On Aug. 27, Ohio Northern University students and members of the Ada community were able to witness “The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience.” The one-night Freed Center event paid tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, through the talents of world famous star and impersonator, Joby Rogers.
While audiences filled the seats of the Biggs Theatre, they observed bright lights illuminating the stage, four empty microphone stands and smoke that gave a thrill of anticipation. Once the lights went out, the show began, and the stage was taken by talented dancers, and a very talented impersonator [Rogers].
Rogers is the world’s greatest impersonator for Michael Jackson. Rogers has not only appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1999, performed on multiple television shows, but has a statement from Jackson himself, who personally appointed him as his official substitute. Through Rogers and his team, audiences in Ada were given a nostalgic feeling, an experience never before witnessed within the community. “The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience” provided audiences with music, moon walks, and the same, heartfelt feeling one would expect to experience from an actual Michael Jackson concert.
Rogers and his team performed popular songs from Michael’s career. From “Billy Jean,” “Thriller,” “Smooth Criminal,” and many more hits, fans and audiences experienced professional dance and choreography numbers.
Along with dancing to the hits throughout the decades, Rogers and his team reenacted Jackson’s iconic dance moves, including the moonwalk and the anti-gravity lean. The performance correlated perfectly; a tribute made not only to celebrate the great King of Pop and all his accomplishments as an artist, but to also remember him and the legacy he left behind too soon. Michael would have been 58-years-old on Aug. 29.
Simply watching the performance would be an understatement to the production. While audience members got out of their seats, it was Rogers who came to the audience members. Many times when performing songs, Rogers would physically leave the stage, walking amongst the seats of the Biggs Theatre, shaking hands with audience members, embracing elders and younger audiences. Several times, audience members were invited on stage to dance with Rogers and his team. His team not only brought humility to their performance, but they also displayed superior passion on stage.
Immediately following the hour-long performance, Rogers and his crew met outside the theatre doors for meet-and-greets, photos and conversations with all who had seen the show.
“The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience” is a performance
for all ages, and enjoyable for all viewers, regardless if one is famil- iar or not with Jackson’s songs. Rogers and his dance team travel all across the country, giving audiences a performance unlike anything they’ve seen, bringing back the King of Pop for older audiences, while introducing Jackson’s talents to younger audiences.