With the Broadway shutdown lasting until September 6 at the earliest, one musical that had been scheduled to open this summer has shuffled into a new 2021 slot.
MJ, the Michael Jackson bio-musical produced by Lia Vollack and the namesake artist's estate, now intends to begin performances March 8, 2021, at the Neil Simon Theatre, with opening night scheduled for April 15.
The show, penned by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and directed and choreographed by Tony winner Christopher Wheeldon, was scheduled to start previews July 6 at the venue this summer and open August 13. Ticketholders should receive an automatic refund; those who don't by May 30 should contact their point of purchase.
This is not the musical's first shakeup, either: the project, previously titled Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, was initially slated to make its world premiere at Chicago's Nederlander Theatre last fall before scrapping those plans for a direct-to-Broadway route.
Ephraim Sykes, a Tony nominee for Ain't Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations, was scheduled to play Jackson. The announced cast also includes Quentin Earl Darrington, Whitney Bashor, Gabriel Ruiz, Antoine L. Smith, and Joey Sorge.
MJ joins the revival of Plaza Suite, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, in announcing revised 2021 dates in light of the public health crisis, which has brought theatres on Broadway and beyond to a standstill. Though the Broadway League is extending the window for which shows will provide refunds on a rolling basis, there is no clear date set for when performances will resume.