Michael Jackson fans in the Chicagoland area have something to look forward to this weekend. “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” will be in town June 27–28.
Created by Cirque du Soleil and directed by Jamie King, the Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil teamed together to bring attendees a rock concert format that mixes the pop icons’ music and choreography with Cirque du Soleil’s unique and daring creativity. It will take place at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy, in Hoffman Estates.
Many of the show’s 49 international dancers, musicians and acrobats have worked with well-known artists such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Jay-Z, and now they get to work directly with people who worked under the pop artist himself.
Charles “Charlie” Wilson plays the keyboard in the production and he said he enjoys working with people who actually knew Jackson.
“I like to sit down and talk about Michael all the time,” Wilson said. “They said he gave them knowledge and I can recall one story that our musical director told, he said Michael sat everyone down in a circle and said this is not only my stage, but your stage too so make sure every moment has value.”
Wilson has had the opportunity to tour with artists like Justin Timberlake, Ciara, Estelle and more. He also worked as musical director for Rihanna an X Factor Judge Demi Lovato.
He encourages everyone to see the show because it makes it feel like Jackson is still alive.
“When I play in the show I see it as this is a show Michael would be doing if he was still here,” he said. “You still get the energy and essence of the message he was trying to convey as an artist so I tell the guys to play like he was standing in front of you.”
Tap dancer Kendrick Jones said he is a huge Michael Jackson fan and he loves playing one of the production’s five fanatics, who get to dress up like Jackson, embodying him.
“It’s fun for me because I danced to Michael Jackson, copying his moves since five or six [years old], I would study his moves from the TV,” said the 29-year-old. He gets to copy Jackson’s choreography from hits like “Beat It” and “Thriller.” One of the best parts of the show he said is getting to dance 15 feet in the air on a small platform called a tap machine. He said it has three different levels.
He said he will always look at Jackson as a role model because he was more than just a musician/dancer.
“I like how he was a humanitarian, always looking out for people and he studied all the great dancers like James Brown, but also the religious leaders of the world,” he said.
Working underneath people who worked with Jackson is the highlight of this job he said.
“I get to be around people who witnessed his greatness,” he said. “I want to know about his life, how he came up with the magic and when those guys are around, I always have a ton of questions.”
Jones is an experienced actor and tap dancer. At 13 he was named the grand champion of the Apollo Theatre and he has appeared on Broadway.
Tickets can be purchased at www.cirquedusoleil.com.