Sources: TribLive – By Cynthia Bombach Helzel | All Things Michael
With his pitch-perfect voice, innovative dance moves and undeniable mystique, Michael Jackson became a music icon who will forever be remembered as the King of Pop.
Audiences will have an opportunity to relive Jackson’s magic Oct. 17 when the Hillman Center for the Performing Arts at Shady Side Academy kicks off its 2015-16 Performing Arts Series with “King Michael: A Glorious Tribute to the King of Pop.”
Featuring two world-class tribute artists with an uncanny ability to personify Jackson, the show includes breakdancers, a “human beat box” and other performers who will bring the thrill of a Jackson concert to life for the audience.
“King Michael” follows the development of Jackson’s career from his childhood with the Jackson 5 to his adulthood as a solo superstar. Songs will include “ABC,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Thriller” and more.
“It’s hit after hit after hit,” says Sarah York Rubin, Hillman Center executive director. “People will know every song.”
Rubin had seen the show in New York and was eager to present it to a Pittsburgh audience. “It’s so much fun and such high-energy,” she says.
Indy Bachu is vice president of sales for the show’s producer, Love Productions.
“When Michael Jackson passed away, we here at Love Productions felt an immediate need to do something to honor him,” Bachu says. “Our team was very passionate about producing a show that Michael Jackson himself would have been proud of.”
Jacquez Swanigan, 12, portrays the young Jackson. He will sing “ABC,” “Who’s Loving You” and other Jackson 5 hits. Swanigan first performed Jackson’s music in a talent show at the age of 6. He has appeared on “America’s Got Talent” and “Maury’s Most Talented Kids.”
The adult Jackson is performed by Michael Firestone, one of the world’s top Jackson impersonators. “When he is onstage, it is like seeing the real Michael (Jackson),” Bachu says. “Michael Firestone can imitate every move and vocal vibration of the icon.”
“King Michael: A Glorious Tribute to the King of Pop:”is the closest thing there is to seeing the real Michael Jackson perform live,” Bachu says. “It features tribute artists who can sing live while mastering the intense dancing that Michael Jackson was so famous for.”
The show runs about an hour-and-a-half, with one intermission. Lobby activities will begin at 6:30 p.m. and include making fedora and rhinestone-studded glove crafts, learning dance steps from the “Thriller” video and zombie-theme face-painting.
“We encourage people to wear costumes, if they like,” says Rubin, who plans to don zombie attire for the evening.
A portion of the proceeds from the show will be donated to the National Vitiligo Foundation. Jackson suffered from the skin condition, which causes loss of pigment and gives the skin a blotchy appearance.
“King Michael: A Glorious Tribute to the King of Pop”
When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17
Admission: $30, $24 for seniors, $16 for students
Where: Hillman Center for the Performing Arts, Fox Chapel
Details: 412-968-3040 or shadysideacademy.org