Bus Trip To “Motown, the Musical” November 20, 2014

Sources: Decatur Area for The Arts | All Things Michael


This is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, and many more.  Featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”  You will experience  the story behind the music in this record breaking smash hit.

Tickets are $160 and include bus ride, lunch at the Fox, premium seating for the show, and a snack on the ride back.

Date: November 20th, 2014
Location: Fox Theatre in St. Louis
Time: Thursday, 1 p.m.
Phone Number: 217-423-3189

Decatur Area Arts Council

Madden Arts Center and Anne Lloyd Gallery
125 N. Water Street
Decatur, IL  62523

p: 217-423-3189
f: 217-423-3194
e: arts4all@decaturarts.org

Office and Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday – 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Additional Gallery Hours: Saturday – 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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The X Factor: What Did The Judges Say About Queen Vs Michael Jackson?

Digital Spy – By Rachel Babbage | All Things Michael


Week Five saw The X Factor contestants pay tribute to two iconic pop acts – Queen and Michael Jackson.

Digital Spy rounds up what Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh had to say about Saturday night’s (November 8) acts – and if you missed the show, you can catch up with all the performances below, too:

1. Paul Akister: ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen

Simon: “Last week you were like a Dementor, you know, sucking the energy out. But you came out, you were happy, you sang really well.”

Cheryl: “You’re so consistently good, you haven’t had a bad week vocally. Just trust Melanie when she says perform more because she cares more than any other mentor that I’ve worked with.”

2. Jay James: ‘The Show Must Go On’ by Queen

Mel B: “I wasn’t feeling it. I could see you were uncomfortable, that you were stressed out. As a performer, you have to forget what’s gone on and you just have to deliver.”

Louis: “I loved the staging. Consistent and amazing.”

3. Lauren Platt: ‘I’ll Be There’ by The Jackson 5

Simon: “I thought the track was good, the last 20 seconds was fantastic. That’s where I heard what your voice is capable of. You’re better than you think you are.”

Mel B: “Can we all just remind ourselves that you are 17. You performed that song like you’d been doing it your entire life. I heard you’ve got a bit of Tonsillitis going on. To do that with that, wow.”

4. Only The Young: ‘Blame It on the Boogie’ by The Jacksons

Cheryl: “The chemistry between you is so genuine. I can imagine kids at home saying, ‘Mum I want to go see them.”

Louis: “We need this band in this competition. They work so hard, they’ve got great chemistry.”

5. Ben Haenow: ‘Man in the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson

Mel B: “This week your vocals were too exposed. If I was Simon, I would be worried about that choice for you.”

Cheryl: “It doesn’t matter where I go, somebody will always say to me, ‘I love Ben’. It was a massively brave thing to do, to sing it a capella. You seemed emotional and nervous though.”

6. Stevi Ritchie: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen

Louis: “What just happened? You became a rock god, that was crazy. I think Freddie would have loved it if he was alive. You’re turning into the David Brent of The X Factor in a good way.”

Mel B: “You’re genuine, you’re honest and give it your all. I just felt like I took some weird acid and went on a trip. I still don’t feel normal.”

7. Stereo Kicks: ‘You Are Not Alone’ by Michael Jackson

Simon: “Good for you! The important thing is that you bounced back from where you were last week.”

Cheryl: “I don’t how I would have dealt with what you just dealt with [the stage invasion]. It was a real sign of professionalism.”

8. Fleur East: ‘Will You Be There’ by Michael Jackson

Louis: “You’ve been working all your life to get to this point. As a manager, I know you’re ready-made for a career in music.”

Mel B: “You shut me up, again! You owned it, you commanded the stage. You have to stay in this competition. We need you!”

9. Andrea Faustini: ‘Somebody to Love’ by Queen

Louis: “That is my favourite performance of the night and the whole series.”

Cheryl: “There’s never anything less than 100% with your performances. The whole of Britain loves you.”

The X Factor results show airs on Sunday (November 9) on ITV.

The X Factor: Michael Jackson vs Queen: Who did the kings of pop proud?


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Hospital Sponsors Thriller Flash Mob To Promote Wellness And Community

Sources: Kinston By Junious Smith III | All Things Michael

all thingsmichael

More than three decades later, the zombie dance still entertains the masses — and a group from the hospital and community brought it back to life on Friday.

Employees of the Minges Wellness Center, Lenoir Memorial Hospital and members of the center participated in a flash mob to Michael Jackson’s classic 1982 hit “Thriller” at the hospital. The group dressed up as zombies to recreate the imagery of the music video, with Minges exercise specialist Graham Brown donning the King of Pop’s red outfit.

Brown, who coordinated the dance, said the preparation began early in October.

“We observed other flash mobs and we wanted to bring the community together, along with incorporate physical activity,” Brown said. “We’ve had multiple sessions throughout the month of October where people could learn the steps to the Thriller dance and we all got together (Friday) to dance.”

LMH Marketing Director Barbara LaRoque said the hospital advertised the lessons leading up to Friday’s event, and was in support of the integration the wellness center made with exercise and Thriller.

