Motown The Musical Is Coming To Washington DC

Sources: The National Theatre | All Things Michael


It began as one man’s story… became everyone’s music… and is now Broadway’s musical. Motown The Musical 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.

Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” experience the story behind the music in the record-breaking smash hit Motown The Musical!

For more information on Motown, click here.

DATES: December 1, 2015 –  January 3, 2016

Show Run Time2 hours 40 minutes including intermission.

Where: The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004



Dancer Mark Atchison Talks About Touring With MJ And What Helped Him Turn His Life Around

Sources: Warrington Guardian – By Hannah Bergery | All Things Michael

Fullscreen capture 4222015 34214 AM

MANY lives have changed since Mr Smith’s heyday in the late 1980s.

But only a handful can claim their connection with the famous night club was truly life-changing.

Mark Atchison, better known in the town as Bov, enjoyed a whirlwind three months supporting music legend Michael Jackson on his Dangerous European tour as well as coaching Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson and still inspires dancers in Warrington today.

But he says his success is all thanks to the dancers at Mr Smith’s who helped him turn his life around.

The 45-year-old added: “Back in 1988 I was quite badly behaved and had just come out of prison after serving a four-month sentence for fighting.

“I didn’t know where I was going in life and got dragged to Mr Smith’s for a dance class with the Hitman and Her dancers by a mate.

Mark at the former site of Mr. Smith's

Mark at the former site of Mr. Smith’s

“They smashed me all over the place with their moves and I apologised to Clive Donaldson, who was running it, for being so bad and asked if I could go back again.”

After improving with the help of the Hitman and Her crew, Mark became part of the show and for the next two-and-a-half years was a regular face dancing alongside his friend Jaffa, from Runcorn.

The pair admit they loved being on the show but were keen to find a way to make it pay and started asking acts on the show if they needed dancers.

Their persistence led to them supporting Everybody’s Free popstar Rozalla on tour in Germany but they could not believe it when she switched labels to the same one as Michael Jackson and was asked to join him on his European tour in 1992.

The Orford dance teacher said: “It was 39 shows in 15 different countries over three months and we went from dancing in front of 10,000 to 110,000 people in Paris.

“When we got to Wembley we invited Michaela Strachan to watch us because her and Pete Waterman always had a soft spot for us as we were council estate kids and she said she cried because she was so proud of us.

“When we came off stage in Barcelona, we were told Michael Jackson wanted to see us and he thanked me for touring with him which I thought was hilarious.

“He said he had seen me dance and it was amazing. I was 21 at the time and didn’t know what to say and then we got a picture with him which is one of my most prized possessions.

“It was one of those moments you can’t forget and the Michael Jackson dancers were asking us for moves we had learnt in Warrington. You can’t make that up!”

Rozalla and her dancers were invited to support the Thriller singer across North and South America but sadly the opportunity was turned down as Rozalla wanted to work on a new album.

It meant Mark had to return home but despite a taste of life supporting music royalty, he has never forgotten his roots and is still thankful to Mr Smith’s.

“My dance career lasted 30 years on the back of what I learnt at Mr Smith’s and what happened in there changed my life completely”, Mark adds.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say I was going nowhere until I took that class and what I learnt I’ve been able to pass on to others like George Sampson.

“I’ve been surprised how devastating it feels to see it demolished and can’t imagine what it’s going to be like going past and not seeing it there.

“But my Mr Smith’s memories will always be pretty strong.”


Read more here

Just Blaze Re-Examines The Musical Magic In Michael Jackson’s Human Nature (Audio)

Sources: Ambrosia for heads | All Things Michael


2015 has seen Just Blaze shake things up with some instrumentals. The New Jersey producer/DJ really became a go-to sound source for flipping, altering, and reinvigorating certain samples, especially in his tenure with Roc-A-Fella Records.

Keeping things in the Def Jam building, Just recently laced Ludacris with a Ludaversal closer (“This Has Been My World”) that nodded to Michael Jackson’s evocative hit “Human Nature.” With that LP making moves, Just unearthed the version he particularly cared for (as “Inhuman Nature”). A raw instrumental, the reworking of the bassline (touched by Nas, 2Pac, and others over the years) was reportedly inspired by a late-night convertible drive bypassing New York City from the FDR Boulevard. One can only speculate what was on Just Blaze’s mind. What’s on yours, as you think about this moment, and how it may complement an MC’s thoughts perfectly?—Besides Luda’, of course.

#BonusBeat: This is as good of a reason as any to celebrate the Thriller original:


Read more here

Judge to Decide If Choreographer Can Sue Jackson Estate

Source: Patch – By Paige Austin | All Things Michael


Lawyers for dancer-choreographer, Wade Robson told a judge today that their client should be able to file a late creditor’s claim against the singer’s estate, but attorneys for the estate’s executors said the case should be dismissed because the petitioner waited too long to bring the action.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff did not immediately rule on the future of Wade Robson’s petition, but said he would have a decision within a few days.

