★★★☆☆ | Thriller Live!
Celebrating the music, dancing and performances of the entertainer, Thriller Live is a whistle-stop tour of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits, rolled into a relentless package of iconic dance moves, legendary performances and classic songs.
From his early days in Mowtown, through the Jackson 5 years and onto his solo success, the show features a quartet of singers who perform against a backdrop of spectacular choreography which is performed with unyielding vigour and energetic enthusiasm by the vivacious cast of dancers who fill the stage; accompanied by a talented bunch of musicians in the live band.
Cleverly taking the routines, or snippets of them, highlights included music video recreations of ‘Smooth Criminal’ and ‘Thriller’, great renditions of ‘Man in the Mirror’ and ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’ and some tracks you wouldn’t immediately associate with Michael Jackson, including ‘Dangerous’ and ‘This Place Hotel’.
Despite the vocals not being of the highest order, some forced audience participation and a couple of songs descending into an overblown mess, there is still plenty of enjoyment to be found here. Regardless of the controversy surrounding his life, Michael Jackson’s enduring appeal undoubtedly remains, especially if the shouts, whoops and cheers from the audience were anything to go by.
Whilst musical revues can often come across as sycophantic, Thriller Live manages to sidestep being the gushing praise-fest that it could be, and instead allows the party atmosphere, music, songs and dance routines to speak for themselves in an undemanding evening of foot tapping, high end cabaret.