Elijah Rhea Johnson Is Broadway's New King of Pop in MJ the Musical Starting April 4 | Playbill

Broadway News Elijah Rhea Johnson Is Broadway's New King of Pop in MJ the Musical Starting April 4

The hit musical continues at the Neil Simon Theatre.

Elijah Rhea Johnson Drew Elhamalawy

Detroit native Elijah Rhea Johnson steps into the leading role of Michael Jackson in MJ the Musical starting April 4 at the Neil Simon Theatre. The production marks his Broadway debut. 

Johnson, who helped develop the role of Middle Michael throughout the workshop process of MJ, succeeds Myles Frost, who played his final performance April 2. Frost made history last year, becoming the youngest individual actor to win a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. The actor, who also made his Broadway debut with MJ, additionally earned a Theatre World Award for his performance as the late King of Pop.

Director Christopher Wheeldon said in an earlier statement, “Those of us who worked with Elijah during the developmental workshops knew, when his schedule didn’t allow him to join the original Broadway cast, we hadn’t seen the last of him or his remarkable talent. Though we might have initially seen him as ‘Middle Michael’ it is so clear to me now that adult Michael is who he was born to play. Myles is leaving behind some pretty big loafers to fill, and Elijah is more than ready to wear them.”

The new musical began previews December 6, 2021, prior to an official opening February 1, 2022.

The musical 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 Wheeldon directs and choreographs.

MJ 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 Tony Awards in total, including Best Choreography, Best Lighting Design in a Musical, and Best Sound Design in a Musical.

Read more about the hit musical in the Playbill Vault.

See Cast of MJ Celebrate 1 Year on Broadway

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting playbill.com with your ad blocker.
Thank you!