Artiste Michael Firestone on his tribute show to Michael Jackson and Leaving Neverland, the controversial documentary
We speak to the dancer and singer before his tribute show, I Am King - The Michael Jackson Experience, comes to India
Michael Firestone hails from the state of New York in the US. “I grew up in the ’80s —Michael Jackson was everywhere,” says the dancer and musician who is considered to be one of the best MJ impersonators in the world. “I just loved his music and especially his music videos,” he adds. He brings his tribute show, I Am King - The Michael Jackson Experience, in association with Book My Show, to Bengaluru after touring all over the world.
The show features musicians along with Broadway and Las Vegas dancers, with Firestone in the lead. The production will include some of Jackson’s most popular tracks, as Firestone moonwalks and does MJ’s signature dance moves, taking audiences on a visual journey into the world of the legendary performer. “It’s a multimedia show,” explains Firestone, adding, “There are about 19-20 songs. We perform a lot of the hits including Billie Jean, Thriller and Smooth Criminal. There will be something for every age group to relate to.”
Firestone’s interest in Jackson began at a young age. “When I was just a child, I would dance for my family and friends. I would dance at parties. I would dance in front of the mirror. I would dance for anyone who would watch,” he shares. He wanted to put a show together that could define who Jackson was as an artiste. “That is why it is called I Am King,” he says. Firestone met Jackson in 2002 after a show and says that his death still affects him. “Right now, pop music is a mess,” he adds
Reacting to Jackson’s name being in the midst of a controversy because of the documentary, Leaving Neverland, which accuses him of sexual misconduct with minors, Firestone says, “I don’t separate MJ the artiste from MJ the person. He was the perfect artiste and a perfect person. He was proven innocent and it was because the guy accusing him now is the one who said he was not guilty. This is all for money and relevance. I do feel bad for his family.”
But the show must go on and next, Firestone is taking the production on other international tours later this year. “I want to meet new people and let their imagination take over so they forget about everything else. The crowd to me is the most important part of the show,” he sums up.
Rs. 1,250 upwards. Saturday, 8 pm, Sunday, 4 pm and 8 pm. At St John’s Auditorium, Koramangala