Cast & Creative
Michael Jackson is one of the most beloved entertainers and profoundly influential artists of all time. His electrifying live performances and groundbreaking use of video and fashion continue to inspire today’s performers. To date, Michael has sold more than 1 billion records worldwide and is one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His album Thriller is the biggest-selling album of all time, and his Thriller short film is the only music video to be listed on National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized him as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time. New generations of fans continue to discover his artistry making him the #1 streaming catalog artist in the global marketplace. As a compassionate and prolific humanitarian, Michael set a new standard of generosity for other entertainers.
Plays include Sweat (Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Obie Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Evening Standard Award; Tony, Drama Desk award nominations); Ruined (Pulitzer Prize for Drama, New York Drama Critics Circle, DD, Outer Critics Circle, Lortel, Obie, and Audelco awards for Best Play); Floyd’s (Guthrie); Mlima’s Tale (The Public); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lilly Award, DD nom); Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (Obie Award; DD, Lortel award noms); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers; and POOF!; as well as the book for the musical adaption of The Secret Life of Bees (Atlantic). TV: She’s Gotta Have It (writer/producer). Upcoming: MJ, the Michael Jackson musical. PEN/Laura Pels Master Dramatist Award, Doris Duke Artist Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, a Guggenheim Grant, Lucille Lortel Fellowship, Visiting Research Fellowship at Princeton. Associate professor at Columbia. Member of the Dramatists Guild.
Director & Choreographer
Christopher trained at The Royal Ballet School and joined The Royal Ballet in 1991. In 1993, he joined New York City Ballet and was promoted to Soloist in 1998. He was named NYCB’s first Resident Choreographer in July 2001. Since then, Mr. Wheeldon has created and staged productions for many of the world’s major ballet companies. In 2007, Mr. Wheeldon founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and was appointed an Associate Artist for Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. Mr. Wheeldon now serves as Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet. As Artistic Associate, Mr. Wheeldon has created many works for the company, including the full-length Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale, both of which were co-productions with The National Ballet of Canada. For the Metropolitan Opera, he choreographed Dance of the Hours for Ponchielli’s La Gioconda (2006) and Richard Eyre’s production of Carmen (2012) as well as ballet sequences for the feature film Center Stage (2000) and Sweet Smell of Success on Broadway (2002). Mr. Wheeldon created a special excerpt for the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. In April 2016, he was the Artistic Director for the Fashion Forward exhibition in Paris at La Musee Arts et Decoratif. In 2014, Mr. Wheeldon directed and choreographed the musical version of An American in Paris, which had productions in Paris, on Broadway, and in London. 2016 was The Joffrey Ballet’s world premiere of The Nutcracker reimagined by Mr. Wheeldon and he directed and choreographed the gala presentation of Lerner & Loewe’s Brigadoon starring Kelli O’Hara and Patrick Wilson at New York City Center in 2017. In 2018, Mr. Wheeldon staged two pieces in Tokyo: An American in Paris and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland while in 2019, Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale was performed by The Bolshoi Ballet. 2019 was also the premiere for Corybantic Games at The Royal Ballet and a re-staged version of Cinderella for the English National Ballet at Royal Albert Hall. Among Mr. Wheeldon’s awards are a Tony Award for Best Choreography for An American in Paris, an Outer Critics Award for Best Choreography and Direction for An American in Paris, the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, the American Choreography Award, the Dance Magazine Award, multiple London Critics’ Circle Awards, and the Leìonide Massine Prize for new choreography. Mr. Wheeldon’s productions of Cinderella and The Winter’s Tale won the Benois de la Danse, and he is an Olivier Award winner for his ballets Aeternum for The Royal Ballet and Polyphonia for Morphoses. In 2016, Mr. Wheeldon was named an O.B.E. and was made an Honorary Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Christopher is a dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom and resides in New York City with his husband, Ross Rayburn, and their dog, Hattie.
Musical Supervision, Orchestrations & Arrangements
Drama Desk Award, Tony, Grammy and Outer Critics nominations for his work on MJ. Other Broadway: Groundhog Day, Mamma Mia!, Matilda, Rocky, Ghost, Bye Bye Birdie, The Story of My Life, Good Vibrations, Seussical, Titanic and Show Boat. Other credits include The Radio City Summer Spectacular, the U.S. premiere of Ragtime (LA Drama Critics Award), the world premieres of Come Fall in Love (The Old Globe), Newsies (Paper Mill) and Mamma Mia! at the Hollywood Bowl. Matilda and Seussical.
