Entertainment Hive 2018

Thriller Live

Adelaide Festival Theatre, until January 11, 2015

Reviewed by Honey B

Thriller Live truly reminded the capacity audience at the Adelaide Festival Centre on January 2 exactly the way Michael Jackson made us feel. It took a cast of five lead singers and a spectacular lead dancer - as well as an amazing ensemble and a rockin' live band - to bring MJs music to life. This brought home what a superb vocal range Jackson had and his unique moves were also showcased to highly exciting crotch-grabbing and moonwalking effect. Thriller Live was bursting at the seams with effervescence, energy and a love of all things Michael Jackson. Just as the PR screams - it is a celebration of Jackson and his music. The show began with the early Jackson Five songs including ABC and I Want You Back and this was wonderful to see many of the lead singers harmonising together and bringing such enthusiasm and joy to the audience. All of the singers were brilliant and all had a touch of MJ - without impersonating him - but it was Samantha Johnson who stood out with her vibrancy, vocal range, wild curly hair and sexy swagger. There was no taking your eyes off of Johnson in the role reversal of The Way You Make Me Feel. Sean Christopher was also brilliant, especially in Thriller, as was his dance partner Leah Hill. Australia's own MiG Ayesa performed a passionate version of Jackson's I'll Be There and he later went into rock mode for Dirty Diana. Other highlights included Beat It, Smooth Criminal and Billie Jean. But the ensemble numbers such as They Don't Care About Us and Earth Song really soared and took the roof off of the venue. The choreography by Gary Lloyd was spot on and was an explosion of high-energy routines throughout the entire show. The costumes were also spectacular with plenty of lycra, sparkle, vinyl and zips. The LED screens were well utilised and flashed images of MJ every now and again and it gave the whole piece the feeling of a music video. The graphics changed quite a bit from the early days, through disco to modern video images. This show was a joyous two-hour journey through Michael Jackson's 45 year musical history. The hits were non-stop and built up to an amazing crescendo as the crowd stayed on their feet for the final three songs. While nothing can replace the incredible talent of Michael Jackson this show is certainly a fitting celebration of the man and his music. Don't let it stop - we can't get enough.
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