit-flavored drinks. The Marley beverage company’s motto: Live Relaxed.


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Zombies Will Invade Harlem On Halloween For Rendition Of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’

Sources: Daily News – By Jan Ranson | All Things Michael

Hundreds of dancing zombies are expected to flood Lenox Ave. near 124th St. on Oct. 31 for a rousing rendition of the late legendary pop artist Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.’


The dead will bring Harlem to life on Halloween.

Hundreds of dancing zombies are expected to flood Lenox Ave. near 124th St. on Oct. 31 for a rousing rendition of the late legendary pop artist Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

“It’s iconic,” said organizer Chet Whye, who pulled off a similar, but smaller, event last year. “It’s Michael Jackson’s signature. We feel we had to do this tribute for him on Halloween.”

Harlem played a major role in Jackson’s life, Whye said, noting the world-renowned singer launched his career with the Jackson 5 at Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in 1967. The group won.

“Thriller,” the then-unprecedented 13-minute pop music video from 1983, was deemed the most influential of its time because it mixed filmmaking and music. It was the first video to be premiered worldwide on MTV.

“Thriller,” the then-unprecedented 13-minute pop music video from 1983, was deemed the most influential of its time because it mixed filmmaking and music. It was the first video to be premiered worldwide on MTV.

Organizers are calling zombie-wannabes citywide to creep, crawl or moonwalk their way over to Lenox Ave. burger joint Harlem Shake, 100 W. 124th St., for the event, which opens at 6 p.m. The flash mob will begin its dance at 8 p.m


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Musicologist Susan Fast On Dissecting Michael Jackson’s Dangerous

Sources: Quill And Quire | All Things Michael


Hamilton writer Susan Fast is the author of Michael Jackson: Dangerous, the 100th volume of Bloomsbury’s hip pocket-book music series, 33 1/3.

A musicologist and cultural studies professor at McMaster University, Fast is the first Canadian woman to contribute to the series, which turns 10 this year. She is launching the book this evening at Toronto’s Type Books. The event will be hosted by fellow 33 1/3 author Carl Wilson (Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste).

Fast spoke to Q&Q about her new book and the appeal of Michael Jackson and his 1991 album, Dangerous.

Why this album? It was my favourite Michael Jackson record before he died, but I had never thought about writing about him until after his death.

I lost myself in his work after he died, and then started looking around for material that had been written on him. Even now, five years later, there’s really little quality stuff that looks at Michael Jackson like an artist.

After I listened to Dangerous a lot, I came to understand it as a concept album. When you think of Michael Jackson’s early work, “concept album” is not something you would think of. Albums like Thriller were so much about producing songs that could be released as the maximum number of singles.

The first sentence I wrote in the book is “Dangerous is Michael Jackson’s coming-of-age album,” because I really think that this is the moment that he presents himself to his audience as an adult who is interested in politics, especially racial politics, and is engaged in what I consider to be spiritual reflection, and certainly where he presents himself as a really hot sexualized adult guy.

Do you see a connection between Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin, the subject of your first book (Houses of the Holy: Led Zeppelin and the Power of Rock Music)? I’ve thought about this. In the book I say, “I like my music bloody.” I am a rock girl, but I do like pop music. I think what draws me toward certain music is an intensity in the music, really good craftsmanship, music that has something deep to say, and an artist who can really lose themselves in the music. Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson are examples of that. In both cases, the music is so intense.

Can you talk a little about the 33 1/3 series’ notoriously challenging submissions process? The process is very rigorous. I think there were 450 proposals and they selected 18.

They want a long and involved proposal. You have to write part of what could be your introduction to the book and a synopsis for each proposed chapter. I came to it a week before the deadline, but I really, really wanted to do this, and so pushed ahead.

What is the appeal of writing for the series? From an author’s point of view, it’s the kind of writing that you rarely get to do – who gets to write about an album of music? It’s such a tidy way to think about a project.

In the past, the 33/13 series has predominately featured male writers covering male musicians. Is this changing? If I had a critique of the series a few years ago, it was absolutely that the albums they were choosing were so mainstream white male rock – Dylan and that kind of thing. This series is one way of producing a canon of popular music, so I think it’s really important that it starts to open up. I know that the series editor, Ally Jane Grossan, is absolutely aware and wants to address it, and I think that’s reflected in the latest round of proposals that were accepted.



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