Michael Jackson musical: Are you ready to remember the time?


Could a Michael Jackson musical be coming to Broadway? Fans of the King of Pop are ready to remember the time of iconic pop music.

From “Beat It” to “Thriller,” a Michael Jackson musical could be coming to Broadway. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a new musical based on the legendary, iconic pop star is in the works. Could this jukebox musical surpass Hamilton’s success on the Great White Way?

Over the past year, Broadway has seen a huge increase in ticket sales. While Hamilton still brings in sold-out shows every night, the influx of new productions based on pop culture favorites like Harry Potter, SpongeBob and Frozen has surpassed everyone’s expectations. Non-traditional theater goers are lining up to see the stage productions featuring their favorite characters.

By building a bridge between pop culture icons and the traditional theater experience, the creative spark brings new life to the classic performance medium. With the announcement that a Michael Jackson musical could be coming to Broadway, even more theatergoers could be planning their next theater outing.

While exact details on the potential musical are limited, it appears that this new production will be a type of jukebox musical. A jukebox musical uses previously released songs by a single artist as the basis of the storyline. Since Michael Jackson has a vast and diverse songbook, this musical could go in many directions.

Based on The Hollywood Reporter article, it seems likely that this jukebox musical would mimic other popular shows like Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and On Your Feet, the Gloria Estefan musical. Over the past several years, these types of musicals have been quite successful.

While the announcement states that this new musical will be influenced by the life of Michael Jackson, that statement doesn’t necessarily mean that the musical will be a strict biography or chronology. The songs could be used in different ways to interpret a mood of the time or a reflection on culture.

Looking at the Michael Jackson songbook, many of his songs captured the mood of the era. From the ominous notes of “Thriller” to the reflective lyrics of “Man in the Mirror,” those popular songs are more than just Top 40 hits. Looking back, they are symbolic of how people were feeling and reacting.

While Broadway fans might be excited about this announcement, it isn’t the first production using the Michael Jackson songbook. The Cirque du Soleil show ONE celebrates both the performer and the songwriter. This show excites fans with interpretations of Jackson’s iconic dance movements, hit songs, and ultimate icon persona. This show’s success could have spurred the Broadway production.

The key to making this Michael Jackson musical successful is to keep the book non-controversial. While theatergoers might want to understand the whys and hows behind a song, they might not want to see the controversial parts of Jackson’s life. Given that the Jackson estate has a hand in this production, it seems likely that this musical will have a positive reflection of the iconic King of Pop.

With this announcement and the success of shows like other jukebox musicals, more contemporary performers could be coming to Broadway. Although rumors swirl that a Brittany Spears show could be coming, many other popular singers and/or songwriters could take their chance on the Great White Way. Although fame isn’t necessary a guaranteed ticker-seller (remember Sting’s Last Ship), it does give some ticket boosts. Could a Madonna, Whitney Houston or even Guns N’ Roses musical be on the horizon?

Next: 5 musicals that changed modern musical theater

Jukebox musicals are here to stay. Just like the numerous movie remakes, the known quantity has built in fans that will ensure ticket sales. At least with the Michael Jackson musical, fans will have the opportunity to hear his music performed live. Although it might not be my first choice, I would buy a ticket to see the show. After all, it can’t be any worse than Frozen.