Jackson to bring 'Thriller' to Broadway

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Fans of Michael Jackson despairing of his promise to make a showbiz comeback may have cause to celebrate after news that he has signed up with a leading Broadway producer to launch a stage show based on the classic 1982 music video that accompanied his worldwide smash album, Thriller.

There is no word on when Thriller, the Musical will materialise on the Great White Way. But the erstwhile King of Pop, humiliated in recent years by a string of financial and legal setbacks, has signed a deal with producer James T Nederlander. "I love the idea of making Thriller a musical. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy has big secret," remarked Nederlander. The deal was also confirmed by Tohme Tohme, a spokesman for the singer. "The Nederlanders and Michael Jackson represent live theatre and musical excellence, so let the music begin," he said.

Those who recall the 13-minute video may remember that the "big secret" involves Jackson transforming into a werewolf while on a date. From there the action moves to a dark warehouse, where the singer does his moves among dancing mummies and ghouls.

It is almost surprising that Jackson and Broadway have not combined earlier. Thriller and the other source for the show, the 1979 album Off The Wall, are stuffed with pop classics from "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", to "Rock With You".

Any reluctance Jackson may have had to see his songs reworked may have been overcome by the debts that forced him to sell his beloved Neverland Ranch.