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August 13, 2020

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Sorry, but $159.00 plus fees is too much for me to gamble right now on a show whose book cannot possibly stand up to "An American In Paris." Unless, perhaps, they are truly honest in how they portray MJ. Which will make it interesting for the wrong reasons.

Lynn Nottage is writing the book. (Drama Pulitzers for Ruined and Sweat) I imagine she will work some of the dark side into it.

http://www.lynnnottage.com/about.html

Given today's culture, it seems to me that the "dark side" needs to be treated seriously. It presents a significant challenge to the overall arc of the piece. If it's a celebration of his creativity and the rest is presented as a footnote (which would probably sell more tickets), its integrity will be justly called to account, regardless of its entertainment quality. That would be disappointing.

I think you're right. Wheeldon will face criticism no matter what he does with this production. It's almost a good thing that it will have been delayed 7 or 8 months. His team will have more time to think and adapt how the production should go. For the show to be critically acclaimed, he'll probably have to visit the dark side. For the show to be a commercial success, he won't have to go there. Wheeldon is an intelligent artist. I'm looking forward to seeing how he deals with this dilemma.

It sickens me to see a talent like Wheeldon get involved in a project that glorifies a drug addicted pedophile. I am tired of the entertainment community, sycophants and crazed fans making excuses for abhorrent behavior because a person is a talented “artist.” The fact that a person is not convicted in a court of law does not mean the person is innocent of the behavior. Jackson bought off families to have access to their boys, physically threatened witnesses and was hailed as the most talented entertainer in history. The man had a voice like Mickey Mouse, danced alright when he wasn’t grabbing his crotch, admitted to sleeping in bed with little boys and died of an overdose; now he will be resurrected to walk on water. Perhaps Wheeldon’s next project should be a full length ballet on the life and times of the great “artist,” Roman Polanski.

As you have described, the story of Michael Jackson is definitely a story. We'll just have to wait and see what Wheeldon does with it. The musical has been in his plans for several years. At this point in time, however, there is no indication that he plans to "glorify a drug addicted pedophile." However, I share your dismay with the entertainment community's embrace and normalization of disgusting behavior and promotion of incivility and coarseness in an effort to show how they can "connect" with marginalized groups. More often than not, it's all about calling attention to themselves rather than proffering solutions.

I have a few thoughts about MJ. They were too long to put in a comment here, so I wrote a blog post of my own.

Everyone is welcome to read!

https://techniumbook.com/blog/f/michael-jackson-gypsy-rose-lee-and-the-vanderbilts

Fabulous post, Diana.

Did anyone read in the NYtimes that the Mariinsky has an out break of covid? And on the other hand Joaquin de Luz was able to have a successful shows in Spain?

Thanks, Balletballet, for the update.

NYT was a little slow in bringing that story to its "pages" and it seems to have omitted that a 20-year-old dancer named "Nikolai K." was on a ventilator as reported in multiple sources including --

https://slippedisc.com/2020/08/the-hidden-covid-plague-at-gergievs-mariinsky/

Also there seems to be no mention in the NYT article of whether or not any or all of the Mariinsky artists have been eagerly lining up for Putin's new vaccine.

As usual, so much could have been reported but wasn't.


What a great Soviet-era ballet that wouid make: the virus defeated by the nationally-embraced vaccine which allows everyone to resume their communally-rich lives. With appropriate overnblown symbolism, of course. Maybe call it "The Great Vaccine"?

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