Story added:  7:30am Fri Feb 10, 2017
Ultimate tribute to Michael Jackson comes to Palace Theatre
Saturday 18th February, 2017 - Palace Theatre, Newark
Ultimate tribute to Michael Jackson comes to Palace Theatre
Forever Jackson
Robin Parsons as Michael Jackson in Forever Jackson.
The ultimate showman that was Michael Jackson is remembered in a show at Newark’s Palace Theatre.

Forever Jackson, a week on Saturday, aims to recreate not only the sound of the late superstar, but also the drama of his concerts.

It is a labour of love for the team behind the show, who spend hours and even days studying Jackson and perfecting the sounds and visuals.

The result, in the words of its star, Robin Parsons, is an all-singing, all-dancing concert experience with screens, special effects and, of course, the music.

“We try to make it as close to a Michael Jackson concert experience as we can. This is more than just Michael Jackson music, we have worked hard to create a concert experience,” he said.

“We choose the most well-known songs so that whether people are Michael Jackson fans or not, they will come away from the show having had a great time.”

Forever Jackson covers all of Jackson’s career, from his early performances with the Jackson Five to the History album.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Bad, and to mark the milestone more songs from the album have been included. In fact, all but three tracks from it will be performed.

They are all sang by Robin who, as a Michael Jackson fan, has his dream job.

Robin was performing cover songs in bars and clubs when an agent spotted his show finale — a cover of Billie Jean, complete with the signature dance moves.

The agent approached Robin to create a Michael Jackson tribute show and, several months later, Forever Jackson was born.

“I wasn’t sure we could recreate the perfection of Jackson so I said no at first, but he kept hounding me and in the end I said yes and it is the best decision I ever made,” said Robin.

While his team work hard to recreate the Jackson experience, Robin is constantly watching the singer’s live performances to get his role just right.

“Even while I am doing my make-up I have it there in the background to help me visualise how I am going to do it,” he said.

“We look at what he has done live and try to base it on what he did.”

Although he never saw his idol perform live — he had tickets for the This Is It shows before Jackson’s untimely death — he had the honour of performing for the singer.

Through a friend he was invited to perform a medley of Jackson hits in front of 2,000 fans and the star himself for his 45th birthday celebrations.

“I was so honoured to be invited. I was like a caged animal at the side of the stage waiting to go on and then it seemed to be over in seconds. It was such a buzz,” said Robin.

It is nearly eight years since Jackson’s death but his music’s popularity shows no sign of waning, and looking at the audiences at Forever Jackson shows, Robin is confident it will live on for years.

“I am amazed that Michael’s music is still so popular but I shouldn’t be. Put his music beside any today — especially the pop numbers — and they don’t seem out of place. And you still hear his influence in many of the big stars, as well as in their performances,” he said.

“We have people as young as four coming to shows fully dressed in costumes, mouthing the words and doing the dance moves.

“His music defies time, but although his music is wonderful, his live performances were second to none and that is what I am aiming to recreate.”
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