Flat Rock, NC (7/5/2013) – Flat Rock Playhouse is proud to announce the next ‘Music on the Rock’ series concert: A Tribute to Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 opening on July 17. The show will star Los Angeles performer Alfred Jackson.
Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Alfred Jackson realized he wanted to become a professional entertainer at an early age. He has proven his passion by seeking out career opportunities in the theatre, music, television and film industry. Jackson’s credits include writing and producing music for E! Entertainment’s In Your Dreams and David E. Kelly’s Ally McBeal television series. He is the recipient of the 2010 NAACP Award for best choreographer in a stage play, Sarafina. He has worked with entertainment professional such as Diane Warren, Rodney Jerkins, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Brian Michael Cox, and Mario Winans. Jackson’s credits also include writing and co-producing the number one hit signal for South African solo artist Loyiso. His theatre experience includes Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror in Reno and Japan.
American superstar Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson, had been a guitarist but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine Scruse. Together they prodded their growing family’s musical interests at home. By the early 1960s, the older boys Jackie, Tito and Jermaine had begun performing around the city; by 1964, Michael and Marlon had joined in.
A musical prodigy, Michael’s singing and dancing talents were amazingly mature, and he soon became the dominant voice and focus of The Jackson 5. An opening act for such soul groups as the O-Jays and James Brown, it was Gladys Knight (not Diana Ross) who officially brought the group to Berry Gordy’s attention, and by 1969, the boys were producing back-to-back chart-busting hits as Motown artists (“I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “Got to Be There,” etc.). As a product of the 1970s, the boys emerged as one of the most accomplished black pop/soul vocal groups in music history, successfully evolving from a group like The Temptations to a disco phenomenon.
Solo success for Michael was inevitable, and by the 1980s, he had become infinitely more popular than his brotherly group. Record sales consistently orbited, culminating in the biggest-selling album of all time, “Thriller” in 1982. A TV natural, he ventured rather uneasily into films, such as playing the Scarecrow in The Wiz (1978), but had much better luck with elaborate music videos.
In the 1990s, the downside as a 1980s pop phenomenon began to rear itself. Michael grew terribly child-like and introverted by his peerless celebrity. A rather timorous, androgynous figure to begin with, his physical appearance began to change drastically, and his behavior grew alarmingly bizarre, making him a consistent target for scandal-making, despite his numerous charitable acts. Two brief marriages — one to Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley — were forged and two children produced by his second wife during that time, but the purposes behind them appeared image-oriented. Despite it all, Michael Jackson’s passion and artistry as a singer, dancer, writer and businessman are unparalleled, and it is these prodigious talents that will ultimately prevail over the extremely negative aspects of his seriously troubled adult life.
For it all to end on June 25, 2009, with his sudden death at age 50 of a drug-induced cardiac arrest, just as he was coming out of a four-year reclusive period and rehearsing for a sold-out London concert “comeback” in July, seems uncommonly cruel and tragic. Millions upon millions of dedicated fans will remember where they were “the day Michael died”.
TICKETS AND SCHEDULE
Rug & Home presents A Tribute to Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 at Playhouse Downtown July 17-20 and 23-26. Performances will be Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 pm each evening. All tickets are $24 and can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-732 8008 or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org. Playhouse Downtown is located at 125 S. Main Street in Hendersonville NC.