Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour’ leaps into town

Performers stay true to the spooky Thriller theme.  Credi: OSA Images
Cirque du Soleil stay true to the spookiness of “Thriller.” 
Credit: OSA Images

“Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour” combines the dramatic acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil with the iconic music of Michael Jackson in a rock concert-style show taking over the Wells Fargo Center for two nights this week. There to make sure it all goes off without a hitch is stage manager Jason Pizzi.

Pizzi, a Penn State alum from Abington, has been with “The Immortal Tour” since it opened summer 2011. A theater major in college, Pizzi, 38, worked on several shows at the Arden Theatre in Old City, and was involved in the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival. His resume also includes the annual “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” as well as other Cirque shows, including a stint as assistant stage manager for “O” in Las Vegas.

Pizzi says that despite loving Philly, his favorite part about the Cirque gig, including “The Immortal Tour,” is the opportunity to travel. “I loved being in Japan, it was my first time in Asia,” he says. “California is always really nice too.”

As stage manager for this touring production, Pizzi manages all 49 performers, making sure they’re on time and in place for rehearsals, and for the show itself. Before he can corral everyone onto their marks in whichever city they’re performing, more than 160 people pitch in to build the stage, starting at 6 a.m. on the first show day — and not ending until shortly before curtain.

And are they all blasting MJ’s music while they work? Probably not. But Pizzi, like everyone else, has his favorite songs: “Billie Jean” and “Man in the Mirror.”

“Growing up, I had Thriller on vinyl,” Pizzi says. “[Jackson] really hit the big time when I was around seven, and he has always been important in that way.”

‘Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour’
March 25 and 26, 8 p.m.
Wells Fargo Center
3601 S. Broad St.


Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.


Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.


SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.


MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…


Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.


Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.


Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm


Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.


3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…


3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…