Robson needs a judge’s permission to bring a late probate court claim because his court papers were filed in May 2013, nearly four years after the entertainer’s June 25, 2009, overdose death at age 50.

Attorney Jonathan Steinsapir, on behalf of the estate, countered that limits must be placed on when claims can be filed, irrespective of how serious their nature, so that others cannot keep bringing similar cases against the Jackson executors and other estates for years to come.

Attorney Henry Gradstein, who also represents Robson, said that even if the estate’s dismissal motion is granted, his client can proceed against the corporate arm Jackson established before his death.

Steinsapir said that if the dismissal motion is denied, the estate may seek relief from the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Twenty Two Songs Utahns Love Singing In The Car

Sources: | All Things Michael


Whether you’re on a cross-country road trip or just hacking through the daily commute, everyone loves a good sing-along behind the wheel. And if you’re prone to belting it out, you’re not alone: 56 percent of drivers admit to singing in the car, according to a study by DMEAutomotive. So what are the best songs for passing those long highway miles? Utahns have a few ideas.

Life Is A Highway

This is undoubtedly one of the best “sing in the car” songs. Young parents are likely more familiar with the version from Disney’s “Cars” but whether you prefer the Rascal Flatts remake or the Tom Cochrane original, you have likely belted out this car ride classic.

Man In The Mirror

There are a number of eligible Michael Jackson songs to compete for greatest car songs. From “Billy Jean” to “Thriller” to “Bad,” there is no denying that the man was a hit-making machine but there is something about “Man In The Mirror” that makes for an especially solid car performance. Maybe it’s the choir or maybe it is trying to imitate Michael’s unique sound. Whatever the reason Utahns love singing it in the car and in front of the mirror.


If you click the link above and watch just ten seconds of the music video you’ll know why Utahns love the movie and the song. When you’re driving down I-15 and you pass the Lehi Main Street exit, it’s hard not to get “Footloose” stuck in your head.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Queen’s epic song may be just be the best song to head bang to while in the car. If head banging isn’t your thing, you’ve still got great music to enjoy.

Free Falling

Something about the open road spells freedom. And that’s exactly why it’s so cathartic to belt out the Tom Petty classic.


Read more here 

Michael Jackson’s Engineer Pal Matt Forger Is Planning Career As A Public Speaker To Motivate Struggling Students

Sources: Contact News | All Things Michael


The studio ‘fixer’ who worked closely with the King of Pop for over 15 years and became one of the late superstar’s closest confidantes, is stepping out as a public speaker.

He tells WENN, “I plan to take these things that I’ve observed and lived, these lessons, and I know that there’s a demographic of students that don’t know what’s going on; they don’t know what’s going on in their lives, they don’t know what’s going on in the world… ‘How do I assemble a path for me…?’ and I realise I’ve had the most unique experience for anyone like me that I can imagine, and this is now what I write about and what I speak about.

“It slowly crept in; I started hearing people speak… and it was like, ‘I could do this’, and then I started making some friends in the industry and started taking it more seriously.”


Read more here


InStyle’s Resident Puppy, Michael Jackson The Pom, Showcases His Spring Wardrobe

Sources: InStyle.UK – By Nick Spensley | All Things Michael

It’s not just the InStyle team that rock their latest outfits in the photo booth. Meet Michael ‘MJ’ Jackson: the five-month-old Pomeranian puppy whose adorable face and stylish outfits has earned him the title of InStyle’s Resident Pup. Who knew so much cuteness could exist in the world?


Country weekend chic

MJ loves a weekend in the country. Long afternoon walks, naps by the fire and a good old-fashioned picnic. For these jaunts MJ likes to make sure he is in suitable country attire. This Barbour-inspired coat channels his inner ‘Lord of the Manor’.


Anyone for cricket?

Varsity jackets and sweaters have been coming back in a big way this season and this little number is the perfect choice for preppy chic. Summer whites never go out of fashion.


See more doggie fashions here


Follow MJ on Instagram @MJthepom for more puppy outfit inspiration

Going to a doggy shower and not sure what gift to bring? MJ has a few ideas for you here

See team InStyle’s daily outfits from the photo booth here.


Desmond, Tripp And Michael Jackson’s Hat

Sources: Michigan Rivals – By Chris Balas | All Things Michael

Screen Captures12

Former Michigan All-American safety/punt return man Tripp Welborne and Heisman Trophy winning receiver Desmond Howard weren’t in the same class at U-M, but they were good friends. They were among the elite at their positions in the country, and they bonded off the field, seeing eye-to-eye on just about every issue but one – the rightful bearer of late King of Pop Michael Jackson’s hat.

