There’s always a degree of trepidation when a performance is endeavouring to pay homage to an immensely talented icon.
That task is made all the more challenging when taking on perhaps the most gifted and iconic superstar in history.
Surely MJ is untouchable. How can anyone really do him justice?
Regardless, the South Australian dance crew from Michael Jackson – The Mirror has taken the challenge on board, with their world premiere taking place at the 2018 Adelaide Fringe.
For us, it became increasingly obvious that we weren’t going to be blown away by the ‘MJ’ of the night. While it would be hypercritical to expect anyone to match the greatest performer of all time, there are still high expectations for a $40 ticket in a festival filled with plenty of remarkable shows.
Sure, some impersonators do it better than others, and in this instance our lead, Josh Dal Santo, probably knows his limitations. Although a highly impressive and capable dancer, it was really the entire troupe that made this an entertaining show, rather than a reliance on the main subject.
Throughout the night we are taken through MJ’s hits while the dance ensemble displays impressively synchronised choreography—all the while looking utterly sensational in MJ inspired costumes. Their moves are sexy and sleek, but had MJ not blessed them with such a sensational soundtrack it might leave a little to the heart’s desire.
The choir was a lovely touch that provided some appreciated variance, especially given the heartfelt rendition of ‘Heal The World’—a timeless track that is even more poignant today. It was a welcomed inclusion in what can often be a tricky task when changing up from a high tempo. The audience remained engaged, which is a credit to the directors.
It’s likely that those who attend this show are big fans of the King of Pop, and with that comes an anticipation of greatness. While the show was impressive in many areas, the price tag doesn’t quite match the levels of awe you might expect for a high-end ticket in a festival jam-packed with choices.
★★★1/2 3.5/5 stars
Michael Jackson – The Mirror is playing in The Octagon at Gluttony on the 3rd and 4th March. Tickets available online or at The Fringe Box Office.