Gone but not forgotten
By Jessica Cornish
Reminiscent of a Star Trek convention, hundreds of people draped in sequenced jackets, silk white gloves and glittered hats meandered into Her Majestys Theatre last night in anticipation of HIStory II.
This tribute to the legendary Michael Jackson starred L.A based impersonator Kenny Wizz and was supported by his eclectic band who had gathered from across the globe to entertain his Melbourne audience for over two hours.
Unsure of the concept of the night, I was relieved to find that the show was in fact a high-quality tribute concert. No poorly-written jukebox musical storyline, or invented characters trying to make the famous songs in to some poorly-formed song cycle. Instead, the night was one hit after the next, paired with some of the best lighting production I have seen in a long time
Visually the show was vibrant, punchy and consistently changing with the dynamic pop songs. Strobe lighting was heavily incorporated in to the lighting design, giving the dancers and Kenny as MJ a dramatic edge to songs such as Thriller and Smooth Criminal. Three hanging LED screens also featured prominently throughout the night, adding another dimension to the visual feast unfolding.
Unfortunately, during the first half of the performance there were some audio technical difficulties with the front-of-house mix, giving the sound a bizarre ‘paned’ effect, resulting in glaring music randomly jutting in and out of the speakers. Luckily this issue was resolved after interval, and the show ran smoothly.
Kenny belted out the demanding falsetto tunes continually with great passion and conviction. After impersonating MJ for over 28 years, he clearly convinces the audience who were besotted by him throughout the entire performance. Streams of young and old fans alike lined the aisles, dancing in delight.
Throughout the night Kenny was backed by a talented troupe of six dancers who added much energy to the performance. Initially the dancers seemed slightly out of sync with each other at times, but as the show progressed these problems quickly disappeared.
Personal performance favourites of mine were Don’t Blame It On The Boogie, with the dance troupe dressed in black and gold sequenced body suits dancing up a storm, followed by Smooth Criminal which of course included the famous ‘lean’ choreography that MJ made so famous.
Overall the night was greatly enjoyed, and Kenny promised to be back for another run next year. Perfect for anyone who wants a fun night out, a homage to MJ, and an opportunity to forget the mundane troubles of everyday life for a couple hours.
TOUR DATES: Sydney 24/8 & 25/8 Brisbane 1/9, Adelaide 8/9 and Perth 15/9
TICKETS: $89 Adult, $79 Conc/Group 10+
BOOKINGS: www.ticketek.com.au or 1300 795 012