Nearly 350 design credits including, Broadway: Moulin Rouge! (Tony Award nomination), A Soldier’s Play (Tony nomination), Burn This, American Son, Parisian Woman, The Price, Beautiful, Fully Committed, Noises Off, Gigi, 33 Variations (Tony Award), China Doll, How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying, The Heiress, Follies, Anything Goes, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Million Dollar Quartet, Ragtime, The Pajama Game, I Am My Own Wife. Off-Broadway: Buried Child; Jerry Springer The Opera; Merrily We Roll Along; The Spoils; If I Forget; Love, Love, Love; The Night of the Iguana; Sweet Charity; Into the Woods; Ruined; The Last Five Years. Television: 6 years of the Academy Awards, NBC Musicals: The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz and Hairspray. Derek is the Chairman of the Board of The New Group Theatre. Awards: A Tony Award, 2 Emmy Awards, 2 Obie Award, 2 Drama Desk Award, 3 Lucille Lortel Awards, and 2 Art Directors Guild Awards.
Natasha designed the lighting for the Broadway production of An American in Paris directed by Christopher Wheeldon. She is honored to have designed the lighting for many new ballets choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, including The Winter’s Tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the upcoming Like Water for Chocolate at the Royal Ballet. Recent Broadway: Springsteen on Broadway, Frozen, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Hello, Dolly! She is a TDF Wendy Wasserstein Project Mentor and was recently inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.
Paul has been designing costumes for Broadway, Regional Theater, Film and Television, Dance, and Opera Productions for close to thirty years. He began his Broadway career with the groundbreaking musical, ‘Bring in Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, directed by George C. Wolfe. Paul is best known for his work with both of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award winning Original Broadway productions of Hamilton, for which he received the Tony Award and In the Heights, both directed by Thomas Kail. Other Broadway credits include Ain’t Too Proud; The Color Purple; Memphis; Caroline, or Change; and Elaine Stritch at Liberty. Paul’s feature film credits include, Harriet directed by Kasi Lemmons and starring Cynthia Erivo, Hamilton directed by Thomas Kail and the anxiously anticipated West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg. TV credits include the HBO Original Film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, starring Oprah Winfrey and Lackawanna Blues, both directed by George C. Wolfe. Paul also designed costumes for “The Wiz! Live,” for which he received an Emmy Award and “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” featuring John Legend. Both were for NBC. In the United States and across the globe, Paul has designed for such renowned companies as The Metropolitan Opera, The Bolshoi Ballet, The English National Opera, Theatre du Chatelet, The Public Theater, National Theatre UK, The Kennedy Center, The Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, The Chicago Lyric Opera and many more. Paul holds an MFA from New York University and a BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts. He has been privileged instructing students as a guest artist at both New York University and North Carolina School of the Arts. From 2003-2006, he held a faculty position at Carnegie Mellon University. Paul currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Broadway highlights: BACK TO THE FUTURE, & JULIET (Tony-nom), MJ (Tony-win), BAD CINDERELLA,
DIANA, SUMMER, COME FROM AWAY, BRONX TALE, END OF THE RAINBOW (Tony-nom), A LITTLE NIGHT
West End highlights: BACK TO THE FUTURE (Olivier-nom), PRINCE OF EGYPT, COME FROM AWAY
(Olivier-win), BAT OUT OF HELL (Olivier nom), MEMPHIS (Olivier-win), TOP HAT (Olivier-nom), MERRILY WE
ROLL ALONG (Olivier-win).
Peter Nigrini is one of Broadways pioneering projection designers. His work includes Ain’t Too Proud; Beetlejuice; Dear Evan Hansen; The SpongeBob Musical; A Doll’s House, Part 2; and Fela! He also has designed extensively other venues and forms including Here Lies Love; Ground at the Public Theater; Lucia de Lammermoor and Don Giovani for Santa Fe Opera; The Grace Jones Hurricane Tour, Blind Date, and Deep Blue Sea for Bill T, Jones/Arnie Zane Dance; and Real Enemies with Dacey James Argue and Secrete Society at BAM. He was also a founding member of Nature Theater of Oklahoma.
