7 Dec 2023
Four-time Tony award-winning blockbuster MJ the Musical to premiere in Sydney in 2025
BOOK BY TWO-TIME PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING WRITER LYNN NOTTAGE, DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY ACCLAIMED HIT MAKER CHRISTOPHER WHEELDON OBE
Click here for images and vision of the original Broadway production
“DELIVERS THE THRILLS” The New York Times
“BRILLIANTLY CHOREOGRAPHED AND MAGNIFICENTLY EVOCATIVE… AN EYE-POPPING RUSH OF ADRENALINE AND EXCITEMENT” Chicago Tribune
“EXHILARATING! YOU’LL LEAVE THE THEATRE ON A GIDDY HIGH.” Rolling stone
Australian producer Michael Cassel today joined original Broadway producers Lia Vollack, John Branca and John McClain to announce that the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit MJ will make its Australian premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in February 2025, marking a significant moment for Sydney’s vibrant arts and cultural scene.
MJ takes the audience back to 1992 and inside the creation of the iconic Dangerous World Tour. The production 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.
Seen by more than a million people on Broadway, MJ was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning four including Best Choreography for the show’s creator, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet Christopher Wheeldon OBE, and Best Actor in a Musical for the show’s original Broadway star, Myles Frost. MJ will be a highlight of Sydney’s cultural events calendar in 2025, further establishing Sydney as the centre point for creativity in the Asia Pacific region.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way audiences on Broadway and across the US have embraced MJ with such enthusiasm and joy, and I am beyond delighted that Sydney will be the next city on this incredible show’s journey,” MJ’s original Broadway producer, Lia Vollack, said. “We can’t wait to bring MJ to Australia for the very first time.”
From the brilliant mind of two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Nottage, MJ imagines that an MTV journalist and her camera operator are invited into the rehearsal room as Michael Jackson creates the spectacular concert experience that was the Dangerous World Tour. Through their lens, MJ reveals moments from the complex history of his family and takes us on a journey into his imagination and his inspiration as he faces the challenges to make the Dangerous World Tour match his creative genius.
Featuring more than 25 of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits from across his career including Beat It, Smooth Criminal, Man in The Mirror and Thriller, MJ has captured the hearts and imaginations of Broadway audiences where it consistently plays to packed houses, has people leaping from their seats every night and has earned enormous acclaim.
Casting for the Australian production will begin immediately.
“Finding the people who will bring this incredible story to life is going to be an enormous undertaking,” MJ’s Australian producer Michael Cassel said. “On Broadway, key members of the original cast undertook an extensive bootcamp prior to rehearsal to learn to execute these challenging roles with the legitimacy that a production of this calibre deserves. We are excited to find the people who will portray this story with the same authenticity and power that audiences have enjoyed on Broadway and soon, on the West End.”
MJ opened on Broadway in February 2021 while a US tour began performances in Chicago in August. A London production will begin in March 2024 with a German production opening in December that year.
The Australian premiere of MJ is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
MJ will premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from February, 2025. A waitlist to be first to access pre-sale tickets when they are released is now available at mjthemusical.com.au.
“A EUPHORIC PRODUCTION” The Hollywood Reporter
“THE MUSIC REVERBERATES BEHIND THE RIB CAGE AND REMAINS UNDENIABLE” Variety
“EVERY SONG IS A KILLER – THEIR RHYTHMS, ELEGANCE AND KINESTHETIC FEVER BURN AND BURN” Vulture
“A COMPLEX, HIGH-POWERED PROFILE FUELED BY SOME OF THE GREATEST MUSIC HITS OF THE LAST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY” Newsweek
With a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winning writer Lynn Nottage (Ruined, Sweat) MJ is directed and choreographed by Royal Ballet Associate Artist Christopher Wheeldon OBE, who won the Tony Award for Best Choreography of a Musical for MJ, and whose previous Award-winning directing credits include An American in Paris.
The internationally renowned creative team for MJ also includes Scenic Design by Tony Award and two-time Emmy Award winner Derek McLane (Moulin Rouge! The Musical), Lighting Design by six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Once), Costume Design by Tony Award and Emmy Award winner Paul Tazewell (Hamilton), Sound Design by Tony Award® and Olivier Award winning Gareth Owen (Come From Away), Projection Design by two- time Tony Award nominee Peter Nigrini (Dear Evan Hansen), and Hair & Wig Design by two-time Emmy Award nominee Charles LaPointe (The Color Purple). Musical Supervision is by Tony Award nominee David Holcenberg (Matilda), and the Orchestrations and Arrangements are by David Holcenberg and Tony Award winner Jason Michael Webb (The Color Purple).
Lia Vollack John Branca John McClain and Michael Cassel present MJ Sydney Lyric Theatre 55 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont 2009 From February 2025 ticketmaster.com.au
FOR ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT Nathanael Cooper Michael Cassel Group Mobile: +61 474 751 247 email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT MICHAEL CASSEL GROUP
Michael Cassel Group is a leading live entertainment company formed to produce and present the world’s high-quality hit musicals and theatrical productions, live entertainment experiences, marquee events and concert attractions. In February 2024, Michael Cassel Group will produce the West End premiere of Sydney Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of The Picture of Dorian Gray at the Theatre Royal Haymarket starring global superstar Sarah Snook. Current Australian productions include the return engagement of the award-winning musical Hamilton, & Juliet and the recently announced Australian premiere of Beetlejuice and a brand new production of the Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen. Current Broadway credits include co-producer of MJ. Michael Cassel Group is also the producer of Hamilton’s first ever international tour playing throughout Asia and the Middle East following the international tour of Disney’s The Lion King.
Previously Michael Cassel Group was the co-lead producer of Almost Famous and co-producer of Into The Woods on Broadway. Other Broadway and West End credits include Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, The Prince of Egypt, Pretty Woman and The Cher Show as well as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mary Poppins, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Les Misérables, Kinky Boots, Singin’ In The Rain and Priscilla Queen of the Desert in Australia. Concert tours and major events include The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Celeste Barber, Not Now, Not Ever: Live on Stage with Julia Gillard, Tina Arena, Darren Criss and Lea Salonga, along with the opening celebration of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 which was televised internationally.
In addition to the group’s expanding theatrical interests, the company represents former Australian Prime Minister, The Hon. Julia Gillard AC, journalist and broadcaster Liz Hayes, former Olympian and global sporting administrator Lord Sebastian Coe CH, KBE, Strictly You by Sonia Kruger, best-selling author Sarah di Lorenzo, Better Homes and Gardens personalities Charlie Albone and Juliet Love and beloved Australian television presenter Sami Lukis. TixTrack Australasia, Page 4 a partnership between TixTrack Inc and Michael Cassel Group, provides SaaS ticketing solutions for live entertainment and cultural organisations in Australia and New Zealand including the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Queensland Museum, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Auckland Art Gallery, Bundanon Art Museum and Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. Michael Cassel Group is headquartered in Sydney, with offices in New York, Singapore and Melbourne