The saga of Michael Jackson’s latest comeback attempt took a sorta-expected turn a few hours ago, when promoters for his upcoming concert series at the O2 Arena in London announced that the first four dates of the run would be pushed back because of “rehearsal concerns.” So the July 8 show is now happening on the 13th, while the other shows–scheduled for July 10, 12, and 14–have been pushed back all the way to March 2010. (March 1, 3, and 6, 2010, respectively.) Randy Phillips, head of promotion company AEG Live, blamed the “perfectionism” of Jackson and his High School Musical-pedigreed creative director Kenny Ortega for the delays:
“Kenny and Michael are, at the same time, both creative pioneers and perfectionists,” said Phillips in a statement.
“This show has grown in size and scope, thereby necessitating more lead time for manufacture of the set, programming the content for the massive video elements, and, most importantly, more time for full production and dress rehearsals.
“As much as we agonised over this change in the original schedule, we are sure the fans will understand when they experience the level of entertainment Michael Jackson intends to deliver.”
That “level of entertainment,” by the way, will include performers from Cirque de Soleil, although I don’t think that’ll be much comfort to the people who booked flights and hotels in order to get an early glimpse at the King Of Pop. (Who wants to bet that a bunch of them thought they’d actually have a bigger chance of seeing the show if they got in early?)
Jackson delays opening tour dates [BBC]