Thriller Live Breaks Another West End Record

Sources: Indie London | All Things Michael

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Thriller Live, which is currently booking at the Lyric Theatre until April 17, 2016, has smashed another long-running West End record.

Last night, Sunday, April 12, 2015, the production played its 2,619th performance in the West End and passed the original 1960 version of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! to become the 18th Longest Running West End Musical Of All Time.

And the show has yet another long-running Wet End record in its sight later this year. On Sunday, December 13, at its 2,901st show, Thriller Live will pass Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1978 hit Evita to become the 17th Longest Running West End Musical Of All Time.

The celebrations were led by Former 5 Star lead vocalist and Brit Award-winner Denise Pearson, who made her West End debut in the show in the original cast. She was back in the show yesterday as lead female vocalist – for one day only!

Producers Paul Walden and Derek Nicol said in a statement today: “This is yet another amazing milestone in the history of our show. It is only truly exceptional shows that run this long in the West End and we are grateful to the fans of Michael Jackson, his music and phenomenal dance moves, who have taken the show to their hearts. It is an honour for us to keep the music of Michael Jackson alive and to bring it fresh and new to the next generation of theatregoers.”

Thriller Live continues to set and break records and new territories around the globe. To date it has now performed to standing ovations in 30 countries from South Korea to Norway, South America to China, Australia and New Zealand. A new UK and European tour will launch in the autumn.

Thriller Live brings to life on stage the music of Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five with distinctive high-energy dancing and the pulsating sound of many of pop’s greatest hits. The show blends eye-popping video footage and effects together with dazzling choreography by the show’s award-winning director Gary Lloyd.

Thriller Live 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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Interview With Principle Dancer Brandi Chun for The Michael Jackson One

Sources: The Examiner – By Gaia Best | Edited By – All Things Michael

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I recently interviewed Brandi Chun from The Michael Jackson One show at The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, who is one of the principle dancers and dance captain for this five star attraction permanently housed in Las Vegas.

This is a must see attraction and not to be missed. Brandi is from Oahu and has lived in Las Vegas for a couple of years now. I felt our readers would enjoy hearing a bit about Brandi’s experience and could inspire others that have considered auditioning for Cirque du Soleil.

Here is that interview for you to enjoy. Refer back to my previous article for information and a review of The Michael Jackson One show itself.

Do you have a “favorite” MJ song? if so, which one or ones? Why?

I really can’t choose just one Michael Jackson song as my favorite since he’s got so many great songs and albums but, if I had to choose one in the show it’d probably be “Smooth Criminal.” First off it’s such an iconic song and music video and getting to do the original choreography to it feels amazing. Also my boyfriend is an acrobat in the show and that’s the scene where we kind of get to battle it out and stage with each other.

How was MJ’s artistic genuine inspired you?

Michael Jackson’s artistry has inspired many generations and is still inspiring kids today. Ever since I was little, I loved watching his music videos and copying the choreography. He’s always been the one person I’ve wanted to dance for so it’s really cool that I get to be on stage sharing his legacy.

What is the most difficult part of being a performer in MJ’s One for you?

The most difficult part about working for Michael Jackson ONE is dealing with last minute situations during shows. My role as dance captain requires me to aid in coming up with a plan for last minute replacements. For example, if someone drops out of the show due to sickness we have to find someone to cover their track immediately or come up with another solution.

 

Read the entire interview here

 

Coming Soon For Michael Jackson Subscribers!

Michael Jackson.com  | All Things Michael

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We’re just months away from the third annual Michael Jackson Birthday Celebration at MJ ONE at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas! As a thank you for joining Michael’s newsletter, look in your inbox this Friday, April 10th for a special offer. Don’t miss it!