“We will do anything to encourage physical activity for the community, and what you saw here was people having fun with the exercise,” LaRoque said.

Kimberly Best, an RN education specialist with LMH, said there is an additional benefit for the staff as well.

“It gave us a nice break during the day and helps relieve stress,” Best said.

The flash mob also coincided with the hospital’s annual kickoff of United Way, using a celebration and employee campaign. Elaine Penuel, director of nursing at LMH, said Thriller was a great choice to raise awareness.

“We tie this celebration in each year to attract attention and hopefully, more will be done for the United Way,” she said. “It’s just a good time to be had all around.”

Kinston resident Christen Coan came to support her aunt, Patricia Patterson, who was in the flash mob. Coan said the entire event was put together well.

“It was awesome,” Coan said. “I really enjoyed it and the dancers did a phenomenal job.”

Exercise specialist Barbara Bradshaw said the performance went well and hopes to see more of the same next year.

“I would love to have something like this again,” Bradshaw said. “So many people were involved this time around, and those who watched us might be motivated to be a part of it next year.”


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Sonny G Debuts ‘American Music Icons’ Tribute

Sources: The Pueblo Chieftain – By Amy Matthew | Edited By – All Things Michael

Cab Calloway, Elvis Presley, Jackie Wilson, James Brown and Michael Jackson had more than music in common — and Sonny Gonzalez (known as Sonny G.) is ready to illustrate the foot-tapping connection. 

Gonzalez, a Pueblo native, will debut his production, “American Music Icons,” today at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. The performance will start at 7:30 p.m. After learning some of Jackson’s dance moves for a show while he was in high school, Gonzalez continued expanding his impersonation over the last decade. During that time, he was building his acting career with a long list of parts in commercials and corporate training videos, on TV and in theater.


Sonny G

As he studied Jackson, he learned through the King of Pop’s own interviews who influenced his dance style. The names that kept appearing wereCalloway, Presley, Wilson and Brown. Eventually, Gonzalez, 28, decided to move behind the camera and develop his own show tracing the timeline of all five performers.michael-jackson-thelavalizard

He went through hundreds of videos and listened to each man’s music to better understand the emotions of the songs, which he said find their way into their mannerisms and choreography. In the show, he lip-syncs to some of each singer’s biggest hits.

“Jackie and Elvis had similar movements,” Gonzalez said. “Between Jackie’s footwork and Elvis’ hips, you get James Brown. Cab Calloway was just way out there with his clothing and his movements.”


Jackie Wilson

Sure enough, watch Calloway and you’ll see the origins of the moonwalk, a little Elvis hip shake and arm windmill, the frenetic, all-over-the-stage dancing of Brown. “Michael was all four of the other characters rolled up into one,” said Gonzalez. “When you see him at the end of the show, you’ll understand where he derived his hip movements and his beats.” Gonzalez’s Elvis moves even got him a job last year in an Starz/Encore movie channel promotion for Elvis month. He had to be approved by Elvis Presley Enterprises, which controls every facet of The King’s legacy.


Cab Calloway

“They’ve invited me to Graceland for their big Elvis impersonation contest they do every year,” he said.



Developing his own show provided Gonzalez with an enormous lesson in music history. “I was surprised at the connections,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know who Jackie Wilson and Cab Calloway were, but if you watch the videos I watched, they’re still relevant today. The music, dance moves and energy — you see them in everyone from Justin Bieber to Usher to Lady Gaga.”

Though he’s lived in Denver for nearly a decade, Gonzalez said he wanted to premiere his show in his hometown.

“We’re all about the arts in Pueblo,” he said. “I want to let people know Pueblo’s a positive place and you can make it if you have a dream and the tenacity to get it done.”

The performance will be filmed by Pueblo company Luminous Media Arts. Tickets for “American Music Icons” are $20. They are available at the arts center box office.

The evening will include a Halloween dance party and a costume contest with cash prizes.


WHO: Sonny G.

WHAT: ‘American Music Icons’

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today

WHERE: Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Ave.

TICKETS: $20 at arts center box office

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Reserve And Cinrg Present: The Kiss 957 BOOBASH

Sources: Connecticut Reserve | All Things Michael


Join us for a sinister evening for Connecticut Biggest Halloween Event The Kiss 957 BOO BASH, taking place right in Central Connecticut at the Reserve in Meriden.

Get ready for some spooktacular entertainment, as well as an eerie environment as we turn Connecticut’s finest Reserve into a ghostly haunted scene!!

Joby Rogers will be bringing the Ultimate Michael Jackson Xperience to Reserve alongside United Rhythms Dance Studio as they preform THRILLER to get the night started!

Multiple performances to follow throughout the evening all leading to Moodswing’s Very Own DJ DSTAR!

Supporting music by Connecticut’s own, Dj Leon Corzo aswell as NYC’s Dj Levek..

Three levels of mystery patiently await you so please dress in your most extravagant costumes for great prizes and drink specials!!

You Don’t want to miss out on this incredible night!!!

