Michael Jackson’s Legacy On Tour

Although Michael Jackson never got the chance to dance fans’ socks off with his comeback 50-date residency at London’s O2, the U.K. stage musical “Thriller Live” is keeping his legacy alive with shows booked across Europe and even plans to tour the U.S.

“Thriller Live,” which has toured the U.K. as well Germany, Holland and Scandinavia since 2006, is a two-hour musical that celebrates 28 songs from The Jackson 5 and the Gloved One’s solo career. The show was created by Adrian Grant, who started a British Jackson fan club in 1988 and wrote “Michael Jackson: The Visual Documentary” as well as two other MJ books.

The show’s London residency at the Lyric Theatre began in January and was set for a three-month run but was renewed a number of times and will now run through Jan. 3, 2010. You can also catch the show in Birmingham, U.K., through Saturday.

“Thriller Live” will kick off a 12-month European and U.S. tour in July. The thrills first take place at Deutsches Theatre in Munich, Germany, with shows booked July 21 through Aug. 2.

The musical is also coming to cities such as Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, and Copenhagen, according to the Los Angeles Times. BroadwayWorld.com reported the tour will visit additional European countries and embark on an extensive American tour. Dates will be announced soon.

Photo: AP Photo
Announcing he is set to play ten live concerts at the London O2 Arena

“Since the tragic news from Los Angeles broke, we have been amazed by the reaction of the fans around the globe, and inquiries for “Thriller – Live” to appear worldwide has been overwhelming,” producer Paul Walden said, according to BroadwayWorld.com.

“Against this background it seems clear that what Michael’s fans want right now is to celebrate his life by continuing to listen to his music and to have a way to celebrate his legacy. We can think of no greater tribute to the memory of this global superstar than to continue to celebrate his life and his music as we have done for the past three years in “Thriller – Live.”

Photo: AP Photo
Michael Jackson, looks "Dangerous" during the American Bandstand 50th anniversary show taping, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California.

Here’s how The Globe and Mail describes the show: It’s “a tour covered in sequins, as aromatic as Limburger, as exuberant and crowd-pleasing as Mamma Mia, as air-brushed as his once-beautiful face. Jackson is frozen at the height of his fame, before the child-sex abuse allegations caused him to turn away from the world. Except you don’t get just one Jackson; five performers play him at various stages of his life, including a child, a woman and a white guy.”

Who’s Bad —The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band is also hitting the road hard. The six-piece band recently announced an extensive U.S. tour with dates on the books through November.

Tour stops include shows in Las Vegas, Cleveland, New Orleans, Nashville, San Diego and Houston and Athens, Ga.

“We want you to have the feeling you had hearing ‘Billie Jean,’ ‘Thriller,’ ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ and ‘Off the Wall’ for the first time,” the Who’s Bad founder Vamsi Tadepalli said. “We are sharing the love of Michael Jackson with fellow fans, trying to celebrate his life at the same time we mourn his death. We didn’t’ start this group yesterday. We’ve been going strong for six years now. We’re all about honoring the music and keeping its spirit alive.”

Click here for the “Thriller-Live” website.

Click here for The Globe And Mail article here.

Click here for the Los Angeles Times article.

Click here for the BroadwayWorld.com article.

Click here for Who’s Bad? website.