Michael Jackson ONE™, the immersive musical experience from The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil, premiered in June 2013. Michael’s artistry and spirit are expressed through the vibrant energy of the cast of 63 dancers and performers. ONE is a heartfelt tribute to the work, innovative spirit, and legacy of Michael Jackson – the King of Pop, the genius, the visionary, the One. Directed by Jamie King, the show follows the success of Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour, which became the eighth top-grossing music tour of all time, according to Billboard Boxscore.

Visit MichaelJackson.com >>

He Was Just Michael….

Sources: In The Studio With Michael Jackson – By Brad Sundberg | All Things Michael

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“What was he really like?”
“Did he know you by name?”
“What was it like to be at Neverland?”
“Why would someone have an amusement park in the back yard?”

It’s already been more than 30 years since I first met Michael Jackson. I have been asked every type of question. I have had people react in disbelief and amazement. I have been put down. I have heard incredibly hurtful comments – for a laugh. But I have also seen warmth and compassion. I have met people that made me sad through their sadness at the loss, and others who were filled with joy to a point of contagiousness. In describing Michael Jackson, someone once said, “It’s so hard to describe him to people, because he isn’t like anyone else.”

I first met Michael in late 1984, working on the music for Captain EO. For the next 18 years there were countless weeks when I spent more time with him than I did my own wife, and months when I never saw him. Albums, tours, short films, special projects – I was there if he or the team needed me. And I swear this is true – I don’t remember a single day, a single project – that I didn’t love going to work.

Being around Michael I was blessed to see many things, meet many people, and experience things that might be considered special by some. Vocal sessions. Late nights of mixing. Rolling out plans for new areas of Neverland. Building a giant outdoor theater in his backyard and cranking up my Pearl Jam CD for us both to listen to. I don’t live in the past, but I can see it all like it happened this morning. I wish it did.

When you work so closely with Michael, sometimes it not the “big” things you notice, it’s the little things. Of course it is amazing when Princess Stephanie of Monaco comes to the studio, but is it any less amazing to go down the super-slide at Neverland with Michael after he sprays some crazy spray on your burlap sack so you almost break your legs due to the high speed jumps? Just writing those words fills my head with his laughter. Yep, miss that. A lot.

You might think that the studio was about work, and the ranch was about play. But it wasn’t that simple. They were both about pushing the limits, not being satisfied with “almost”. They were both work, they were both fun – but even the work was a labor of love. You wanted to hear that laugh; you wanted to see that smile.

I don’t remember the first time I saw Peter Pan in the window at ranch. There were statues everywhere, and Disney memorabilia and items from all over the world. Truthfully, I was never a huge Peter Pan fan. I liked the ride at Disneyland, but the whole Peter Pan “persona” wasn’t really my thing. But I knew Michael loved Peter Pan.

It’s hard to put exactly what I am trying to say into words, but let me try. There were times when Michael Jackson – the global superstar – wasn’t that obvious to me. He was just Michael – boss, client and friend. I worked for him, I worked with him, and I enjoyed his company. But every now and then I was reminded who he was. One of those times was at the ranch, when I saw Peter Pan in the window.

I don’t know what it was, or why it struck me like it did. Michael could afford a fleet of Rolls Royces, several mansions, etc. He had Disney dioramas inside the theater, Disney topiaries, even a steam train of the same vintage and scale as Disneyland. But that Peter Pan in the window was different.

There were several Peter Pans at Neverland. They could be found in the main house, in the train station, in the video library, etc. I don’t really remember Michael and I really talking about Peter Pan, except maybe the ride at Disneyland we both enjoyed. But the Peter Pan in the window always seemed special to me, like it was watching over the back yard – keeping an eye on things.

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Truthfully I had almost forgotten about window Peter Pan until I saw this photo a few weeks back. Suddenly it was like I was standing in the spot, just outside that window, looking at Peter looking at me. I can hear the music, I can hear the train whistle… I can hear Michael’s laughter.

So what was he like? There is no simple answer, nor should there be. I can’t describe what the Grand Canyon is like in a simple answer. I can’t describe what music is like in a simple answer. Or a bold Cotes du Rhone. Or love. Or Peter Pan. I just know I love them all – each for a different reason.

