Broadway audiences will find out “who’s bad” when a new artist steps into the shoes of the King of Pop in “MJ The Musical.”
Producers Lia Vollack, John Branca and John McClain have announced that a replacement has been found for the role that Tony Award-winning Mylest Frost originated in the hit musical based on the life of Michael Jackson.
The sequined white glove will pass to Elijah Rhea Johnson, who will assume the lead role beginning April 4 at the Neil Simon Theatre.
“I cannot express how excited I am to join such an incredible cast and show,” Johnson shared on social media. “As a kid from Detroit who absolutely loved Michael (he’s literally the reason I started acting/became an artist), this is truly a dream come true for me.”
The role marks the Broadway debut of the former lead singer of the R&B boy band Mindless Behavior.
According to a representative for the show, Johnson is returning to the show after helping develop it during the workshop process.
The 24-year-old previously played the character Middle Michael, which focuses on the singer-songwriter’s formative years as a teenager in the family group Jackson 5, and the launch of his solo career with Quincy Jones in the seminal debut “Off The Wall”. ” in 1979.
Johnson got his first chance to act on stage at age 9 when he played Young Simba in Las Vegas and in Disney’s nationally touring productions of “The Lion King.” He was also a lead artist in the popular children’s group “Kidz Bop.”
Frost, who won the Tony Award for best lead actor in a musical at age 22, will leave “MJ The Musical” on April 2 after a year and a half in the critically acclaimed turn.
Written by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon, the Jackson estate-approved production features a score comprised of many of Jackson’s hits. The show features the “Billie Jean” singer and her collaborators rehearsing for the 1992 Dangerous Tour.