BWW Reviews: Michael Jackson Tribute Show THRILLER LIVE Delights Fans In This Energetic Review Of The King Of Pop's Hits.
Tuesday 3rd March, Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star, Sydney
Adrian Grant (Original Concept and Executive Director) and Gary Lloyd's (Director & Choreographer) TRILLER LIVE honors the work of powerhouse performer and creator Michael Jackson with a selection of songs from his 44 year career, tragically cut short in 2009.
On a stage set with lighting gantries, a rear cross walk and side stairs, archive footage is played on a suspended screen, transparent when not lit, as the show is started with History. Through the show, 6 vocalists, Alex Buchanan, Sean Christopher, J Rome, Wayne Robinson and Australians MiG Ayesa and Prinnie Stevens are supported by a live band and an energetic troupe of dancers that cover a range of dance styles.
John Maher (Musical Director)'s arrangements of the music utilize the 6 singers to cover Jackson's unusually wide vocal range with works originally written as solos being reworked as utilize two or more voices. Jackson's sound is recreated well, with Buchanan, Christopher, Robinson and Rome standing out in their replication. Christopher delivers both the vocals, moves and image of Michael Jackson as he takes on the iconic black jacket, armband, white socks, loafers and hat pulled low over straggling curls to replicate the well-known dance moves and poses with pieces like Billie Jean. Ayesa, Buchanan, Rome and Robinson's dance background is also evident in their movement, both choreographed and as an expression of their connection to the music, all displaying an ease and enjoyment of the performance.
The costuming, by Shooting Flowers, for the remainder of the singers includes homages to Jackson's style from the suits, military jackets, punk chains and buckles, and taped fingers but does not seek to make any of them look like Jackson. The dancers are outfitted in a range of styles to reflect the different eras and moods of the music, from the bell - bottoms, neon lycra, street wear, military vests, sequins, lycra, suits, flapper dresses and of course, zombies. Aside from a few numbers where the dancers are uniform, each costume is unique, adding to the energy and individuality.
The 2 hour performance includes many of Jackson's well known numbers starting with a selection from his days with the Jackson 5. There are gentle love ballads, humorous interpretations such as Steven's renditions of P.Y.T.and The Way Make Me Feel with the male dancers, classic rock, and the moving calls for action like Earth song and Man in The Mirror, paired with images projected onto the suspended central and side screens. From the audience reaction, it is clear that Jackson's work is iconic and timeless. The audience ranged in age from those that would remember his Jackson 5 days to those possibly not even born when he passed. Regardless of whether you are a die-hard fan, as some that came dressed as an homage to the great man obviously were, or someone with that didn't think they knew much of the music, the work is easily recognizable and his influence on modern music is evident through both his music and his dance style.
This is an impressive tribute that does justice to memory of the legendary performer and person that Michael Jackson was. It captures his energy, creativity, diversity, passion and sensitivity with respect and admiration and will have you singing as you leave the theatre.
Venue: Sydney Lyric
Dates: Thursday 26 February to Sunday 15 March, 2015
Times: Tuesday 7pm, Wednesday - Friday 8pm, Saturday 4pm & 8pm, Sunday 1pm and 6pm
Tickets: from $69.90. (Booking and transaction fees may apply.)
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 795 267 or Ticketmaster.com.au