Scenic design sketch for MJ The Musical

Complete creative team announced for MJ The Musical on Broadway

The world premiere of MJ The Musical is scheduled to begin performances at the Neil Simon Theatre on July 6, 2020.

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

We can't stop 'til we get enough of this first look scenic design sketch for the upcoming world premiere of MJ The Musical on Broadway! Producers have now revealed the complete creative team behind the much anticipated bio-musical.

The creative team will feature scenic design by Tony and two-time Emmy Award winner Derek McLane (who provided the sketch above), lighting design by six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz, costume design by Tony and Emmy Award winner Paul Tazewell, sound design by two-time Tony Award nominee Gareth Owen, projection design by two-time Tony Award nominee Peter Nigrini, and hair & wig design by two-time Emmy Award nominee Charles LaPointe.

In addition, the team will also feature music direction by Tony Award recipient Jason Michael Webb, musical supervision by David Holcenberg, and orchestrations & arrangements by both Webb and Holcenberg.

Scenic designer Derek McLane commented: "The majority of the story is set inside a spacious, industrial dance rehearsal studio, but throughout the musical we find ourselves repeatedly transported into Michael's mind — his memories and his dreams. The alternating between dream sequences and reality gives us the chance to repeatedly surprise the audience."

Under the direction of Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon (who also serves as choreographer), the world premiere production is scheduled to begin previews at the Neil Simon Theatre on July 6, 2020, ahead of an official opening on August 13.

Produced by Lia Vollack Productions and The Michael Jackson Estate, MJ The Musical is a new bio-musical based on the life and career of the late music icon Michael Jackson and features a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage.

Michael Jackson's greatest hits, to be showcased in the musical, include the likes of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Rock with You," "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "Thriller," "Bad," "Man in the Mirror," "Smooth Criminal," "Black or White," "Heal the World," "You Are Not Alone," and "You Rock My World."

As previously reported, the cast of MJ The Musical will be led by Tony & Grammy Award nominee Ephraim Sykes as Michael Jackson and will also feature Grammy Award nominee Quentin Earl Darrington, Whitney Bashor, Gabriel Ruiz, Antoine L. Smith, Joey Sorge, Darius Barnes, Raymond Baynard, Coral Dolphin, John Edwards, Ayana George, Kali May Grinder, Apollo Levine, Ryan VanDenBoom, Lamont Walker II, Naomi C. Walley, and Zelig Williams.

Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 and died on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50. Over the course of his career in the music industry as "The King of Pop," he released a total of 10 studio albums, sold an estimated amount of over 350 million records worldwide and won 13 Grammy Awards. He also famously starred as Scarecrow in the 1978 film adaptation of The Wiz.

Ephraim Sykes recently ended his Tony-nominated run as David Ruffin in Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations at Broadway's Imperial Theatre. The production also earned him his first Grammy nomination  in the category of 'Best Musical Theater Album.' His other Broadway credits include Hamilton, Motown The Musical, Memphis, Disney's Newsies, and Disney's The Little Mermaid. He is also known for starring as Seaweed J. Stubbs in NBC's "Hairspray Live!" in 2016 and his other television credits include "Vinyl," Marvel's "Luke Cage," "Smash," and "30 Rock."


Ephraim Sykes
(Photo by Little Fang)

MJ The Musical Tickets are available now for performances from July 6 through November 29, 2020.

(Artwork by Derek McLane)


Originally published on

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