Already a worldwide success 'Michael Jackson: Forever King Of Pop' has shown to hundreds of thousands in several countries to much acclaim, so it was with a sense of welcome certitude that I approached the Teatro Nuevo Apolo in the beating heart of Madrid.
The population of this Iberian Peninsula have taken Jackson to their heart with a zest and relish that would have made 'The King Of Pop' preen with pride and entering the 'New Theatre' (celebrating its 80th year) I had a growing sensation that Michael was indeed smiling.
Arguably the most recognisable star in the world, Michael Jackson, was a supreme entertainer who meticulously carved out a career which will be analysed and appreciated for many years to come.
All too easy to enjoy, a tad harder to emulate and almost religiously referenced by a multitude of pop artists Jackson's attention to detail caught the public imagination and set it alight.
And so it was with a medley of 'Pretty Young Thing' / 'Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough' / 'Smooth Criminal' and 'Dirty Diana' that this latest offering engulfed the stage and gripped an enthusiastic audience.
Tracks came thick and fast in a polished production that saw Fran Jackson and Manuel Alejandro Diaz Fernandez perfectly cast in the lead Jackson roles. Stunningly slick choreography, astounding dancers and continuous costume changes made sure that there was no let up. The two and a half hour set (break included) just flew by, with moments of comedy, sadness, and joy entwining perfectly in this interpretation of the Jackson legacy with some beat boxing throw in.
As 'I Just Can't Stop Loving You' rang out or as Jackson also sung it 'Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu' the Spanish connection also became clearer.
On the night my top three tracks had to be 'Smooth Criminal' (complete with the lean it was simply amazing leaving me baffled as to how it was achieved). 'Thriller' (excruciatingly well crafted for the stage, a twinge of fear never too far away) and, strangely, 'Earth Song / Heal The World' which left me feeling strangely emotional.
'Michael Jackson: Forever King Of Pop' has put my faith back into theatre productions. A great interpretation in every way and the only show to get the Jackson Family Foundation blessing.
There will only ever be one Michael Jackson and he will always be the King Of Pop but this show will be the closest you'll ever get to him now.
A little sprinkle of Peter Pan dust fell on me that night. Wonderful.
Music-News.com were also lucky enough to sneak backstage for an exclusive interview with lead role star Fran Jackson, take a look at the uncut interview below: