Thriller Live | Lyric Theatre | Review

Thriller Live Review.

What could be a greater thrill for a Michael Jackson fan than to see Thriller Live at The Lyric theatre? As his untimely death in 2009 took one of the Jackson Five and undoubtedly one of the world’s most interesting and accomplished singer and performer, the often dubbed King of Pop’s life was celebrated last night, on his birthday, at The Lyric Theatre.

The show is absolutely a tribute and celebration of Michael’s life and music and is tastefully narrated, following his career from its infancy in the Jackson 5’s through his career of ground breaking solo album sales. Thriller was one of the best- selling albums in history and Thriller Live rejoices in Michael’s musical legacy.

The opening overture and “Don’t Stop – Billie Jean” remix introduce the cast of singers and dancers on set. The audience settle into the familiar songs and the toe and finger tapping and silent singing can be seen in all the rows, the audience unsure of how relaxed they should be as this is after all a production and show and not a concert. Quickly however, with the performers’ permission audience participation is encouraged and anything goes.

The singing from the five main vocalists and junior vocalist, is faultless, each bringing their own originality to the music but without taking away anything from the songs. Everyone has their favourite Michael Jackson song and the solo, duet and group performances highlight the qualities of each performer’s voice and also pay respect that Michael was for the main part a solo singer. Stand out performances for me were the emotional “She’s out of my life” by David Julien and the whole cast production of “Man in the Mirror” “They don’t care about us” and “Earth Song” recitals, which showed Michael’s insight and understanding of modern world problems which are more relevant today than ever. John Moabi, Vivienne Ekwulugo and Joey James gave equally good performances and when they all come together to perform the enjoyment and privilege to perform the songs was palpable.    

Not surprisingly, the “Thriller” set and moonwalking are huge crowd pleasers, the show is high energy and fast paced with the dancers representing the performance aspect of Michael’s career. Whether you are a Michael Jackson fan or not the music and dancing of this show are of exceptional quality. The live band make an appearance, as settled on stage behind the vivid lights and set design combining the whole package of music, song and dance; a fitting tribute and entertaining show to celebrate Michael Jackson’s life.

Thriller Live! originally conceived in 1991, now plays daily from The Lyric Theatre and is an entertaining show from start to finish.

Reviewer: Julie Warwick