Hair & Wig Design
Charles is an award-winning Wig and Hair Designer based in New York, who maintains a highly successful career on stages throughout the United States and abroad. Career Highlights: Numerous Broadway, Touring, American Regional Theatre, West End and International productions including Hamilton (Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylist Guild Award for Los Angeles Company and Netflix Film); Ain’t Too Proud; Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Beetlejuice; The Cher Show (Drama Desk Award); The Band’s Visit; Anastasia; The Lifespan of a Fact; SpongeBob SquarePants ( Drama Desk Award); The Donna Summer Musical; Jersey Boys; Motown; Memphis: The Musical; On Your Feet; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder; The Color Purple; Doctor Zhivago; Of Mice and Men; Violet; Sideshow; The Elephant Man; After Midnight; Clybourne Park; Newsies; The Mountaintop; Superior Donuts; In the Heights. Television: “The Wiz Live!” (Emmy Award Nomination); “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!” (Emmy Award Nomination and Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylist Guild Award); “Bluebloods;” “American Crime;” “Maddoff;” “Hairspray;” “In A Man’s World.”
Joe Dulude II
Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End: Wicked, Beetlejuice, SpongeBob SquarePants, Anastasia, Sunday in the Park With George, Torch Song Trilogy, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and more. Film: Don’ t Look Up, Ghostbusters, Central Intelligence. Television: “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” (Emmy nomination), “Annie Live!,” “The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage!,” “The Gilded Age,” “Castle Rock” season two. IG: @dulude2
Global Associate Director
Diana: The Musical (Broadway; associate director); An American in Paris (Broadway, London, Paris, Japan; associate director/choreographer); The Addams Family (Broadway, Australia, Brazil; associate choreographer); Next to Normal (Broadway, Japan, Kennedy Center; associate choreographer); Brigadoon and Oklahoma! (Pittsburgh CLO; director); Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (The Muny, directing consultant). Broadway performance credits: 42nd Street, Gypsy (starring Bernadette Peters) and The Addams Family.
Global Associate Choreographer
Choreographer, director, producer, artist, philanthropist, Drama Desk and ACCA award winner. Global supervising choreographer for Hamilton. Part of almost a dozen Broadway shows, both on stage and on the creative side. Favorite Broadway credits: In The Heights, Movin’ Out, Willie Lopez in Ghost. Choreographed, performed and/or worked with Michael Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Andy Blankenbuehler, Christopher Wheeldon, Thomas Kail, Twyla Tharp, Julie Taymor, Lin-Manuel Miranda and more.
With a Broadway career of 10 shows, spanning over 12 years, Justin is excited to be sharing his professional knowledge and experiences as Dance Supervisor for the First National Tour of this fabulous production!
Jason Michael Webb
Orchestrations & Arrangements
Special Tony Award recipient and Drama Desk winner, Jason Michael Webb is a director, composer, lyricist, musical director, producer and arranger. From conducting orchestras in Broadway pits to writing and arranging music for a President’s inauguration, Jason has dedicated his life to using music to heal, uplift and encourage. Mr. Webb’s early musical training consisted of formal classical study, playing in small churches and obsessing about pop music. By 21, he had a degree in classical piano, played in the biggest churches in New York City and made his orchestral solo debut with the Queens Symphony. He then went on to become Musical Director of the six-time Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle, for whom Mr. Webb co-wrote and produced four albums for The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, leading to two Stellar Award nominations and a Dove Award win. His arrangement of BTC’s “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was featured at the 2013 inauguration of President Barack Obama and simultaneously heard by over one billion people worldwide. Mr. Webb is the composer for “The Ms. Pat Show” (BET+) (also produced its theme song, “Grown Ass Woman”) and wrote music/lyrics for Kenny Leon’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, which was filmed for PBS’ “Great Performances” series (Shakespeare in the Park, The Public Theater) (Music Supervisor/Incidental Music). His writing can also be heard on the hit TV series “Empire” (Fox), Netflix film “Juanita” (starring Alfre Woodard), recording projects and original musicals, including the new South African musical “WiLDFLOWER” (currently in development with National Black Theater/Apollo Theater). Mr. Webb received a 2019 Special Tony Award for “outstanding arrangements” in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s breathtaking acapella play Choir Boy (MTC). His work on Choir Boy also earned him a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Original Music. He is also currently nominated for a 2020 Tony Award for “Best Original Score Written for the Theatre” for Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo (Roundabout). Joining forces with pop music icons Stephen Bray and Harvey Mason, Jr., Mr. Webb served as Executive Music Producer of Respect (MGM), the highly-anticipated 2021 film about the life of Aretha Franklin (starring Jennifer Hudson). Mr. Webb’s directorial debut, a 2021 film of the iconic Jason Robert Brown musical, The Last Five Years, was lauded by The New York Times as “inspiring”, “robust”, and “impressively freed by its physical and creative limitations.” He also served as Musical Director of the gorgeous Tony, Emmy and Grammy-winning 2016 Broadway Revival of The Color Purple, directed by John Doyle and based on the timeless novel by Alice Walker. Upcoming projects include Disney’s upcoming revival of AIDA (Music Supervisor/Arranger), and the eagerly anticipated “Beauty and the Beast” live-action prequel series at Disney+ (Musical Director/Arranger). Other credits include Associate Production Music Supervisor for The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox); Musical Director and Arranger/Adaptor for Disney’s Frozen: Live at the Hyperion (Anaheim, CA); and Associate Musical Director of Broadway shows including Berry Gordy’s Motown: The Musical, Alan Menken’s Leap of Faith and Jeanine Tesori’s Violet (also Additional Arrangements). Mr. Webb is currently the featured vocalist on the national jingle for Smile Direct Club, and has appeared as a Pianist onstage with Dame Shirley Bassey, Michael Bolton, Cece Winans, and Chaka Khan. He has conducted live and recording orchestras from New York to LA, including internationally acclaimed pianist Lang Lang’s 2016 love letter to NYC, “New York Rhapsody” (PBS), which featured performances by Rufus Wainwright, Regina Spektor and Suzanne Vega.
Mr. Simonson created the groundbreaking HIPHOPERA, Stomping Grounds that premiered at Glimmerglass Festival in 2017. Many of Victor’s original songs and compositions can be heard on “Victory” (debut self-produced CD, 2008) and his musical arrangements and compositions were featured in the production of Amen Corner, at the Shakespeare Theater in February 2020. Mr. Simonson also collaborated with Lester Lynch (“On My Journey Now: Spirituals and Hymns”, Pentatone Records). He served as collaborative pianist for Denyce Graves, Angela Brown, Richard Leech, Kate Aldrich and music directed Three Mo’ Tenors. He toured as Associate Conductor of Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple and Memphis The Musical. He studied voice, piano and composition at the Eastman School of Music and was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for best musical direction (Three Mo’ Divas) in 2007. He is also a candidate for the Masters of Divinity Degree at Wesley Theological Seminary. He has two children, Victoria Grace and Immanuel Justice who are 10 and 7and gives God all the praise for the blessings of faith, family and music! victorsimonson.com.
The Telsey Office
Rachel Hoffman, CSA
Lindsay Levine, CSA
With offices in both New York and Los Angeles, The Telsey Office casts for theatre, film, television and commercials. The Telsey Office is dedicated to creating safe, equitable and anti-racist spaces through collaboration, artistry, heart, accountability and advocacy.
Production Stage Manager
SHAWN PENNINGTON (Production Stage Manager). Broadway: Wicked, Next to Normal, Sondheim on Sondheim. First National Tours: Come From Away, Bright Star, Fun Home, If/Then, Peter and the Starcatcher, Rock of Ages. Regional: Gypsy (The Muny), Up Here (La Jolla Playhouse). Proud AEA member. Love to Mom & Mark.
Rich + Tone Talauega
Michael Jackson Movement
Legendary choreographers Rich + Tone Talauega have worked with pop music’s biggest names including Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Usher, Black Eyed Peas and many others, but working with the King of Pop from the mid 90s to now has been the highlight of their career. Starting out as dancers and working their way up to choreographing many of MJ’s projects including the critically acclaimed short film You Rock My World, Rich + Tone Talauega bring a special understanding of the style and movement of Michael Jackson for this spectacular debut on Broadway.
Billy Jay Stein
Electronic Music Design
Founder of Strange Cranium and Strike Audio. Grammy Award winner for producing and mixing Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Composer, arranger and music producer for The Radio City Rockettes New York Spectacular. Broadway credits include Caroline or Change; Diana; Tootsie; Mean Girls; The Band’s Visit; Fun Home; Beautiful; Spider-Man; Hairspray; Amélie; Tuck Everlasting; The Rocky Horror Show; and Jekyll & Hyde.
Over 140 Broadway shows including Mrs. Doubtfire, Ain’ t Too Proud, Tina—The Tina Turner Musical, Oklahoma!, Summer—The Donna Summer Musical, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Waitress and Jersey Boys. Studio musician (bass) for Leonard Cohen, Madonna, Bette Midler, Eric Clapton, Carly Simon, BB King, Portishead, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan and Michael Jackson. johnmillerbass.com