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What A Thrill!
Member Name: SomethingToBe
Disadvantages: The Real MJ isn't in it!!
Thriller Live is currently showing at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in London's West End, near Picadilly Circus and Leicester Squaretube stations. I grew up on Michael Jackson and am a huge fan and was lucky enough to catch a preview of this musical in January as my mum bought me and my brother's girlfriend tickets for Christmas. The musical previously toured the country a couple of times, before settling in the West End.
As with any London musical, ticket prices dpend on when you go and where you sit, however will typically range from £25 to £55. We sat in the stalls, however the theatre is not that big, so circle tickets wont mean you're miles away!
There isn't so much of a plot in this musical, more a tour throughout Michael Jackson's life. The first act is mainly about the Jackson Five and Michael's early solo success. There isn't an actor playing a specific part and they all split the songs relatively equally; this musical is more about the songs, the performance and the dancing so if you are expecting a We Will Rock You type musical, you will be disappointed.
The main vocallists are as follows:
Ricko Baird (world renown MJ impersonator)
Denise Pearson (She used to be in Five Star!!)
As we went to a preview, it could be expected that the cast would be a bit wary as they hadn't done many performances yet, however this was definitely not the case. The vocals were amazing, particularly from Denise Pearson (who also sported some AMAZING shoes!!) and the energy levels were really high, which meant people were getting up and dancing on numerous occasions during the show. The "young" Michaels rotate, however the one we saw was very impressive for such a young boy. The singers all interacted well with the dancers which led to a really great performance from everyone involved.
The songs in the show come in a logical order, like a timeline throughout MJ's life. I wont list them all, but they included:
I'll Be There
Blame It On The Boogie
Rock With You
Can You Feel It
Man In The Mirror
Black or White
As a MJ fan, obviously I loved all the songs, however even if you aren't that bothered about his music, the enthusiam and energy that they are performed with, will definitely get you smiling, if not dancing!!! I would probably say smooth criminal was my favourite, as I love the iconic look and the dancing, which was set the same as in the music video. Black and White was also a fantastic finale which the audience really responded to and the setting of the Jackson 5 songs really took you back to the 70s (or what I imagine they were like!!). I ended up singing Can You Feel It all the way home, throroughly annoying my brother's girlfriend and probably everone else on the train!
The staging was not that complicated, with lots of floor space for the dancing, however there was raised areas which the dancers climbed all over with some stairs, to keep the performances mobile, not letting them get stagnant.
The programme cost £7 and is red with a silver MJ on the front. It contains history of the musical, cast profiles, MJ info, set listings, creative team profiles, info on the theatre and lots of photos!
I thought this production was brilliant. I am ususally quite self conscious when people get up and dance in these kind of things, but I got so carried away with the music and energy, I didn't need much encouragement here!! Riko Baird's dancing was incredible, almost as good as the man himself, and I thought the whole show was slick, professional and brilliantly entertaining! One for fans and non-fans alike, this would be a perfect substitue if, like me, you missed out on MJ's tour dates!
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