Michael Jackson’s Estate Is Developing a Broadway-Bound Bio-Musical

Posted June 19, 2018 10:55 a.m. EDT

Michael Jackson is Broadway-bound.

The pop singer’s estate, along with Columbia Live Stage, said Tuesday that it had agreed to develop a stage musical about his life, aiming for Broadway in 2020.

The musical, reflecting Jackson’s stature, features an unusually acclaimed creative team. The book is to be written by Lynn Nottage, a playwright who has won two Pulitzers, for “Ruined” and “Sweat.” And the show is to be directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, the artistic associate of the Royal Ballet in London, who won a Tony Award for “An American in Paris.”

Jackson has been the subject of many previous entertainment ventures, including a staged concert, “Thriller Live,” that has been running for nearly a decade in London. The estate’s executors have collaborated with several projects, including “Michael Jackson ONE,” a Cirque du Soleil show running for the last five years in Las Vegas; a documentary, “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” released a few months after his death in 2009; and “Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off the Wall,” a Spike Lee documentary from 2016.

Jukebox musicals have become a Broadway staple — those now running include “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” and “Escape to Margaritaville” (featuring the songs of Jimmy Buffett and closing July 1). Those scheduled to open soon include “Head Over Heels” (the Go-Go’s, starting previews on Broadway this week) and “The Cher Show” (now running in Chicago and opening on Broadway in December), and those circling Broadway include “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” (now running in London), “Ain’t Too Proud” (The Temptations, now running at the Kennedy Center in Washington) and “Jagged Little Pill” (Alanis Morissette, now playing at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts.). And “Girl From the North Country,” featuring songs by Bob Dylan, is scheduled to run off-Broadway at the Public Theater beginning in September.