Michael Jackson Estate Developing Broadway Musical

Lewis Collier
June 20, 2018

U.S. popstar Michael Jackson performs during concert in Vienna, July 2, 1997.

Columbia Live Stage and the Michael Jackson Estate announced on Tuesday (June 19) that development has begun on a stage show based on MJ's life, to be directed by Tony Award victor Christopher Wheeldon. An official title has not been determined.

There is already an accomplished team lined up to bring it to life as well: two-time Pulitzer Prize victor Lynn Nottage will write a book for the musical, which will incorporate Jackson's many hits. The musical is expected to arrive on Broadway in 2020. Nottage has won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice, first in 2009 for Ruined - a play about women in war-torn Congo - and more recently in 2017 for Sweat, which is about residents in Reading, Pennsylvania, one of the poorest cities in America.

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There have been notable attempts to bring Jackson's music to the screen, too, with documentaries such as Michael Jackson's This is It, the highest-grossing music documentary of all time, and Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to Off the Wall, a detailed account of his musical evolution directed by Spike Lee. Tony Award victor Christopher Wheeldon will direct and choreograph.

In New York, Wheeldon has written both a ballet and a musical based on "An American in Paris", Gene Kelly's 1951 movie inspired by the music of George Gershwin. The singer had been acquitted four years earlier of allegations of child molestation, which he strenuously denied.

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