Thriller Live reaches new musical milestone
Michael Jackson tribute show becomes the 16th longest-running musical in West End history...
Gone too soon, but his music lives on in London's West End. Thriller Live, which pays a loving tribute to the musical hits and career of Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, has recently set another record at London's Lyric Theatre.
Last Sunday, December 18th, the production played its 3,304th show at the Lyric, overtaking “Me & My Girl”, which originally opened in 1985, in the rankings. The next hurdle will be none other than Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s infamous 1972 rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar” which also enjoyed an acclaimed revival at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre this past Summer and is scheduled to return to the venue next year. Thriller Live will topple the Webber classic on Saturday, 4th February 2017 with a total of 3,358 West End performances.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of Thriller Live!... "Beat It" - one of Michael Jackson's biggest hits - seems to be the motto of this company's West End record-breaking strategy.
Unlike other West End productions, Thriller Live is not a rigid book musical with set songs, but is a constantly evolving music concert celebration.
The show originally opened at the Lyric Theatre on 21 January 2009, following previews from 2 January and is directed and choreographed by Gary Lloyd. The producers are Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music and Sony Music Entertainment UK in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.
Here is a look at the top 20 of the West End’s longest-running musicals (as at Sunday, 18th December 2016):
1. Les Misérables, 1985
still running, over 12,884 performances
2. The Phantom Of The Opera, 1986
still running, over 12,552 performances
3. Blood Brothers, 1988
(closed, 10,013 performances)
4. Cats, 1981
(closed, 8,949 performances)
5. Mamma Mia!, 1999
still running, over 7,409 performances
6. Starlight Express, 1984
(closed, 7,406 performances)
7. Disney’s The Lion King, 1999
still running, over 7,175 performances
8. Chicago, 1997 revival
(closed, 6,187 performances)
9. Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, 1989
(closed, 5,140 performances)
10. We Will Rock You, 2002
(closed, 4,659 performances)
11. Billy Elliot The Musical, 2005
(closed, 4,566 performances)
12. Wicked, 2006
still running, over 4,291 performances
13. Miss Saigon, 1989
(original 1989 production / closed - 4,264 performances)
14. Jersey Boys, 2008
still running, over 3,657 performances
15. Jesus Christ Superstar, 1972
(original 1972 production / closed, 3,357 performances)
16. Thriller Live, 2009
still running, over 3,304 performances
17. Me And My Girl, 1985
(1985 revival / closed – 3,303 performances)
18. Evita, 1978
(original 1978 production / closed – 2,900 performances)
19. Oliver!, 1960
(original 1960 production / closed – 2,618 performances)
20. Grease!, 1993
(1993 revival / closed – 2,529 performances)
See our list of all current West End musicals.