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Thriller Live at Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre Review

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
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Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough Of Michael Jackson Hits
When faced with this journey through Michael Jackson's career, it suddenly dawns on you what a staggering musical impact the singer had on the world. Song after song is a reminder of a lost talent.

Thriller live, Michael jackson music, review, Birmingham new Alexandra theatre
The music of Michael Jackson lives on in Thriller Live.

Refreshingly, rather than transporting songs into a fictional storyline - as seen in musicals like We Will Rock You - Thriller Live takes the shape of a concert chartering the many Michael Jackson tunes that have lived on through generations.

It's real strength is a line-up of excellent singers. The five talented leads include Cleopatra Higgins, the former lead singer of pop band Cleopatra ("coming at ya"), who sadly injured her hip and had to come off early at the interval when I saw the show at Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre on Monday March 7. She has promised to return for performances during the rest of the week but her understudy, Angelica Allen, was equally as impressive.

Other outstanding vocalists were Sean Christopher, Shaquille Hemmans, Michael Kavuma and Rory Taylor, who all did justice to a fine selection of songs. Heart-wrenching tunes like Human Nature, She's Out Of My Life, Man In The Mirror and I Just Can't Stop Loving You were packed with emotion.

Thriller live, michael jackson musical, uk tour, birmingham new alexandra theatre, cleopatra Higgins
Cleopatra Higgins, of Cleopatra pop group, stars in Thriller Live with other exceptional singers.

Over two and a half hours, Thriller Live takes the audience from Michael Jackson's work with the Jackson 5 to his first solo album with Quincy Jones - Off The Wall - and onwards and upwards through selected tracks from albums Thriller and Bad.

The singers are supported by a team of dancers, but the emphasis is always on the singing. That is until dancer Eddy Lima is on stage. He's practically a double for the star and recreated the look and moves of Michael Jackson so well that some members of the audience seemed to forget it wasn't an impersonator and were shouting: "We love you Michael".

Thriller live, michael jackson musical, uk tour, birmingham new alexandra theatre
A scene recreating Smooth Criminal in Thriller Live

The slickest sequences were kept for Smooth Criminal, which recreated the famous pop video, and a saucy Dirty Diana scene. Then, of course, there was Thriller complete with ghouls and voice effects in the famous video. Fabulous!

For those who have seen Thriller Live before, this version has been altered with the addition of more songs and other production changes. So you may notice a difference.

Thriller live, michael jackson musical, uk tour, birmingham new alexandra theatre
Thriller Live recreated many of Michael Jackson's famous dance moves

It's a worthy way of honouring Michael Jackson - through his music.

What it also does is remind you of the how great a master he was with his lyrics and voice and you won't come away disappointed.

Rating: 8/10

Thriller Live
New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Running time: 2 hr 30
March 7 - 12, 2016

Tickets cost from 19.65 - 33.65 from the Theatre website.
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Why? Relive the music of Michael Jackson in sparkling musical
When: March 7 - 12
Phone: 0844 871 3011
Where: New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Cost: From 19.65
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