Saturday, April 20, 2024

Broadway’s Michael Jackson Chosen, Ephraim Sykes Was Tony-Nominated for Playing Temptation in “Ain’t too Proud”


The Broadway Michael Jackson musical has a star.

Ephraim Sykes, who played David Ruffin in “Ain’t Too Proud” this past season, and was Tony-nominated, will take the role.

Lynn Nottage is writing the book and Christoper Wheeldon is directing the musical called “MJ.” The show begins performances on July 6, 2020 at the Neil Simon Theater.

Michael will also be portrayed as a child and teen, obviously. But the gist of the show is going to be all about “Thriller” and stop there, when Jackson’s life was at a high. It will likely not delve into anything after that.

But the music of “Thriller” and “Off the Wall,” plus Jackson 5 hits and Michael’s early solo hits like “Got to Be There” will make enough of a show. I wouldn’t expect anything fallacious or terribly factual. Like “The Cher Show” and “Tina!”, “MJ” is designed as a souvenir jukebox that will send audiences out dancing, not suing.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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