Review: MJ the Musical

Saturday, September 30, 2023


Hey Mofos!

If you know me, then you know I love me some Michael Joseph Jackson and his entire family. If you've followed my career and this blog, then you know I've interviewed several of the family known as Music Royalty. 

So when I heard MJ the Musical was coming to Blumenthal Performing Arts, you KNOW I had to be there. 

What is the musical about? I'm glad you asked! 

Michael Jackson is one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Now, Michael Jackson’s unique and unparalleled artistry is traveling across the country as MJ, the multi Tony Award®-winning new musical centered around the making of the 1992 Dangerous World Tour, begins a tour of its own. Created by Tony Award®-winning Director/Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, MJ goes beyond the singular moves and signature sound of the star, offering a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson into legendary status.

Roman Banks as MJ in MJ the Musical 

Now let me tell you this, as a HUGE MJ fan-- this musical was EVERYTHING. I was smiling from the moment the music started, and while the cast doesn't sound EXACTLY like Michael, they damn sure came close. Roman Banks plays the ish out of MJ, with the moves, the singing, all the things. The only critique I had was MJ wasn't southern, so some words came out with a southern drawl but it was kind of cute! I also wondered if Off the Wall/Thriller MJ (Brandon Lee Harris) forgot to put his wig on towards the end, but either way, his voice was amazing as well. All the MJ's were great! 

The sets were perfection, from the iconic Apollo Theater to the set of Soul Train, it made you feel like you were right there! 

One of my favorite things about the musical aside from the music, was the selection of the songs. While it was centered around the Dangerous Tour, it also brought us on a journey from the origins of J5, including Joe being Joe, thru the Victory Tour, to the Thriller success, and more. I also love it included songs that weren't as mainstream, so you'd have to be a true fan to know those B sides. 

As I watched in awe, I thought about the time I met Joe Jackson and how he truly was a flirt as it played out on stage. Remember the time he low key was flirting with me?! 

I wondered if Jackson's former choreographer and friend LaVelle Smith Jr. had seen this yet, since he was right beside him on the tour. Lawd knows all I could think about was him telling me how he hated performing Smooth Criminal every night LOL. 

Check out my interview with him from a few months ago on Check the Rhymes:

Anyway, this musical is a must see! The sets make you feel like you are in the rehearsal space like a fly on the wall, or in my case, a dancer in the corner. I got my choreography on in my seat, with the man next to me, hyping my foolishness and eight counts. 

I loved seeing people dressed in Michael Jackson gear and as I looked around, I realized, despite what is going on in the world, and in our individual lives, music will unite us, especially that of the King of Pop. 

If the show comes to your city, go and come back and let me know what you think! 


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