Get tickets here

Flash Back To The ’80s Costume Bash (Charity Event)

Sources: Framingham Patch – By Susan Petroni  | Edited By – All Things Michael


Tease your hair big, toss on those acid-washed jeans, stirup pants and neon top and headband and rock out to Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince at an awesome 80’s costume party this Friday night. And, at the same time you will be helping to raise money for three local food pantries.

Sponsored by TD Bank, the Totally 80’s Costume Bash is the United Way of Tri-County’s “Totally Rad” fundraising event where they aim to raise funds for their three food pantries in Framingham, Marlborough and Greater Clinton.

The event is Friday, October 24 at the Verve in Natick from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Advance tickets are $40 each or two for $75; tickets at the door the night of the event will be $50.

Passed hors d’oeurves, food stations, and a cash bar will also be available.

In addition there will be chances to win prizes for those who participate in one of the many contests including – best Moon Walk, gnarliest Air Guitar Player, or Totally Awesome Costume of the evening.

Funds raised at the event will help eliminate hunger in our local neighborhoods. As the numbers of unemployed and under-employed continue to seek assistance, the United Way of Tri-County needs your help now more than ever. Serving 34 cities and towns in MetroWest, Norfolk and Worcester Counties the three food pantries combined currently serve thousands of individuals each month.

The United Way of Tri-County, headquartered in Framingham, partners with many food distributors to provide healthy and nutritious groceries and meals to the growing number of individuals and families in need.

Through its affiliation with the Greater Boston Food Bank, the United Way can utilize their food dollars to the maximum. For every $1 spent, the United Way can purchase $4 worth of food. And in 2013 the United Way of Tri-County was recognized as a leader in addressing food insecurity and honored as the GBFB’s Annual Community Partner of the Year. Yet staff will tell you that individuals are still not getting their nutritional needs met. People are still hungry so there is more work to be done. Join us for a party with a purpose.

“We want the Totally 80’s Costume Bash to feel like it did in the 80’s, with big hair, big shoulder pads and big results for the food pantries”, said Paul Mina, President and CPO of the United Way of Tri-County. “This is a chance to be silly and have fun for a great cause. We’re asking the community to dig into their closets and pull out those stir-up pants and acid washed jeans and join us for an evening with a purpose.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at http://www.uwotc.org/totally80s or by calling the United Way of Tri-County office at 508.872.3291.



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Free Thriller Flash Mob Workshop |Pink and Blue Bash For Cancer Awareness

Sources: New Hampshire – By Katie McQuaid | All Things Michael


I can’t be the only one who tries to dance like Michael Jackson, or at least one of his back-up zombies, every time “Thriller” comes on at a party. Or at the gym. Or in the frozen food aisle at the grocery store.

With Halloween approaching, one Manchester dance studio is looking to give wannabes like me some real Michael Jackson dance skills by offering a free “Thriller” Flash Mob Workshopthis Wednesday. Instructors at the Royal Palace Dance Studio will teach the iconic “Thriller” choreography from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at their 373 South Willow St. school.

Of course, once you know the dance, you are going to want show off your new skills in public. That’s why you need a ticket to the first ever Pink and Blue Bash to benefit the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center this Friday.

The evening will include 80s music, lots of dancing to “Thriller” and other hits of the decade, and silent auctions. Prizes will be awarded to individuals with the best pink costume, the best blue costume and the best 1980s-themed costume.

With pink as the symbolic color of breast cancer awareness, and blue the color people wear for prostate cancer support, this Halloween party aims to raise awareness and encourage screenings for both.

“When my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he realized that there are so many pink ribbons for breast cancer and no blue ribbons for prostate cancer. My goal is to get the blue ribbons out there to bring awareness to the fact that screenings for men are as important as mammograms for women,” says Crissy Kantor, founder of Chill Spa, which is hosting the event at the Executive Court.

Tickets for the bash cost $35 per person and can be purchased at Chill, or on the web at tinyurl.com/pinkbluebash.


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Odyssey Dance Theatre Presents “Thriller”

Sources: City Weekly | All Things Michael


Now in its 18th season, Odyssey Dance Theatre’s Halloween production—inspired by Michael Jackson’s classic 1983 short film/music video—has become a scarily attractive tradition for Utah audiences. Once again, ODT has two separate casts touring the region for the entire month of October, taking the company’s widely popular formula of pop familiarity, broad comedy and contemporary jazz/ballet movement all the way to Idaho. The thrill of Thriller for eager audiences is the company’s blend of contemporary culture with dance and a macabre sense of humor. Fan favorites include Curse of the Mummy (think mummy hip-hop artists) and Dem Bones (which features black-lit tap-dancing skeletons). Then there is always the Romeo & Juliet-inspired Frankenstein & Frankenstein, in which the big creature loves his bride to the point of smothering her. And don’t forget the infamous and Irish-enraging River of Blood Dance, a gory massacre in which a sniper picks off the performers one by one. (Jacob Stringer) Odyssey Dance Theatre: Thriller@ Kingsbury Hall, 1395 Presidents Circle, University of Utah, 801-581-7100, Oct. 10-Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, $25-$45. OdysseyDance.com, KingTix.com

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