Flowers and pictures have been placed at the theatre’s door, where fans have been congregating to honour their hero who passed away in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon.
After much deliberation, Thriller Live’s producers decided earlier today that this evening’s performance would continue as planned, with Jackson’s memory honoured by the dimming of lights and a one minute silence.
When he takes to the stage tonight, 14-year-old Mitchell Zhangazha will face the testing task of performing Jackson’s iconic songs so soon after the news of his death. Though the shock of the past two day’s events has affected the show’s entire cast, Zhangazha stoically commented: “I just want to do a good performance and do it respectfully. I’ll just try and do my best, really, that’s all I can do. Hopefully it will be good enough.”
Fellow cast member Roger Wright added: “It’s definitely going to be a difficult challenge. We’re all very sad, but his memory will live on and it does through his music; I think he would like us to perform today and I feel that he will be with us in spirit.”
The cast were speaking at a sombre press conference held earlier today in reaction to the night’s events. Ricko Baird, who appears in the show, but also worked with Jackson as a dancer on the Michael Jackson And Friends tour and co-choreographer for the You Rock My World video, described Jackson as “a great, sensitive spirit” and “an extreme perfectionist”, concluding that the cast were “just going to keep rocking like he would have wanted”.