Setting the stage Neverland was the venue chosen to hold the first meeting of the show’s creative team. “I remember going to Neverland with the creative team and meeting the grounds people who have remained faithful to Michael,” Director Jamie King reminisces. “I recall seeing the Giving Tree where he wrote among other things most of the Dangerous tour that I danced on, and I truly felt that I was at the right place creating this show.”
“Working on a rock show without a live artist can be challenging,” Set Designer Mark Fisher explains. “In this case, the set design takes on a whole new meaning. Its role is to fill the shadows as it were, and to evoke the artist’s presence.”
The props as storytelling devices
Props and Scenic Designer Michael Curry, who was one of the designers on the THIS IS IT concert tour, has developed props that serve as storytelling devices. For example, a huge book of tales and Michael’s famed glove and shoes become giant props inhabited by nimble dancers. Curry’s goal was to tap into and trigger the fans’ memories of Michael, and to focus attention on the performance. Many of the props are subtext for the songs or support the narrative.
The projections – In Michael’s image
The video projections in THE IMMORTAL World Tour not only act as storytelling devices, they play a key role in making Michael’s presence palpable. Projection Designer Olivier Goulet integrated video content such as footage of Michael’s performances and real-time projections of the performances on stage.
- THE IMMORTAL’s versatile stage is highly technical with multiple lifts for scene changes. A large, multi-purpose LED screen was developed: it starts flat on the stage, stands up to act as a projection surface and turns into a ramp. In the middle of the stage, there are large drawers that serve as steps for artists to perform on.
- The giant shoes directly reference Michael Jackson’s famous penny loafers. They are eight feet long and created from orthopedic foam with a vinyl skin.
- The six-foot tall glove is a soft sculpture that allows the dancer inside to create various hand positions using their full body.
- The total video projection surface in the show is more than 5,300 square feet, larger than a basketball court.