This Is It Preview
Our girl Laura Whitmore has seen some of the movie and spoken to director Kenny Ortega…
I am one of the privileged few who have had a sneak peek of This Is It - the behind the scenes footage of Michael Jackson’s rehearsal for what was to be his last tour. Sadly his tragic and untimely death meant his ‘last tour’ never happened.
That’s why the This Is It film is so important to his fans. This week I met with Michael's co-director and producer of the show - Kenny Ortega.
Kenny has worked with everyone from the legendary Gene Kelly to the cast of High School Musical. He was one of the closest people to Michael during his last few weeks. He had also worked with Michael on his Dangerous World Tour 1992-1993 and the History World Tour 1996-1997.
Using rehearsal footage from the tour, Kenny has preserved some of Michael’s work.
What surprised me most about watching the footage was that despite Michael’s gaunt features and obvious frailty, as soon as the music starts he can move and dance as good as if not better that the twenty-something back up dancers behind him.
Michael appeared ready to do this show. With speculation from the outset, Kenny told me he did have some anxiety over Michael’s health. He said that he “questioned him” but in the end Michael made him a believer.
About hearing the news of his death, Kenny said: “That day was absolutely unexpected not at all in any of our minds planning. He wanted this so much, he really looked forward to it and he was really excited about it… he would say ‘just fill the entire front of the arena with the fans and that will get me through every performance.'
Ortega continued: “The fans were like his fuel, his food, their love, their excitement and their appreciation fed him and gave him all he needed to get through a concert experience. He made that real clear.”
Michael Jackson’s This is it is released in the UK Oct 28th.