NEW YORK – In MJ The Musical, more than two dozen songs from Michael Jackson’s career are performed, so that both the audience and the documentary crew on stage (played by Whitney Bashor and Gabriel Ruiz) can get an inside look at the King of Pop. Following the posting of a YouTube video of a talent show performance in 2016, Myles Frost is making his Broadway debut as Jackson in the show, which is playing at the Neil Simon Theatre. Frost sat down with The Broadway Show‘s Tamsen Fadal at The Skylark to talk about his road to the leading role.
Washington D.C. native Frost was a senior in college at Bowie State University when he got the call to play Michael Jackson. “Before this, I didn’t really have any plans or intentions in going into Broadway,” he said. “I’m an artist by trade: I write. I sing. I play piano and drums. When I got this opportunity, I was like, ‘Who would pass this up?'”
“I’d done some talent shows in high school, singing and dancing to Michael Jackson. I won those talent shows and was like, ‘I like being on stage.’ When I was 16, it was my junior year. I said, ‘I’m going to do ‘Billie Jean’ this year.’ I did it. My mom was in the back on her iPad up with the flash on. I came out on a hoverboard. I was like, ‘How can I be out of the box?’ My mom posted it on YouTube,” Frost said. “That was 2016—2021 is when I got a call saying, ‘Hey we found this video of you doing ‘Billie Jean.’ I see that it’s dated 2016. Can you still do that?'”
Frost’s answer was yes, but his grandmother, an elementary schoolteacher for over 40 years, had reservations. “My grandmother—what I love about her—she is a believer in Myles Frost. She’s definitely my number one fan,” he said. “She said, ‘If it was anybody else, I would say no. I believe that whatever God has in store for you, you’ll take it and run with it. You’re gonna be the biggest thing in the world. But if that does happen, you gotta finish [school]. I don’t care when you finish, but you have to finish.’ I said, ‘I can do that.'”
Frost had many pivotal conversations when he decided to take the role. One was with Jackson’s son Prince, who attended opening night of the new musical. “He said he liked the fact that I wasn’t trying to impersonate his father. I hold that very near and dear to my heart because I don’t want to try to impersonate Michael Jackson. I’m Myles Frost, first, foremost and always,” he said. “It feels new every night. I put myself in the moment every time. I’m acting in these moments for the first time each time. That’s how I treat it.”
Watch the full interview on The Broadway Show, hosted by Fadal. It is the only nationally syndicated weekly theater news program, check your local listings. You can watch The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal on PIX11, Sundays at 6:30pm.