When fans head to the theaters to check out “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” they will get an insider’s look at Jackson’s final days, when he was rehearsing for his London concerts. And one of the men closest to him at the time, choreographer Travis Payne, said that Jackson was excited to share with the world his epic stage show.
“The last rehearsal with Michael Jackson for me was magical. It was on that night when we actually completed the bulk of the show,” Payne recalled. “All of the physicality of the show had been realized.”
He went on to say that it “was an electric night” and that Jackson couldn’t have been in a better mood. “He was grinning from ear to ear and he was so happy. He didn’t have any corrections, he didn’t have any notes for anyone. It was a glorious, triumphant night,” he explained. “And the last thing we said to each other as we often [did] was — he was in his golf cart going to his vehicle — and I said, ’Love you!’ and he said, ’Love you more! See you at 2 o’clock!’ And that was the last conversation we had.”
Payne fondly remembers how Jackson was “amped and excited about the entire process.”
“Everyone knows how great a dancer Michael Jackson was. … You know, I would turn and look at him and he’s just sort of moving and feelin’ something and he was surrounded by all of the dancers that we handpicked from all over the world,” Payne said. “That inspired him and it fed him. You could tell that he was really embracing them and, of course, they were embracing him. So it was really great seeing him right in the middle of the dancers and them sort of exchanging moves, all of that kind of stuff.”
Don’t miss the “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” premiere special , airing on MTV and VH1 tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET! “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” opens in a limited engagement on October 27 and wide on October 28.
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