Tuesday, January 27, 2009

THRILLER: The Musical

The Nederlander organization has announced that they will mount a Broadway musical version of "Thriller," the Michael Jackson song made legendary in a long-form music video directed by John Landis in 1983. Definitely mondo, and most likely made of "meh." In a way it's appropriate - Broadway has been full of revenants and patchwork monsters for 20 years now. Michael Jackson's monster-mashing zombies will find very few delicious brains to feast upon in the Great White Way.

It's interesting to re-watch the video now, as Jackson's fey Romeo shyly confides that he's "not like other guys" and soon undergoes a variety of terrifying transformations. Jackson's obsession with radically re-inventing himself is there for all to see, though the world could not appreciate how prescient his character's metamorphosis from skinny black man to creepy werecat (repeated in the "Black or White" video) to pasty-faced ghoul (repeated in real life) actually was.

I had to admit, this video scared me silly when I was 11, even as it tickled my funny-bone. I was au courant with Vincent Price at that age, so his presence on the soundtrack was actually reassuring.

UPDATE! John Landis is suing to stop the production, claiming that MJ owes him big bucks in unpaid royalties. Read all about it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine that this type of musical could get any ratings close to what the actual song get (got). Why is Micheal Jackson allowing this??