Last week, Theatre Trip had the chance to see Forever King of Pop in Barcelona, Spain! Forever King of Pop is currently on tour and will be in Barcelona until June 23rd. And from there, it’s going to be stopping in major cities across Spain, France, and Germany. Forever’s next stop is Madrid, from June 25th, where they will celebrate the anniversary of Michael´s death with a special show!
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Our Experience at Forever King of Pop:
I’m not gonna lie. I went into this with absolutely zero expectations! I had no idea what kind of show this was going to be, and I was basically just ready for an adventure. The first thing I noticed was a huge projection screen over the stage. People were eating popcorn, and the vibe was super relaxed for a theatre setting. The show started on the projection screen itself, with some pumping up clips of Michael’s music. Once that was over, a couple of performers ran on stage to do a few flips and officially start the show.
From there, Forever King of Pop turned into a grab bag of goodies. Throughout the night, we were surprised with pyrotechnics, confetti, break dancing, sparklers, fog, costume changes, special effects, concert lighting, and of course a big show of basically all of Michael’s famous jams. It felt like as close as you would ever get to being at a real-life Michael Jackson concert.
To be totally honest, I was a little bit hesitant about partaking in and reviewing this show due to the controversy around Michael Jackson. But once the show started, that seemed to fade a bit. First of all, each and every one of the show’s performers is an unreal and ginormous ball of talented energy. Forever King of Pop is actually about them over everything. And second of all, those early times of Michael Jackson and his music had an enormous impact on so many people, not to mention the course of pop music in general. So it’s hard to ignore an entire era.
Related Topic: An Inside Look at Rent el Musical in Barcelona
This show was a blast from the past! If you are one of the many who grew up with this music, you will probably agree that the music is more about the memories and feelings that live within you, rather than it being about the “King of Pop” himself. I challenge you to watch this show without it bringing up any flashes of early memories or glimmers of emotion.
One of my favorite things about the show is that there was not one single person who “played” Michael Jackson. I would guess that over 15 people took the stage as Michael at one point or another, which made this show feel like less of an idolization and more of a highlight of the unbelievable talent of the performers.
Quick Tip: The only thing that felt a tiny bit off during this show was the fact that we were there for a matinee on a Sunday. I would highly recommend booking this show for a Friday or Saturday night in order to maximize that concert feeling!
Theatre Trip’s Interview with Carlene Graham
At Theatre Trip, we love getting to know inspiring people in the industry. And that’s why we had a chat with Carlene Graham – one of the amazing performers in Forever King of Pop! Carlene is a powerhouse singer. In addition to that, she has also created a brand-new show called Wild Women Do. So keep reading for a bit of inspiration, as well as some valuable insights for new musicians and singers!
Theatre Trip: When did you first discover your passion for music and singing?
Carlene: My first real memory of sound was around the age of two years old, curled up underneath my dad’s chair, listening as he played the bass guitar. The feeling was warm and comforting. I knew I loved music!
At the age of 14, when I entered my high school talent competition singing “Killing Me Softly”, I knew that I wanted to be a singer, and I sang literally whenever I could. My mum kept me enrolled throughout my school years with Sutton Youth Dance – a contemporary dance company in Surrey. We performed expressive contemporary pieces at our showcases, and it really helped me with my confidence and self-esteem along the way.
Theatre Trip: What has been one of your happiest career-related moments?
Carlene: I have been Blessed with so many amazing experiences in music that it is hard to only give one example! However, there is one that was out of this world, and that was singing with Madonna at Live 8 – London, 2005. I remember receiving the call to ask me if I was available to do the concert. I was dreaming! The whole energy and intention of the concert was electric. The love being radiated by so many people around the world at the same moment, divine. Getting to sing with someone whose music influenced my childhood and desire to be an artist – life changing!
“Believe in you with everything you have. Love. Shine. Give thanks. Stay true to you. Know that you are enough. Know that you are able.”
Theatre Trip: If you could give a piece of advice to aspiring singers or musicians, what would it be?
Carlene: My advice is to believe in you with everything you have. Love. Shine. Give thanks. Stay true to you. Know that you are enough. Know that you are able. Follow your intuition – without question. Happy is now. This is the moment. Dream.
Theatre Trip: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Carlene: Each show is different, but my prayer remains the same. Whether I am performing in the vocal duo that my dad Errol Ross and I have together, whether I’m on stage with Forever King of Pop or throwing down with my band in Wild Women Do!, I always make the time to focus and say my prayers before showtime.
Theatre Trip: Why do you think people should go see Forever King of Pop?
Carlene: Forever King of Pop is an incredible show! It’s high energy with incredible dynamics amongst all performers: musicians, singers, and dancers. We have an amazing director (Jesus Sanz Sebastian), a superb choreographer (Carmelo Segura), an excellent musical director (Guillermo Gonzalez), and ace production and technical teams.
Most importantly, Forever King of Pop is true to Michael Jackson, his music, and the love that he transmitted throughout his life. We feel honoured to have support from The Jackson Family Foundation. Both Jermaine and Latoya Jackson have been to see and enjoy the show.
Have you gotten the chance to see Forever King of Pop?
What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments! And in the meantime, you can always check out our blog post archive of past theatre visits for some insight on what’s going on in theaters around the world!
* A special thanks to Forever King of Pop for inviting us to the show!
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Author: Stacy Karyn
Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.