Michael Jackson HIStory Show

TSB Showplace, New Plymouth

29/02/2024 - 29/02/2024

Toitoi - Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre 101 Hastings Street South, Hastings

28/02/2024 - 28/02/2024

Production Details

Director/Producer – Johnny Van Grinsven
Creative Director – Clasina Van Grinsven
Musical Director – Dale Scheepers
Choreographer – Nathan Adriaanse
Technical Director – Jono Van Grinsven

Showtime NZ

Showtime presents this spectacular music tribute and full-scale stage production honouring the one and only King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Get the full Michael Jackson concert experience with Garth Field – electrifying in his role as Jackson – plus a live band, choreographed dancers, authentic costumes and state-of-the-art production.

8pm 10 Feb 2024 | Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland
7pm 11 Feb 2024 | Wellington Opera House, Wellington
8pm 13 Feb 2024 | Trafalgar Centre, Nelson
8pm 15 Feb 2024 | Invercargill Civic Theatre, Invercargill
8pm 16 Feb 2024 | Dunedin Regent Theatre, Dunedun
8pm 17 Feb 2024 | Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
8pm 20 Feb 2024 | Royal Whanganui Opera House, Whanganui
8pm 21 Feb 2024 | Southward Theatre, Paraparaumu
8pm 22 Feb 2024 | Great Lake Centre, Taupo
8pm 23 Feb 2024 | Globox Arena, Claudelands, Hamilton
8pm 24 Feb 2024 | Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North
7pm 25 Feb 2024 | Carterton Events Centre, Carterton
8pm 28 Feb 2024 | Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre, Hastings
8pm 29 Feb 2024 | TSB Showplace, New Plymouth
8pm 01 Mar 2024 | Baycourt, Tauranga
8pm 02 Mar 2024 | SkyCity, Auckland
7pm 03 Mar 2024 | Turner Centre, Kerikeri
8pm 04 Mar 2024 | Forum North, Whangarei
8pm 05 Mar 2024 | Sir Howard Morrison Centre, Rotorua

Pricing: $40-$80
Booking Link: https://mjhistoryshow.com/?page_id=11

Lead Vocalist – Garth Fiels
Dancers – Tevin Wiener, Aimsle Fortuin, Brandon Vraagom, Yakin Pillay
Keys – Andre Behnke
Guitar – Rusty Red
Bass – Zac Coombs
Drums – Nelis Du Plessis
Backing Vocalists – Giselle Van Grinsven, Virtuous Kandemiiri
Lighting Op – Sarah Claxton
Audio Engineer – Bruce Eales

Music , Dance ,

Approx 2.5 hrs with interval

A lot of love

Review by Elicia Hitchcock 02nd Mar 2024

He was once hailed by so many as the most famous person alive, to have ever lived. When it was announced that Michael Jackson had passed away, it was as if the world stopped for a moment. It has been nearly 15 years since the King of Pop has passed away, and as many tribute artists have done so when he was living, they continue to do so 15 years on.

Showtime Australia presents The Michael Jackson HIStory Show. I snapped up the chance to watch it at the TSB Showplace in New Plymouth.  I took my sister along as we are both avid Michael Jackson fans and I looked forward to a ‘Thriller’ of a night, celebrating the music of my favourite music artist and performer of all time.

This is live!!! With a live band, live vocals, spectacular choreography, visual effects and footage of Jackson’s performances from his Dangerous Tour showcased on the LED screen framing the band. This show carries the essence from all his solo tours, beginning with choreography from the This Is It documentary, flowing seamlessly into opening sequences from the BAD, Dangerous and History tours. Whenever a tribute artist or band takes the stage, as a fan, it is natural to compare, and you can’t help but rate appearance and/or sound.

Garth Field, South African native from Cape Town, is exceptional in his performance as Michael. The experience he has in dance and vocals is evident throughout the entire show. His voice does not falter or grow tiresome, his choreography, along with his backup dancers, and fellow performers on stage or on point with that Jackson flare.

Fields vocal performance is incredible and so close to that of Jacksons. It didn’t take me long at all to associate the performer to Michael himself. The audience had been reserved for the first few songs, still clapping and a few hollers every so often. As soon as the Jackson 5 medley begins, we are up on our feet, singing along and as loud with them. The dancing and singing carries on to the very last note.

The dancers are superb to watch. Their athleticism, and control of their bodies, moving as a unit along with Fields, is one of the key elements in bringing this performance alive. Watching them flip and dance onstage or jump from the stage apron into the pit, then up over into the audience makes for an enjoyable spectacle. Interactions with the audience was the epitome of who Jackson was as a performer, bringing his audience into his world. The entire cast of this HIStory show made sure us as an audience were able to experience that on some level. Dancing among the audience, through the aisles. Even the over-zealous audience member who ran up onto the stage for a hug, promptly whisked off by the teams security, to the lucky lady being lead up to the stage during ‘She’s Out of My Life’ This is in true Jackson form.