I’ll make you an offer. I’ll do my best to to give you a day you won’t soon forget, if you’ll join me for a day in the studio. I’ll take you through the recording and songwriting processes. I’ll take you behind the scenes into Captain EO, Bad, Dangerous and HIStory. I’ll bring you on a surround-sound tour of Neverland – an amazing place that I had the privilege of helping create with some incredibly talented people. I will do all I can to introduce you to a friend of mine. His name is Michael Jackson, and he is like no one you have ever met.

We’ll be at the Seattle Drum School in just 11 days, followed by Toronto in May, Germany in June and Spain in July.

Hear things you have never heard.
See things you have never seen.
Learn things you never knew.

Tickets:
www.inthestudiowithmj.com

Will You Be There?

Read more: https://www.facebook.com/inthestudiowithmj/posts/413140378859862

 

Howard The Duck Does Thriller For Marvel’s “What The Duck” Comic Series

Sources: Comicbook.com – By  Jaime Lovett | Marvel Comics | All Things Michael

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Marvel Comics has provided ComicBook.com with an exclusive first look at the “What the Duck” (WTD) variant cover to Silk #3.

The cover, by The Manhattan Projects artist Nick Pitarra, depicts Howard the Duck, Spider-Man, Rocket Raccoon, the Hulk, and other Marvel characters doing their best version of the dance from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video.

What the Duck Series

Marvel is proud to unveil WHAT THE DUCK?! Month – a series of 20 special variant covers for April featuring that fabulous fowl, Howard The Duck!

“Response to the announcement of the new Howard the Duck series has been staggering,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “There were so many talented artists eager to take a quack at drawing a Howard cover we couldn’t resist building an entire variant month around him. This April is going to be WTD certified!”

No fan can afford to miss out on these exciting variant covers featuring the one and only web-footed wonder! Run, don’t walk to your comic shops this April to get your hands on these can’t miss WHAT THE DUCK?! Variant Covers!

 

 

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Epcot’s Captain EO Going On Hiatus – Last Day April 9

Sources: Orlando Sentinel – By Dewayne Bevil| All Things Michael

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“Captain EO,” starring the late king of pop, is going on hiatus, Disney says, so that auditorium can be used for guests to preview scenes from the film “Tomorrowland,” which debuts in theaters May 22.

The last day for “EO” is Thursday, April 9. The “Tomorrowland” previews, which will start every 15 or 20 minutes, will begin later.

“Tomorrowland,” starring the Oscar-winning Clooney, has a futuristic bent that could play well in the theme park’s Future World. The film is directed by Brad Bird (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol”), who wrote the screenplay with Damon Lindelof (“Lost”).

Segments of “Tomorrowland” were filmed in Central Florida, although the bulk of the production was made in Canada. One of the movie posters features a structure that looks resembles Space Mountain, the signature ride of Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland.

“Captain EO” originally ran at Epcot from 1986 to 1994. It returned to the park’s Imagination Pavilion in July 2010, the year after Jackson’s unexpected death. Its second run was described as “temporary” at the time.

“EO” is a 3-D film in which Jackson plays a singing, dancing, space warrior who has a crew of aliens and robots. He is challenged by the “supreme leader,” played by Anjelica Huston. The film, directed by Francis Coppola, has also been seen at Disneyland in California, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.

The Disney Parks Blog has stated that “EO” will return to Epcot sometime after the premiere of “Tomorrowland.” A specific date has not been announced.

 

 

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Michael Jackson Tribute Band Who’s Bad Playing House of Blues

Sources: The News Herald Entertainment – ByJohn Benson| All Things Michael

Michael Jackson may have died five years ago, but his message and music live on today among fans around the world.

One group looking to keep the King of Pop alive is Who’s Bad, The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band, which returns to Northeast Ohio for a show April 4 at the House of Blues in Cleveland.

