The authorized biomusical MJ wants very much to freeze Michael Jackson in 1992: It’s a King of Pop-sical. The show begins on a note of truculent evasion. Jackson, played by the gifted Broadway newcomer Myles Frost, is in rehearsal for his Dangerous tour—a year before the superstar was first publicly accused of sexually abusing a minor—and the number they run is “Beat It,” a song about the importance of avoiding conflict. “Showin’ how funky strong is your fight,” sings Michael, prefiguring the musical’s approach to his life. “It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right.” 

MJ is manifestly aimed at people who either believe in Jackson’s innocence or who are able and willing to enjoy his work despite questions about his guilt. (He was acquitted of some accusations in court, but others have followed.) There are many such people, and the production serves them handsomely. The design is deluxe: dazzling period costumes by Paul Tazewell, a smooth set by Derek McLane, flashy lighting by Natasha Katz, vivid arrangements by Jason Michael Webb and David Holcenberg. On the night I saw the show, the crowd responded with huge applause.


Address: Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W 52nd St, New York, 10019

Cross street: between Broadway and Eighth Ave

Post a Comment