Broadway’s MJ The Musical, formerly known as Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, will begin previews at the Neil Simon Theatre on Tuesday, July 6, 2020, with an opening night set for Thursday, August 13, producers announced today. Casting has not been announced.
With its confirmed dates and new name – a show spokesman has said the new title is a “better and stronger choice than relying on the title of any one individual song” – the Jackson musical takes a significant step closer to a Broadway run that became the subject of considerable chatter and even skepticism after a pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago was canceled earlier this year just weeks before HBO aired Dan Reed’s damning Leaving Neverland documentary that chronicled allegations of Jackson’s molestation and sexual abuse of two underage boys.
At the time, the musical’s producers blamed Chicago scheduling difficulties and delays caused by a recently ended Actors’ Equity strike, a charge disputed by Equity, with the union dismissing any strike-related delays were “modest” at most. Producers of the musical then known as Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough promised to open a post-Broadway national tour of the show in Chicago.
The new musical will feature a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and a score made up of many of Jackson’s hit songs. Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon will direct and choreograph.
MJ is currently in development at studios in New York City. Tickets go on sale Jan. 15.
While the extent of changes have, or are, being made in the still-developing production is unknown, early descriptions of the Jackson jukebox explained that the show will depict Jackson and his collaborators as they rehearse for the 1992 Dangerous Tour. The musical is not expected to focus on Jackson’s personal life, though back when the now-titled MJ was set for a pre-Broadway run in Chicago, director Wheeldon told told the Chicago Tribune that the musical is intended to be “a portrait of the artist, a man of contradictions that contained so much beauty. A life like Michael’s was so rich, dense and troubled. But there were these moments of great lightness. We are interested in celebrating Michael, and in breaking down his songs and really listening to them.”
Check out the teaser trailer posted today on YouTube by the production above.