Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is set to make the jump to Broadway. Playbill reports that Broadway bigwigs the Nederlander Organization have acquired the rights to make a new musical based on Jackson's famous werewolves-and-zombies video. Broadway has already turned the music of the Four Seasons and the Who's Tommy into musical productions — and somehow recruited U2 to record music for a Spider-Man show — so the prospect of Jackson on the Great White Way isn't that far-fetched, especially as producers scramble for ideas to draw in big crowds in the wake of large-scale show closings due to the recession.
According to James L. Nederlander, "I love the idea of making 'Thriller' a musical. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy has big secret, now what?" "Now what" is our thoughts exactly: the concept works great when it's used in YouTube videos made by French film students lip-synching "Thriller", Filipino prisoners dancing "Thriller" and impromptu dance troupes on a train, how can a six-minute song/14-minute music video sustain itself over the course of two acts? According to the press release, the musical take its plot from the actual music video, a "horror film spoof in which a young couple are out on a date on a beautiful full moon evening, when suddenly the young man, played by Jackson, turns into a werewolf." This sounds like it could be Cats, but with zombies instead of kitties.
On a positive note, the musical will reportedly also feature songs from both Jackson's Off the Wall and Thriller, so you can pretty much expect to see "Billie Jean" and its sidewalk that lights up when you step on it at some point during the production. Michael Jackson will also reportedly be a part of the creation of the musical in some capacity. The creative team and estimated theater dates of the show have not yet been revealed.
• French Kids Go Zombie, Nail "Thriller" Lip Sync in a Single Take
• "World's Largest Zombie Disco" Marks 25th Anniversary of "Thriller" Video in NYC
• The Real Jailhouse Rock: Why the Prisoners Dance to "Thriller"
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies