This Show's a "Thriller"
When he was nine years old living in the poorer part of Jacksonville, FL, James Delisco entered a talent show singing Michael Jackson songs just like the performer himself at that age. “There was this immediate and incredible connection with the audience,” he remembers. “When I was 12, my school counselor bussed a few of us kids downtown to see Michael Jackson in concert,” he says. “He always gave away a few free tickets at his concerts for kids from the inner city.”
And that’s when Delisco went from being star-struck to totally stage-struck. “I remember thinking, I’m going to do this,” he said. And on Saturday, New Orleans can see the results as he performs The Music of Michael Jackson at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in Armstrong Park.
The year after that first live theatrical experience, Delisco was accepted into a performing arts high school and the rest, as they say, is history. A few years in college, some early gigs in Orlando, appearances on Broadway, in Smoky Joe’s Café, Ragtime and Elton John’s Aida, followed by a handsomely-paid contract in the Las Vegas Hilton taught him how to be a theatre professional.
But he never got over Michael Jackson. “I’m not doing an impersonation of Michael Jackson,” Delisco explains. “This is really a tribute. I want to honor him. You know Michael studied other artists like James Brown, but he made his own style. That’s what I’m doing. I’m putting my own stamp on his music.”
Helping rev up the audience in this high-energy show will be the 60-plus members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Delisco’s own five-piece band will be in the front, and they along with background vocals and some rock concert lighting will set the tone for folk of all ages who are looking for a musical experience that will be a real thriller.
The Music of Michael Jackson: Saturday, May 28 at 8 p.m. For ticket information click here.
Sharon Litwin is president of NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]