Hats off to the band for replicating the music that fans of Michael and The Jackson 5 grew up loving. All the different layers, along with the backing vocalist complementing each genre within Michaels catalogue. All the way from ‘I Want You Back’ to ‘Heal the World’ and back into ‘Thriller’ Every note is hit, and every rhythm beat. Foot stomps, finger snaps, leg twists, hip thrust and crotch grab make for a truly epic night.

This is a concert truly for the fans. The costume design, the sound, the smoke machine during iconic moments in MJ performance history, and the entire cast and band really do have something special here. Showtime Australia have a knack for producing quality shows and tributes of our favourite artist, for the fans. A lot of love goes into productions such as this. 


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Act of redemption for the legacy

Review by Rosheen Fitzgerald 01st Mar 2024

If the packed auditorium is a good indicator, then nostalgia sells. The self-proclaimed King of Pop left an indelible legacy on collective memory, one that many are eager to spend an evening reliving. 

The Michael Jackson HIStory Show is a gem in the jewelled crown of Showtime Australia – big hitters in the business of nostalgia. They are currently touring a full house of tributes to the greats of yesteryear from the Beatles to Prince (whose upcoming 1999 show is heavily advertised throughout the evening). 

The current company hails from South Africa, where Jackson’s fame had cult status, particularly during his heyday, before things started getting weird. His golden years – Off the WallThrillerBadDangerous – coincided with the dying throes of apartheid, when his fame both inspired kids of colour, and transcended racial barriers within the industry. Billie Jean paved the way for artists of colour on MTV. Jackson was the only black artist played on nineties white South African pop stations. If our kids are listening to Kanye or Beyonce today then it is thanks, in part, to Michael Jackson, for desegregating the airwaves by force of sheer talent. If Taika Waititi’s Boy is anything to go by, Jackson was of similar cultural importance here in Aotearoa – not just known, as he is in every corner of the world, but loved.

Stepping into Jackson’s white stockinged black flats is Garth Field, a Capetonian of many talents, the least of which is the ability to rapidly change extravagant outfits, painstakingly modelled on Jackson’s signature pieces, featuring familiar leather and sequins. Field has obviously put in the hours studying Jackson’s moves, his mannerisms, his voice – both singing and speaking – replicating them with unbelievable accuracy. He hits every high note; nails every toe stand, crotch grab, spin, slide and moonwalk, even pulling off an impressive anti-gravity lean during Smooth Criminal, surely using Jackson’s own patented shoe design?

Field channels Jackson, belting through his back catalogue with an energy the star himself would be unlikely to muster in latter years. To give such a powerful pitch perfect vocal performance combined with incredible physical feats is breath-taking – at least for us watching. He is a masterful crowd rousing hype man, giving permission in falsetto for all to dance and sing along – a request that is met with enthusiastic compliance. 

Support performers include a full live band with guitar, bass, drums and keys, and the lustrous Virtuous Kandemiri on backing vocals, projecting glamour and star quality just as much as her full bodied voice. A quartet of male dancers provide a feast for the eyes with dizzying flips and spins bursting with personality as they take us on a high octane ride, with many outfit changes along the way. 

More than the elements of music and dance, there is theatre – bold and flashy, right in the King of Pop’s wheelhouse. There is smoke and strobe and pomp and the plot thin, spectacular heavy music video devices, of which Jackson was a master, rendered on stage. Dancers play gangsters, be they in fedoras or bandanas, mime fights and shootouts or spray paint on the LED screen sets. They lurch as zombies and monsters. They create dramatic tableaux.  At one point ‘MJ’ appears on stage carrying a suitcase containing the iconic single sequined glove (for sale outside on the merch table). A lone voice from the audience cries, ‘there’s a spare room at my whare, bro,’ to amicable laughter. 

Having been given permission to have a good time at the outset, the crowd are all in, singing along, dancing in the aisles, working themselves to a frenzy. The cast actively engage with their people, moving through the auditorium, high fiving and singing directly to them. As well as those of us old enough to remember Jackson fever the first time around, there are a large contingent of children, and a cohort of people with special needs and their carers, all having a ball, in awe, utterly immersing themselves in the experience. The show leaves us with shining eyes and a spring in our steps, our nostalgia indulged. 

Loving Michael Jackson is something of a guilty pleasure. The controversy that surrounded him came to overshadow his talent in the tabloid saturated time before he died. But dead he is, and neither our scorn nor our idolatry will bring him back. This show, as with all of the tributes under Showtime’s belt, has no affiliation with Jackson’s estate. If his body of work can be co-opted by a group of incredibly talented South African artists, for whose country’s liberation Jackson provided the soundtrack, then surely this show is an act of redemption for the legacy of the King of Pop.


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