Chennai based Nicholas Productions’ latest venture, I Wanna Be MJ, was the perfect excuse to mix MJ with masala
It’s a misleading title. It’s not about a man who emulates the King of Pop & takes the world by storm. What I Wanna Be MJ is about is clichéd scenarios & emotions – love, longing, jealousy, rivalry, loss all take the stage in different proportions.
What sets it apart is of course the song & the dance. Michael Jackson’s extensive discography has a song for every one of the predicaments in this two-hour play.
While Thriller was conspicuously absent in the line-up, Beat It, Don’t Care About Us, (a psychedelic neon) Billie Jean were among the notable popular ones performed. The rendition of I Just Can’t Stop Loving You was definitely one of the highlights & made for a memorable proposal. Blood On The Dance Floor was interestingly staged with red hues, Bad was pretty killer with energetic moves and nifty costuming. Black Or White was an all out performance with vibrant costumes & even a paper Statue of Liberty adding to the ethos. Man In The Mirror and the final Heal The World were effective in creating a soulful ambience.
A good deal of onstage energy & great live accompaniment made up for the storyline, mostly. Another thing that came to light was that Chennai perhaps needs a bigger venue to stage musicals. Good dancing but with more than occasional crowding!
Nicholas Productions will be back in October with a proper musical night covering Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and a host of others; expect the fifties & sixties in full swing!
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