You’ve been hit by, you’ve been struck by … a Broadway musical.
The music and story of Michael Jackson will moonwalk on to the Great White Way in 2020, in the form of a new musical covering the life of the King of Pop. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage will tackle the book, while Christopher Wheeldon will direct and choreograph the production.
The show will be coproduced by Columbia Live Stage and the Michael Jackson Estate, which has already shrouded the musical — still far removed from any casting news or a theater to call home — in mystery. The Estate’s involvement guarantees the score can draw from Jackson’s deep catalog of real-life hits. But it remains to be seen whether that same allowance extends to the more controversial aspects of the pop star’s history, such as the borderline-militant managing of the Jackson 5 and the singer’s 2005 trial — and eventual acquittal — over charges of child abuse.
Nottage is coming off the smash-hit run of “Sweat” — a meditation on life spent on a small-town factory floor, which garnered the playwright her second Pulitzer Prize for drama in eight years. Wheeldon — a master in the world of contemporary ballet as well as a choreographer and director — won the Tony Award for best choreography in 2015 for “An American in Paris.”
The as yet unnamed production will mark another entry in Broadway’s Jukebox Musical renaissance. Recently. New York’s theater crowd has watched the comings and goings of shows based on the work of Cher, Tina Turner and Donna Summer.