Musical director and orchestrator Jesse Vargas conceived the tribute evening, which boasts the talents of Orfeh (Legally Blonde), Darius de Haas (Rent, Children of Eden) and Renee Elise Goldsberry (The Color Purple, Rent) as well as Kenita Miller, Elizabeth Stanley, The Broadways Boys, Jay Johnson, Morgan Karr, Arthur Lewis, Marcus Paul James, Crystal Monee Hall, Carly Jibson, Jeanette Bayardelle and Steven Booth. Catherine Brookman, Starr Busby and Julius Thomas III will provide background vocals. Vargas will lead a seven-piece band that features Matt Hinkley, Steve Gilewski, Jay Mack, John Owens, Raul Agraz and Cliff Lyons.
In a statement Vargas said, "I have been wanting to gather a group of my favorite performers together to celebrate this songbook for sometime. Like many of us, I grew up to the music of Michael Jackson and have been influenced as a musician and artist by his contributions to popular music. I was lucky enough to team up with Ars Nova this summer and create this event. Although the loss of him is still very fresh and very sad, I can not think of a better way to celebrate his life and contributions than through song. I hope I can help to bring a memorable evening to the theater community and beyond."
Tickets, priced $20, can be purchased by visiting ArsNova. Ars Nova is located at 511 West 54th Street.