Producer Darrin Ross Revives Michael Jackson via his Invincible Tribute
By Deardra Shuler
As many of us know, Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. It’s hard to believe that it has been five years since his death. But to commemorate his passing and to remind the world how much we miss Michael, creator, producer and director Darrin Ross has put together a show in memory of Michael which is nothing less than spectacular. Via his show, “Invincible: A Glorious Tribute to Michael Jackson,” fans will once again be able to connect with the spirit of the beloved performer. The show featuring impersonators Jibreel Moray (young Michael) Pete Carter (dancing Michael) and Jeffrey Perez (live concert Michael) will showcase at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, located at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, in the Bronx, on Saturday, June 21st at 8:00 pm.
When asked about the enormity of putting together the extravaganza, Ross remarked,
“To put the project together you have to be a 100% fan and lover of Michael Jackson, his music and his legacy of videos. You have to admire the things Michael did and to honor him, try and bring a piece of that magic to the stage, which I hope I’ve done in creating the show, “Invincible: A Glorious Tribute to Michael Jackson,” stated the producer. “Naturally, I cannot do it alone. The cast has passionately endeavored to keep the positive memory of Michael alive. Every year we recreate the production and bring it to the most stellar level. This year, with the release of the new album Xscape, we have decided to reinterpret a bit of this new production and do some new songs live on stage. People will be surprised by impersonator Jeffrey Perez, who is an amazing vocal impersonator of Michael Jackson. He is going to blow your mind on June 21st when we bring the show to Lehman Center. Jeffrey brings back the spirit of Michael like no other. It will be as if you are hearing Michael alive on the stage again,” continued Darrin.
Pete Carter another impersonator, has worked with Darrin Ross on various other productions and used his talents as a visionary and performer to join Ross in coming up with various concepts and surprises for the show. “Since the amazing hologram performance did happen, we are going to recreate that on stage with Pete Carter. This is the MJ tribute you do not want to miss; fans are going to be amazed, “claims Ross who stated he is always trying to be an innovator who introduces different ideas and people to his production. As part of the show, Ross is featuring guest performances by the fabulous Harlem GospeLive singers; the American Beat-boxer Kenny Muhammad, the Human Orchestra; a Lite feet dance performance by NYC’s own W.A.F.F.L.E., as well as breathtaking visuals and a live band with master percussionists and singers.
“When I create a show, I look at a production as if MJ was in the audience himself. I think would Jackson like the show? I imagine that if Michael would give me a standing ovation, I’ve done my job. That is the barometer I try to stick to,” stated the show’s creator.
Ross started his career in the 1980s doing musical production. In the ‘90s, he went into TV and did national TV and radio production. He started in theater with the dance company, Rennie Harris’s Puremovement. Harris was the pioneer of hip hop dance theatre. Mr. Ross has done plays, scores for ballets with Judith Jamison and Robert Battle of Alvin Ailey. He has done hip hop productions. He is a man that loves to take things to another level.
“We all miss MJ dearly and when you see people representing him or imitating him, this brings back the feelings people had when they first heard an MJ song or watched one of his videos or danced to his music. A lot of people saw the Music Award show and some liked the hologram while others didn’t, but what the hologram did was bring that positive feeling fans had when Michael was alive and you waited for him to appear on stage. The audience will definitely relive that feeling again via the Invincible: A Glorious Tribute to Michael Jackson show. We do the things that are different like Slave to the Rhythm and Love Never Felt so Good. If you love Michael Jackson’s music and love his legacy, you have to see this show!” claimed Darrin.
Jeffrey Perez at the age of one was already bouncing around to Michael Jackson’s “Bad” Album. “The “Bad” album had just come out at that time. A lot of children loved MJ, me included” stated Jeffrey Perez. “At the age of One, I could hardly talk but I tried to dance to the song. Even as a child, I felt like I was supposed to be an entertainer of some sort. I had no idea it would be impersonating Michael Jackson, but that is what it turned out to be. As soon as I am in costume, I start channeling Michael. During the time I am performing on stage, I actually feel I am being Michael in some form or another,” remarked Jeffrey.
“There are not a lot of people who perform some of the songs I do. I will be performing songs from the new album Xscape during the show. Everyday, I listen to a Michael song or watch a video in order to prepare. Michael is part of my life. It’s almost like studying for a test you have to review. I’ve done MJ so much that I no longer have to review. I try to stay as close to the image of Michael Jackson as I can,” remarked the Phoenix native, who also does his own show call the Legend Show when he is not performing as an MJ impersonator with the Invincible show.
For tickets to “Invincible: A Glorious Tribute to Michael Jackson” on June 21, call the Lehman Center Box Office at 718-960-8833 or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org.