Myles Frost (Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya)
“Beat it,” Ephraim Sykes.
Well, not exactly. We were excited to see what the Ain’t Too Proud star was going to bring to the title role of MJ, but due to post-pandemic scheduling conflicts, Sykes has departed the production to shoot a feature film. But the casting change offers a rise-to-stardom opportunity for Broadway newcomer Myles Frost of Washington, D.C.
Frost was cast following an exhaustive search for a uniquely talented performer to lead the new musical. As previously announced, MJ, inspired by the life and art of Michael Jackson, will begin performances on Broadway on December 6, 2021, with an opening night set for Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at the newly refurbished Neil Simon Theatre (250 W 52nd Street).
Director Christopher Wheeldon said, “We are extremely excited about Myles. All of his talents point towards a new rising star. I’m very much looking forward to working with him to shape the role of Michael Jackson for MJ.”
In a statement, Ephraim Sykes said, “It’s with a heavy heart that I depart MJ. This year has brought a lot of change and opportunity, and although it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to an iconic role and production, I look forward to what is to come. Thank you to the MJ team and congratulations to Myles. I can’t wait to see you shine as the King of Pop and for us all to celebrate the return of Broadway.”
MJ features a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage and a score made up of some of the best-loved, top-selling songs in recording history. Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon will direct and choreograph.