‘MJ’ announces world premiere cast, ahead of Broadway opening
The Michael Jackson bio-musical will begin performances in December.
You’ll wanna be startin’ something to get to Broadway, as the complete cast for Michael Jackson musical MJ has been announced. MJ begins previews at the Neil Simon Theatre on December 6 ahead of an opening night on Feb. 1, 2022.
Quentin Earl Darrington will play Joseph Jackson and Rob. Darrington recently played Agwe in Once on this Island, earning a Grammy Award nomination. Whitney Bashor will play Rachel, with Bashor previously in The Bridges of Madison County.
Gabriel Ruiz will make his Broadway debut as Alejandro, with Antoine L. Smith as Berry Gordy / Nick, Joey Sorge as Dave, Ayana George as Katherine Jackson, Apollo Levine as Quincy Jones / Tito Jackson, Tavon Olds-Sample as Michael.
The MJ cast is completed by John Edwards as Jackie Jackson / Ensemble, Lamont Walker II as Jermaine Jackson / Ensemble, Zelig Williams as Marlon Jackson / Ensemble, Raymond Baynard, Kali May Grinder, Oyoyo Joi, Carina-Kay Louchiey, Renni Anthony Magee, Aaron James McKenzie, Aramie Payton, Kamille Upshaw, Ryan VanDenBoom, and Darius Wright..
MJ is a new bio-musical inspired by the life and career of Michael Jackson, featuring an original story by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. Nottage's new play, Clyde’s, will also premiere on Broadway in the upcoming season with Clyde’s tickets on sale now.
Synopsis details for MJ are to be announced, but the score will feature Michael Jackson hits including “The Earth Song,” “Thriller” and “Bad.”
Christopher Wheeldon will direct and choreograph MJ, with scenic design is by Derek McLane, with lighting design by Natasha Katz, costume design by Paul Tazewell and sound design by Gareth Owen.
Photo credit: Quentin Earl Darrington, Whitney Bashor and Gabriel Ruiz (Photos courtesy of DKC/O&M)