Cat Austin, renowned vocal coach, music director and theatrical impresario, has another musical thriller in store as her troupe of talented youngsters perform the music and moves of Michael Jackson.
“MJ – It’s All for Love,” a show spanning Jackson’s entire hit-making career, opens a four-date run at The Sebastiani Theatre on Monday, November 8 at 7 p.m. Three more shows, all 2 p.m. matinees, continue on Saturday Nov. 13, Sunday, Nov 14 and Saturday Nov. 20.
Austin’s “How Can I Resist Ya?,” featuring the music of Abba, was a big hit in February. Now she returns to cover the King of Pop.
As artistic director of ETC! The Experiential Theatre Company, Austin said she looks to the kids in her company for ideas. “They led me back to Michael and my heart said ‘yes.’
Jackson’s appeal covers generations and cultures, she said. “I’d venture to say that no one can hear a Michael Jackson without, at the very least, tapping their foot! Right?”
Austin said that in viewing the documentary “This is It,” she was struck by Jackson’s vision, energy and absolute love for the music. “This is what we are celebrating with the show,” she said. “Come see what we’ve cooked up.”
The show is presented by ETC! The Experiential Theatre Company, Operation Youth and Sebastiani Theatre. The troupe is under the artistic direction of Austin with choreography by Amee Alioto, Amy Ramirez, Zoe Rank, Melissa Siemer and Olivia Donald with percussion by Michael Bojorquez.
“The 10-year-olds are rocking with the music of the Jackson 5, the Junior High School kids are exploring Michael’s mid-career and the Teens are doing the rest,” Austin exclaimed. “It is truly a labor of love and we promise you an electrifying performance.”
The Opening Night performance on Nov. 8 is a Benefit for FISH (Friends In Sonoma Helping) hosted by the Sebastiani Theatre. All tickets are $5 with a coat, can or cash donation. All proceeds from the evening go directly to FISH.
Tickets for remaining shows are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for students. Ticket outlets are Pharmaca, Readers’ Books and Sebastiani Theatre.
Photos by Melania Mahoney