The organizers of MJ The Musical—former Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough—are apparently praying that the general public is totally on board with the utterly shitty Michael Jackson takes we got from Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, and Dave Chappelle, because they’re moving forward with an actual Broadway run next summer even though the project’s basic existence seems thoroughly misguided. Oh sure, the Michael Jackson brand is worth a lot of money, and if you happen to own the rights to make a Michael Jackson musical, you might as well get some money out of it, but on the other hand… maybe don’t? Maybe we can all just move on and find something else to make money off of?
Obviously nobody has any interest in finding something else to make money off of, so we’re just stuck with this one apparently. According to Deadline, MJ The Musical (which has a picture of him on the logo and everything) will start previews at the Neil Simon Theatre on July 6, 2020, with opening night planned for August 13. This comes after a pre-Broadway run in Chicago earlier this year was abruptly canceled, with producers blaming an Actors’ Equity strike even though the more obvious reason the then-recent premiere of the Leaving Neverland documentary on HBO (which detailed specific allegations from two men who say they were molested by Jackson as children).
Deadline says the musical has undergone some unknown changes since the Chicago shows were canceled, but it originally revolved around Jackson rehearsing for the Dangerous tour in 1992 and acted as a “portrait of the artist, a man of contradictions that contained so much beauty” (according to director Christopher Wheeldon). Again: This sounds like a terrible idea. A jukebox musical of Michael Jackson music would be one thing, but “marvel at the talent of this amazing genius” (if that is or ever was the premise here) is questionable. Assuming you’re on board with this, the producers posted a teaser video on YouTube that has the same basic information we reported here but without the references to sexual abuse allegations.