Broadway's MJ Will Welcome 2 New Little Michaels This Summer | Playbill

Broadway News Broadway's MJ Will Welcome 2 New Little Michaels This Summer

Austin Rankin and Eric Williams will both make their Broadway debuts in the jukebox biomusical.

Austin Rankin and Eric Williams Emilio Madrid

Broadway's MJ will welcome two new Little Michaels to the company this summer, both making their Broadway debuts. Austin Rankin is actually already performing—having succeeded Max Chambers, Rankin joined the company June 18. Eric Williams will join the show beginning July 16, succeeding Jackson Hayes.

Rankin hails from Las Vegas, and has previously been a worship leader at Bondage Free Worship Center and a cast member of Broadway in the H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Open Doors). Williams comes to NYC via Georgia, where he's played leading roles with Stepp Stewart Talent Camp Spotlight Program and in the play A Soulful Christmas.

MJ, which began previews December 6, 2021, prior to an official opening February 1, 2022, features a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and a score made up of some of the most popular songs in recording history. Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon directs and choreographs.

Detroit native Elijah Rhea Johnson stepped into the leading role of Michael Jackson in MJ the Musical in 2023, marking his own Broadway debut. Johnson, who helped develop the role of Middle Michael throughout the workshop process of MJ, succeeded Myles Frost, who played his final performance April 2, 2023. (Frost made history in 2022, becoming the youngest individual actor to win a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical.)

The musical also has sets by Derek McLane, lighting by Natasha Katz, costumes by Paul Tazewell, sound design by Gareth Owen, projection design by Peter Nigrini, hair and wig design by Charles LaPointe, music direction by Jason Michael Webb, musical supervision by David Holcenberg, and orchestrations by Holcenberg and Webb. Casting is by Rachel Hoffman of The Telsey Office.

The show took home four 2022 Tony Awards in total, including Best Choreography, Best Lighting Design in a Musical, and Best Sound Design in a Musical.

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