×

Michael Jackson Stage Musical Gets New Title, ‘MJ’ (EXCLUSIVE)

A new musical based on the life and career of Michael Jackson is getting a title change, Variety has learned. Originally christened “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” the show will now be known as “MJ.” It’s currently in a multi-week development phase in New York City and is scheduled to hit Broadway in the summer of 2020.

“We can confirm that the Michael Jackson musical has a new title,” Rick Miramontez, a spokesman for the show, said. “As the show has evolved through its development process, the production felt that ‘MJ’ was a better and stronger choice than relying on the title of any one individual song.”

That effort, however, has been overshadowed by multiple allegations of child sexual abuse that have been leveled over the years against the late pop icon. That controversy was reignited by a recent HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which featured lengthy interviews with two Jackson accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim that singer groomed them and abused them when they were young boys. Jackson, who died in 2009 at the age of 50, and the Jackson family have denied all of the abuse allegations. Last winter, in the wake of “Leaving Neverland’s” release, the musical’s producers canceled a Chicago tryout.

“MJ” features a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (“Ruined”) and will rely on the pop star’s extensive catalog of hits for its music. Jackson’s songs include “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and “Smooth Criminal.” Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon (“An American in Paris”) will direct and choreograph.

Here’s a look at promotional art with the new title, uncovered by Variety:

 

More Music

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs for Screens: Why Aerosmith Is Still Gold for Synchs

    Aerosmith’s star-studded tribute concert as the 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year honorees on Friday night (January 24) will cement another important milestone in the historic Boston-founded band’s contributions to the American rock canon. But over the past decade, some of the band’s best-known music has remained part of the cultural conversation through some of [...]

  • Josh Olson Mick Jagger Steve Bing

    Mick Jagger's Rainy Day Podcasts, Warner Bros. Digital Networks Sign First-Look Deal

    A podcast shingle co-created by Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger has inked a deal with a major studio. Warner Bros. Digital Networks has signed a first-look deal with Rainy Day Podcasts, a new company from Jagged Films partners Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman, producer Steve Bing and writer Josh Olson, with the aim of producing [...]

  • Sirius Logo

    Radio Hall of Famer Kid Kelly Leaves SiriusXM After Two Decades

    In a surprise move, veteran programmer, on-air personality and Radio Hall of Famer Kid Kelly has left SiriusXM after nearly 20 years with the radio giant, a rep for the company has confirmed to Variety. The news was first reported by RAMP. He most recently served as SiriusXM’s VP of Pop Music Programming. “After a [...]

  • Grammy Moments Brandi Carlile John Legend

    What's a Grammy Moment Worth? Brandi Carlile, John Legend, Label Execs Weigh In

    In simpler times, an artist could see album sales spike to over 500,000 in the days after a Grammy Awards broadcast appearance. That was Santana’s experience in 2000. Following a performance on the show and eight Grammy wins, “Supernatural” flew off the shelves — a gold certification from one key look. Today, that seems downright [...]

  • Taylor Swift: Miss Americana

    'Taylor Swift: Miss Americana': Film Review

    Fly-on-the-wall portraits of pop-music stars used to be dominated by, you know, pop music. The life and personality and woe-is-me-I’m-caught-in-the-media-fishbowl spectacle of the star herself was part of the equation, yet all that stuff had a way of dancing around the edges. Now, though, it’s front and center. In “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana,” we catch [...]

  • Taylor Swift attends the premiere of

    Sundance Crowd Goes Wild as Taylor Swift Becomes Powerful Voice of Trump Resistance

    At the outset of the first screening of the documentary “Miss Americana” Thursday night at the Sundance Film Festival, it was clear at the outset that it was not necessarily Taylor Swift’s core audience filling the Eccles Theater for the premiere. The opening scene has Swift trying to write a song at the piano while [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content