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Bop in the aisles entertainment

Thriller Live

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

*****

ADRIAN GRANT'S Thriller Live is great fun for the whole family, with grandchildren and grannies alike clapping, rocking and dancing to two and a half hours of wall-to-wall Michael Jackson hits. The show is crowd-pleasing, non-stop entertainment with great, high energy choreography. 

The first half of the show brings us memories of the 60s and 70s with a young Michael leading the Jackson Five, later to become the Jacksons, with oldies such as ABC and I'll Be There.  The very talented 12 year old MJ Mytton Sannah is amazing with all the charm, the voice and style of the young Michael. 

Lead vocalists Sean Christopher, Nathan James, Ian Pitter and Shanay Holmes fronted the talented line up with Jovanny Pichardo Almonte providing some excellent sequences as lead dancer and vocalist. 

The second half of the show takes us through the 80s to the noughties when Jackson's work became more of a ‘package'; the music, the performance, the video. The audience is thrilled with classics such as Beat It, Man in the Mirror and Bad all the way through to Thriller

BEST KEPT SECRET

Dangerous was particularly well received.  Smooth Criminal, though not my favourite track, is amazingly choreographed. And the build up to Billy Jean is tantalizing with the video, single sequined glove, the hat and then the explosion of dance and the fireworks.  The costumes and routine set the raunchy Dirty Diana apart.  The show is full of memorable moments.  

The stage is glitzy but can't say that I took that much note of the set or even the small amount of narrative, so good was the action.  The lighting, at times was blindingly uncomfortable when turned onto the audience. The best kept secret was the band, on stage throughout but hidden behind the staging.   

We each of us have our views on Jackson as a man and a human being but as a celebration of the phenomenal talent that was Michael Jackson, this show is first class and, judging by the reactions of this Wolverhampton audience,  the whole world does appear to be a fan of his music. To 02-10-10.

Lynda Ford 

And another thriller . . . .

*****

MANY rated Michael Jackson the world's greatest-ever entertainer, and this sparkling two-hour show offers plenty of evidence to support that view.

It's a terrific, pulsating experience of non-stop music, singing, dancing and dramatic lighting effects - in fact, a real thriller.

Excellent lead vocalist Ian Pitter tells the audience they can expect a rollercoaster ride through the life and times of the controversial American singer, and that's exactly what they get from a highly talented cast.

And there is an impressive performance from 12-year-old Wolverhampton schoolboy MJ Mytton-Sannah. Surely a star in the making.

He appears right at the start of the show as the youngster in the Jackson Five, and the lad who trains with the local Stagecoach company and is a brown belt at kick boxing oozed confidence, especially in the second act with Heal the World.

Dazzling choreography by the director-choreographer Gary Lloyd was supported by breathtaking visual effects on a huge screen at the rear of the stage where the band, under musical supervisor and arranger John Maher, played superbly.

Jovanny Pichardo Almonte earned cheers for his singing and dancing and moonwalking as Jackson in Thriller, which appropriately brought this fine show to its conclusion, and there were other outstanding contributions from Hayley Evetts and Nathan James.

Thriller runs to Saturday night (Oct 2) and will be at Birmingham Hippodrome from April 18-30. If you are going, be prepared to be off your seats and on your feet dancing and cheering.

Paul Marston 

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