Once in a while you come across a story that seems to good to be true. This is one of them – the story of two elite athletes at one of Jackson’s sold out concerts in the late 1980s who happened to be in the right place at the right time. They were only there at the Palace of Auburn Hills because good friend and team manager Mark Jacobson was sick, Welborne recalled, and had two floor seats six or eight rows from the King of Pop he couldn’t use.

At some point in the concert Jackson flung his trademark black fedora hat into the crowd. When it went up, Welborne’s punt return instincts kicked in.

 Tripp Welborne

Tripp Welborne

“It did a boomerang,” Welborne, a former captain of industry and recently hired athletic director at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J., recalled with a laugh. “My punt techniques kicked in. He threw the hat, and it actually came back … he threw it up and it went back past us, seemingly, then started coming back like a Frisbee. I was looking at it while everyone else was screaming, ‘aaaah – we love Michael Jackson!’ and I’m saying, ‘there’s the hat!’

“It was like slow motion, every revolution. I saw it and just went after it. Des saw me diving and I called out, ‘Desmond – the hat!’ I dove; he saw me diving and dove right by me. It was crazy – the craziest thing I’ve ever been a part of.'”

This coming from a guy who once hung out with NBA legend Michael Jordan, even spending the night on his airness’ doorstep after deciding to stay a bit later at a party than the former Chicago Bulls star and his entourage he’d been hanging with.

And the details make it even crazier.

“I laid out,” Welborne recalled, now laughing harder at the recollection. “Just natural instincts. I just saw it coming, said, ‘oh my goodness, there’s the hat!’ I mean, I just laid out. I landed right on top of this lady. I’m 200 pounds, and I landed right on her head.

“But I caught it originally. I caught it first. Desmond dove in behind me and after I caught it, we were on the ground, then Desmond dove in and so we had the hat together. Then all these people dove on it like recovering a fumble. It was alike a big pile. It was amazing.

Desmond Howard

Desmond Howard

“So I’m underneath the pile with Desmond, and we can’t see each other because it’s dark. I’m yelling, ‘Desmond! I’ve got the hat! I’ve got the hat! He was yelling, ‘I’ve got it, too! I’ve got it, too!’ But there were five hands on it – two were mine, two were his, then there was somebody else’s. I don’t know whose it was. What I told him was, ‘all right, Desmond – I’m letting go so I can start getting people off us.’ I had a cast on one of my hands because I had messed up my thumb. I only had fingers on one hand, so I used that cast and started hitting people’s knuckles.”

When he started doing that, Welborne recalled, he made sure Howard had two hands on the hat before letting go completely.

“I said, ‘Desmond, do you have a good hold of it ’cause I am letting go so I can knock hands off,'” he continued. “He was like, ‘I got it! I got it!’ He was hollering and all excited, just a young freshman. I let it go and started throwing people off, then eventually security comes and helps to get everybody off. When everyone is off it’s just me and him standing there holding the hat up in the air, and they put the spotlight on us.

“The crazy thing was the only reason we went is because our friend Mark Jacobson was sick and had tickets to the concert and couldn’t go. We looked around and said, ‘we’ll go.’ And I had a car. We came back to the dorm and all we were doing was dancing like Michael Jackson. Mark didn’t know what was going on. We were laughing and dancing and said, ‘you won’t believe this, but look.’ He still had no concept that it was Michael Jackson’s hat, because who does that? Who catches Michael Jackson’s hat?”

Two guys among the best to ever wear the winged helmet – that’s who.

As Welborne recalls it, the two friends made a pact to take turns with the treasure for the rest of their days – and Welborne is still waiting for his.

“He is a crook. He is a hoarder,” Welborne quipped, now roaring. “We made a pact. Desmond actually still has it in a case, a glass case sitting in his house as you come into his house in Florida. The pact that we made – because we partnered in capturing the hat – was that we would share it. Early on it was that it would spend a little time, like a couple months or so, at your mom’s house, then a couple months at my mom’s house, but because he was closer – he was in Cleveland – he got it to his mom’s house first. It never made it to my mom’s house.

“Every time we talk, and we talk quite often because he’d actually come to my basketball practices with kids I coached multiple times – he even practiced with the kids when he was doing his ESPN stuff – we’d get together, and every single time I say, ‘um … can I get my turn? It’s only been 25 years!’ Or I’ll say, ‘see you soon – bring the hat.’ He’s like, ‘it’s good. It’s safe.'”

When the time is right, Welborne added, it might just pay for both of their retirements – that’s if Howard ever lets it out of his sight.

Read more here