Ephraim Sykes

Ephraim Sykes to star as Michael Jackson in MJ The Musical on Broadway

The world premiere of MJ The Musical is set to begin previews at the Neil Simon Theatre on July 6, 2020, ahead of an official opening on August 13.

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Tony and (freshly announced) Grammy Award nominee Ephraim Sykes has now been cast to star as the King of Pop, Michael Jackson in the forthcoming world premiere of MJ The Musical on Broadway. As previously reported, the production is scheduled to begin previews at the Neil Simon Theatre on July 6, 2020, ahead of an official opening on August 13, under the direction of Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon (who will also serve as choreographer).

Mr. Wheeldon commented: "Ephraim Sykes is a bonafide triple threat, and dynamic rising star on Broadway. I am honored to be working with him on this exciting new production."

Ephraim Sykes can currently be seen starring in his Tony-nominated performance as David Ruffin in Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations at Broadway's Imperial Theatre. The production earned him his first Grammy nomination yesterday in the category of 'Best Musical Theater Album.' His other Broadway credits include HamiltonMotown The MusicalMemphis, 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."

Produced by Columbia Live Stage and The Michael Jackson EstateMJ The Musical is a new bio-musical based on the life and career of the late music icon Michael Jackson and will feature 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."

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.

A musical revue by the name of Thriller Live has been running in London's West End since January 2009, which celebrates the music of Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, and is set to play its final performance there on April 26, 2020.

Additional casting and creative team information for MJ The Musical will be announced in the coming months.


(Photo by Little Fang Photo)

Originally published on

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