Billboard has reported that Michael is now in his fourth week of rehearsals for his London 02 Arena concerts.
Promoter AEG Live has paid for the $20 million production and the show is coming together. They originally wanted a ninety minute show, but Michael has so much material that he wants to include, that the shows will probably run for over two hours.
AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips told Billboard that; “one could expect a multi-media experience that would be the most cutting edge ever employed on a tour. We’re using technology that’s never been used before in live entertainment.”
Vast amounts of money will be made at the concerts, including ticket sales, premium and VIP packages, secondary market sales and merchandise sales.
Randy Phillips also added that the rehearsal process was “exciting. We’re using two soundstages, and Michael’s working in one with production designers and choreographer/director Kenny Ortega and associate director Travis Payne. And in the other one the dancers and the band, killer musicians, are rehearsing the set and the choreography for each song.
Dancer auditions were held April 13-15 at the Nokia Theatre in L.A., with more than seven hundred dancers auditioning. We weeded it down to two hundred by the third day, and Michael sat in on the final auditions and chose the finalists with Kenny Travis and myself. Everyone’s locked in.”
He added that Michael is now working out specific songs but a top-to-bottom dress rehearsal won’t be ready for a month and that; “Michael’s in incredible physical shape, he’s got tremendous stamina, he’s been working out aerobically preparing for this, and he is totally engaged. He sounds like Michael Jackson. He is laser-focused on making this the greatest entertainment event that fans have ever seen.”
Randy Phillips also confirmed that AEG Live is well insured for the production costs and Michael had a complete physical examination which he passed “with flying colours”.
Lastly he commented on the situation regarding various legal maneuvers by former associates of Michael attempting to derail the shows as “completely meritless and have not impacted rehearsals in any way. We have a bona fide contract, the deal’s in place, he’s performing, we’re performing.”
Source: Billboard & MJWN with special thanks to Paul a.k.a. MJ Cool