Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: Michael Jackson

M.J. The Musical Hits Chicago

“M.J.: The Musical” Hits Chicago

While taking in “Tommy: The Rock Opera” on my birthday, I became aware that “M.J.: The Musical” would be opening soon at the Niederlander Theater (formerly the Oriental Theater) on Aug. 1st and running only until September 3rd.

I had seen the New York City lead in the play on the Tony awards, and I thought it looked like something that would be very high energy and enjoyable. (It was nominated for 6 Tonys).

So, a quick trip to Chicago ensued.

The trip in put us in traffic for Soldier Field. There was a big soccer game between two European teams, Chelsea and Dortmund.

Also, Lollapalooza was scheduled to kick off on August 3rd in Grant Park, with Billie Eilish singing at 7:30 p.m. Many streets were closed for Lolla.

I secured tickets to the musical online and it said we were in Row B to the right side of the stage in the Orchestra section. It turned out that Row B was actually the first row and the musicians were playing almost directly beneath us, which means that we had an unobstructed view and our seats actually vibrated to the beat and pulse of all of the Michael Jackson hits through the years.

Several different actors portrayed the young and teen-aged and adult Michael Jackson and the play sketched his life as though a film crew were trying to document the preparations for the “Dangerous” tour.


All of the actors were fantastic. It sometimes became a wee bit confusing to have multiple actors playing the same role and to have one actor portraying two parts simultaneously. For instance, the very talented actress playing Michael Jackson’s mother held down a couple of roles, as did the burly gentleman portraying Joseph Johnson, who had a great voice.

The traffic in Chicago was absolutely horrific and, when we came out of the theater after the play, it took the better part of half an hour for the Lyft driver (Jose) to make his way to the theater for pick-up. Cabs were few and far between.

It was a wonderful uplifting play, if slanted to highlight only the positive P.R. of Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon Die Within Hours of One Another

Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon, three icons of the entertainment business, died within hours of one another. Only Jackson’s death came as a shock to the world. He supposedly died of cardiac arrest, having been worked on by his private physician at his rented house near the hospital and by medical personnel in the emergency room, who pronounced him dead at 2:26 p.m.Michael Jacksonworked on him over an hour, pronouncing him dead at 2::26 p.m. He had taken a prescription medication, but the announcement also seemed to indicate that his personal physician was with him in his rented home at the time he collapsed from apparent cardiac arrest. That doctor also attempted to revive Jackson, unsuccessfully.

It’s hard to know what to say about the death of a pop icon who rose—and fell—so far. The talented little boy who sang with his brothers as “The Jackson Five” had disappeared many years ago, buried under numerous botched plastic surgeries and aberrant lifestyle eccentricities that had him inviting underage children into his bed, cavorting with a chimp named Bubbles, founding a veritable circus at Neverland Ranch, complete with a zoo and rides, buying the Elephant Man’s bones, and sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber. In the end, Michael Jackson, like all of us, proved to be mortal, no more immune to death’s reach than a Kennedy or a Beatle or a President.

May all three of these icons of our culture rest in peace.

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