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Who Will Be Playing Michael Jackson in 'MJ The Musical?'

Gettyimages | KMazur
By Natalie Hunter

While many people have mixed feelings on Michael Jackson, there is no denying that he was a legend. He was titled King of Pop which is no small title. Broadway will be honoring him with its production of 'MJ the Musical' that is set to debut in August 2020 at the Neil Simon Theatre.

So who will be portraying this legend? Epharaim Sykes will be taking on the iconic role of Michael Jackson. He made the announcement on Instagram yesterday afternoon.

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"I’ve been dying to share this news for months now. My ACTUAL wildest dream is coming true. All I can say is thank you, Lord. Thank you to my family and friends that prayed and continue (please continue😩🙏🏾)to pray for me...that lift me up and told me I deserve to be here even when I didn’t/don’t believe it. I’ll do my best to honor the man who made me wanna sing and dance in the first place. Love you MJ, love y’all! L-O-V-E #MJtheMusical #MichaelJackson #MJ #longlivetheking #GODISGOOD"

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While he has big shoes to fill, fans are confident that he'll be able to take on the challenge.

Business mogul Geneva S. Thomas commented, "You lit up the stage as Ruffin and you’re about to change the game as MJ! So thrilled for you!!! There’s no one more deserving. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾"

Many fellow Broadway actors showed their support.

"GET IT EPH!" Joel Perez wrote.

"God is busyyyy ! Congratulations !🙏🏾," Nia Holloway added.

"This is perfect!!!" original member of the 'Hamilton cast, Andrew Chappelle exclaimed.

Giphy | New York City Center

Ephraim Sykes is no theater newbie. He has several Broadway credits appearing in 'The Little Mermaid,' 'Memphis,' 'Newsies,' 'Motown: The Musical,' and 'Ain't Too Proud.' Most notably, he appeared as Seaweed J. Stubbs in NBC's 'Hairspray Live!' He has also been nominated for three Astaire Awards and one Tony Award. He has just been announced as a 2020 Grammy Nominee for his role in 'Ain't Too Proud.'

'MJ The Musical' has a powerful creative team. Lynn Nottage has written the book and Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon will direct and choreograph.

Unsplash | Denys Nevozhai

It will feature iconic Michael Jackson songs "Billie Jean," "Thriller," and "Man in the Mirror."

Some view the musical as controversial considering the child molestation accusations that Michael Jackson has received. Nottage was hesitant to respond when NYTimes brought up the issue.

“We don’t know whether it’s going to be a musical about some of the issues that your colleagues have raised,” Nottage told the newspaper at the time. “But we need the room for discovery and we need the room for process without being censored before we get there.”

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