“MJ,” the musical about the life and career of the late Michael Jackson, has pushed back its Broadway opening to spring of 2021. The move comes after the Great White Way extended its shutdown through Labor Day due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The show will now start preview performances on March 8, 2021, with an opening night scheduled for April 15 at Neil Simon Theatre. “MJ” was initially set to premiere on July 6, 2020.
Ticket buyers will immediately receive a refund for the performance.
Ephraim Sykes, who nabbed a Tony for “Ain’t Too Proud,” will portray Jackson in the musical. “MJ” will feature classic Jackson songs like “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and “Smooth Criminal.” The show was originally named “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” but was changed to “MJ.”
Lynn Nottage (“Ruined”) wrote the book of the musical, while Christopher Wheeldon (“An American in Paris”) will direct and choreograph.
Despite the recent child sexual abuse allegations against Jackson from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, detailed in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” the show will still go on. Jackson’s family has denied the allegations. The legendary pop sensation died at the age of 50 in 2009.
Other Broadway shows have been pushed back, including the return of David Byrne’s “American Utopia” and Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker’s “Plaza Suite,” also scheduled to premiere in spring of 2021. The Tony Awards ceremony still up in the air since countless 2020 shows have pushed back their premieres and Broadway has been dark since March.