The hotly-debated Michael Jackson biomusical is back on. Not that it was ever officially off, but after its pre-Broadway Chicago run was canceled in February, its future seemed shaky.

Now, the show has secured a Broadway theater, with previews starting July 6 at the Neil Simon Theater.


Already, the musical has been through several stages of change: The Chicago cancellation occurred following the release of Leaving Neverland, the HBO documentary that delves into accusations that Jackson molested children, including choreographer Wade Robson. Early on, writer Lynn Nottage and director–choreographer Christopher Wheeldon had said that they imagined the show would address these allegations—though they had always been denied by Jackson himself—and that it planned to focus on his early-1990s era, as he prepared for a tour to promote his "Dangerous" album. It's not clear if either of those ideas have been retooled.

One thing that definitely has been retooled is the musical's name: Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough is now simply MJ The Musical.

And the show continues to evolve—it's currently in the midst of its third developmental workshop.

With Wheeldon on board, we expect no shortage of stellar dancing. But the fact that the musical is still happening is surprising. While some diehard Jackson fans are rallying in support amidst the accusations, others have had enough. (Earlier this year, writer Alison Feller penned an op-ed for Dance Magazine stating that despite Jackson's indelible mark on our culture, it's time to stop dancing to his songs.)

This spring, Nottage admitted to The Daily Mail that she believes Jackson's accusers, and described the pop star as "an immensely flawed human being." Later in a New York Times interview, Nottage and Wheeldon spoke further about their thoughts on the controversy, without outright taking sides. The pair said they intend to paint a balanced picture of Jackson, with Wheeldon noting, "part of what we do as artists is we respond to complexity."

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

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