“When we started, we were like, ‘How about we do a funk band?’” said Who’s Bad horn player Ray McCall, calling from his home in Wake Forest, North Carolina. “We listened to Michael’s ‘Off the Wall’ album and heard a lot of horns in there. That’s when we said, ‘How about we just go ahead and do a Michael Jackson tribute?’

“We thought we could do this for a week or a month, but then it became a powerful thing.”

The members of Who’s Bad couldn’t have picked a worse time to form a Jackson tribute band. The year was 2003, and news had broken about allegations of child molestation against Jackson.

When he was acquitted two years later, Who’s Bad already was traveling around the East Coast with its five members – including leader Vamsi Tadepalli – performing material that begins with The Jackson Five and ends with Jackson’s 2001 album “Invincible.”

The outfit has performed more than 1,000 shows around the globe and has shared the stage with everyone from Aretha Franklin and The Backstreet Boys to The Four Tops, Boys II Men and Pitbull.

On the surface, a Michael Jackson tribute band can run the risk of beginning and ending with a tribute singer doing the moonwalk, but Who’s Bad has made a career by eschewing any novelty feel while paying close attention to detail.

“Michael is known for the moonwalk, but Michael overall as a performer is something that I don’t think a lot of artists even today can kind of come close to touching,” McCall said.

“Still, it was difficult to find a frontman who kind of covered all aspects of Michael, being an icon with range that is kind of ridiculous and having the presence on stage. We did find that someone in Taalib York, who has been a fan of Michael for a long time and studied his dancing and moves. He can really captivate the audience.”

Fans attending the show should expect to hear songs such as “ABC,” “Bad,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Thriller,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” and “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

When asked about the legacy of Jackson, McCall said there’s an element of authenticity and level of sincerity that makes the King of Pop the last great artist of his kind.

“Today how artists try to communicate lyrically has changed drastically, and it’s not just pop music or country music or rap,” McCall said. “It’s across the board. It seems to be less about communicating to the world or having a song that has a message that everyone can relate to.

“It’s all about having a hit that’s only going to last a couple of months, whereas with Michael and artists from back in the day, it was all about the record and the album giving you a complete story. It was really all about the music and the message in the music.”

Details

Who: Who’s Bad, The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band.

When: 8 p.m. April 4.

Where: House of Blues, 308 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.

Tickets: $12.50 in advance, $15 day of show.

Info: Ticketmaster.com.

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SLASH Shoots Down Claim His Relationship With AXL ROSE Was Torn Over MICHAEL JACKSON Collaboration

Sources: Blabbermouth | Edited By All Things Michael

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Slash has shot down as false a former GUNS N’ ROSES manager’s claim that an argument over the guitarist’s collaboration with Michael Jackson is ultimately what fractured the relationship the ex-GN’R axeman and the band’s lead singer Axl Rose.

In a brand new interview with “Elliot In The Morning”, the morning radio talk show hosted by DJ Elliot Segal, Slash was asked if there is any truth to Goldstein‘s claims.

“You know what?! I’ve been hearing a lot about this particular interview from a lot of people that he really pissed off,” Slash replied (hear audio below). “And I’ve heard that. And I don’t think there’s any truth to that. I mean, obviously, the band stayed together for years after that whole thing. And it wasn’t a big deal at the time. And if it did piss anybody off, it was something that went away. So I don’t think it had anything to do with the original GUNS N’ ROSES‘ demise.”

Slash also explained that he doesn’t go out of his way to read any of Goldstein‘s interviews that have to do with GUNS N’ ROSES. “I don’t wanna read or hear that guy’s B.S., so I just avoid it,” he said. “That way I stay sane. [Laughs]”

Read more here

Note from All Things Michael: In addition to supporting what Slash has to say, I would like to add the following screen shot from an interview with Axl Rose back in 2014, where he credits Michael Jackson in a list of singers he enjoys listening to as mentioned below:

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