Live | Bühne | Show: Thriller live
In diesem Jahr wäre Michael Jackson 60 Jahre alt geworden. Mit seinem Musikstil und einzigartigen Tanzchoreografien bleibt er sowieso unvergessen. Zur Erinnerung an einen der einflussreichsten Künstler der Welt würdigt ›THRILLER‹ das Ausnahmetalent und bringt seiner Songs auf die Bühne zurück.
ANNA NOAH spricht mit Executive Director Adrian Grant, wie die Show das Originalgefühl seiner Auftritte erneut hervorrufen will.
Energie und Charisma gehen Hand in Hand
Seit 2009 hat ›Thriller‹ schon vier Millionen Zuschauer in vielen Ländern der Welt in seinen Bann gezogen. Das Bühnenspektakel präsentiert zahlreiche Songs aus Michael Jacksons 40-jährigen Karriere und lässt das Publikum hautnah eintauchen in das künstlerische Vermächtnis des »King of Pop«.
Denn Michael Jackson bleibt ein Phänomen.
Fünf Sängerinnen und Sänger versuchen, zusammen mit einer sechs Musiker starken Live-Band und den Tänzern, seine unfassbare Energie auf die Bühne zu bringen. Die choreographische Leitung haben Gary Lloyd und LaVelle Smith Jr. inne – letzterer ist Originalchoreograf des mehrfach ausgezeichneten Videos zu ›Dangerous‹ und fünffacher Gewinner des MTV Video Music Awards.
Doch was genau bewegte Adrian Grant zu seiner spektakulären Hommage?
»Having got to know Michael over 21 years the thing I found most memorable about him was his good nature, kind heart and infectious laugh and smile.«
While thinking of bringing MJs musical genius on stage, how did you proceed? It’s obvious, that vocal training is not enough to become him.
From day one it has always been important to cast the best talent we could find. Michael Jackson was a perfectionist, and always strived to do his best. I have had this instilled in me, and the whole production team realise that in creating this celebration of Michael’s work we have to deliver a first-class show.
We are lucky that we have a great team of lead singers, dancers, band and crew, but if I had to pick out the most challenging aspect I would have to say it is finding the young boys aged 11 to 14 who play the young Michael Jackson in the show singing the early hits of the Jackson 5. Michael was an incredible talent at a very early age, so to find a young boy who can do him justice with the voice, looks and moves is very difficult, and certainly an honor for the boys that we had to find. Fortunately we have a great Director and Choreographer, Gary Lloyd, and Musical Supervisor, John Maher, who are very much perfectionists themselves like Michael, and they fine tune everything from the dance steps to the notes our cast sing until they get them right.
Did you have some sort of advisers for the concept of the show?
Before the premiere of the first show, did you feel some sort of anxiety how the King of Pop would react on this?
In 1991 I started the ›Annual Michael Jackson Day‹, and this was a show where Michael’s fans came together, dressed up, danced, sang and there were performances on stage from impersonators and other entertainers performing Michael’s songs. The celebration got bigger and bigger each year, then in 2001, celebrating its 10th anniversary – Michael Jackson himself came to watch. After the show Michael came on stage and said that he thought it was »incredible« and »beautiful«. He loved all the performances.
It was then that I thought that the annual celebration could become a touring show, not just for Michael’s fans, but a production that would entertain the general public at large, pretty much in the same way that ›We Will Rock You‹ and ›Mamma Mia‹ had with the music of Queen and Abba respectively.
So I created the first ›Thriller Live‹ show in August 2006, then the following year I teamed up with Flying Music, an experienced theatrical and concert producer for more than 25 years and they took the show on a UK and European tour in 2007. Since then we have played in 33 different countries to over four and a half million people!
How was it, to be with Michael Jackson on his ranch. What have you learned from your visit?
In March 1990, Michael’s management invited me to Los Angeles where he was recording the ›Dangerous‹ album. From the moment I first met Michael we got on very well.
After spending the day with Michael in studio he invited me to his ranch in Neverland Valley. It remains the most beautiful and tranquil place I have ever visited. 3,000 acres of green rolling landscape, classical music playing from well-groomed flowerbeds, a zoo, fun fair, cinema and an arcade centre.
After that visit Michael said, »come back anytime«, and I did – at least once every year. And I got to travel around the world with him on his tours and interview him several times.
Having got to know Michael over 21 years the thing I found most memorable about him was his good nature, kind heart and infectious laugh and smile. He really was a big kid at heart who loved life and had great enthusiasm for everything he did. Watching him work in the studio and on stage was truly inspiring. He really was a genius
What’s your favorite Song of him and why?
There are too many to name just one. Many of the mare in the Thriller Live show which is just over 2 hours long, but because Michael has so many great songs the show could easily have been 5 hours long. So I just had to choose songs which would take people on a journey through his career as well as including the big hits such as ›Billie Jean‹ and ›Smooth Criminal‹. My favourite section of the show though is from the ›Off The Wall‹ – album with songs like ›Rock With You‹ and ›Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough‹.
»Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough«
Der gleichnamige Songtitel scheint bei dieser über zweistündigen Show Programm zu sein.
›THRILLER – LIVE‹ widmet sich jedoch nicht nur dem Künstler, sondern auch dem Menschen Michael Jackson. Die Show gibt Einblicke in seine Kreativität und seine humanitäre Vision von Frieden, Liebe und Harmonie. Man möchte sich direkt beim »King of Pop« für die Inspiration und Kreativität bedanken, die durch Adrian Grant und seine Ausnahme-Performer für das Publikum erneut greifbar gemacht wird.
THRILLER live (BB Promotion)
nach einer Idee von: Adrian Grant
Regisseur: Gary Lloyd & LaVelle Smith Jr.
Produzenten: Flying Music