It’s been seven years since the world lost Michael Jackson, one of the greatest entertainers of our time. But the legacy of the enduring King of Pop lives on. His music is adored the world over, and he continues to inspire performing artists everywhere.
In June and July, the Michael Jackson tribute show, HIStory, will tour across Australia.
The HIStory Show has been performed over 5,000 times in the past seven years across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Indonesia, South Africa, Canada and the US, with the UK and Europe planned for times ahead.
While the show has visited our shores before, it returns in 2016 with a revamped production and the world’s premier Michael Jackson impersonator, Dantanio, leading this impressive tribute.
HIStory is described as a musical biography that journeys through Michael Jackson’s vast and incredible catalogue of work, including his beginnings as a member of Jackson 5, his groundbreaking theatrics in the 80s and his evolution onwards into the 21st century.
The show will see Dantanio perform over 20 songs live including ABC, Ben, Smooth Criminal and Beat It. HIStory will celebrate Jackson’s exceptional talent, reliving the magic of one of the greatest pop icons of all time.
Dantanio, a South African theatre performer and solo recording artist, has himself been a Michael Jackson fan since a young age. So, what is his earliest memory of being a fan?
“I guess my earliest memory is at age seven when I first saw the music video for ‘Thriller’,” he tells Theatre People.
“It was at the point where he turned ‘zombie’ and the camera zooms in. Oh I was screaming and hiding behind the couch! But after learning the truth, I was so mesmerised by his magic and imagination.”
A singer and performer since the age of nine, Dantanio tells the story of how he came to portray Michael Jackson in this incredible tribute.
“I had sent my Michael Jackson video clip to numerous talent and tribute companies around the world,” he says. “When I heard Showtime Australia was auditioning for a new MJ, I jumped at the chance to audition for them. And with great luck, blessings and positivity, I got the leading role. I was so overwhelmed!”
What does Dantanio find to be the most challenging aspect of portraying the King of Pop on stage?
“I don’t think one element is more relevant or serious then the other,” is his response.
“It’s a complete package. But I would say stamina. I must stay super fit and be at 100% energy every time.”
In the years that have followed Jackson’s passing, we’ve seen numerous tribute shows staged around the world. What is it about HIStory that makes it special?
“HIStory brings to stage both live vocals and the persona of Michael Jackson. I completely become the King of Pop when in character. I speak like Michael. I walk like Michael. I sing like Michael and dance. And all this is done do to give the fans what we call the ‘ultimate Michael Jackson experience’,” Dantanio says.
He tells Theatre People about the strong response HIStory has received from those who’ve attended.
“It’s exciting how much people praise the show and cast,” he says.
“The musicians and dancers are on point every time and people point that out often. For instance the solo in Beat It, I’m impressed every time our M.D. Richie (Slash) plays it. The fans have shown nothing but love for this production and we are all so humbled by it.”
The production tours with an estimated $1 million worth of production equipment, and over 100 hours have been dedicated to its lighting design. Additionally, the show features 40 customised costumes, 20 of which are for the MJ character alone.
“I can say that our sound and light creations are phenomenal,” Dantanio says.
“Michael Jackson shared his gift with so many fans around the world. The show is a great opportunity to relive his magic and showmanship, but more so to prosper the legacy of the greatest entertainer of all time to our children and our children’s children.”
You can visit www.mjhistoryshow.com fo
|June 16||Brisbane||QPAC Concert Hall||www.qpac.com.au|
|June 17||Gold Coast||Jupiters Hotel & Casino||www.jupitersgoldcoast.com.au|
|June 21||Port Macquarie||The Glasshouse||www.glasshouse.org.au|
|June 22||Newcastle||Civic Theatre||www.civictheatrenewcastle.com.au|
|June 24||Sydney||State Theatre||www.statetheatre.com.au|
|June 26||Canberra||The Playhouse||www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au|
|July 2||Ballarat||Her Majesty’s||www.hermaj.com|
|July 7||Frankston||Arts Centre||www.artscentre.frankston.vic.gov.au|
|July 12||Bendigo||Ulumbarra Theatre||www.thecapital.com.au|
|July 15||Melbourne||Her Majesty’s Theatre||www.premier.ticketek.com.au|
|July 18||Adelaide||Festival Theatre||www.bass.net.au|
|July 22||Bunbury||Stage One Theatre||www.bunburyentertainment.com|
|July 23||Perth||Astor Theatre||www.astortheatreperth.com|
|July 24||Mandurah||Mandurah PAC||www.manpac.com.au|