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Travis LeMont Ballenger Will Head Up Production of the Forthcoming MJ Musical

Ballenger was previously associate artistic director at San Diego's Globe Theater.

Travis LeMont Ballenger
(© Stephanie Gould)

Travis LeMont Ballenger, formerly associate artistic director at San Diego's Globe Theater, has joined Lia Vollack Productions as producer. He will oversee production of the upcoming Broadway musicals MJ and Almost Famous, as well as the development of the company's pipeline of future shows.

"Throughout his career," said Lia Vollack in a statement, "Travis has already distinguished himself as a true creative force. He is a passionate theater maker and an outspoken advocate for artists. I am so thrilled that Travis is joining me and I know my company, our shows, and Broadway will be so much richer for having his voice in the room."

In a separate statement, Mr. Ballenger said, "As you can imagine, accepting this position was not a hard decision. Lia is a forward-thinking, deeply decent human being, with a clear vision for what theater can be. She is passionate about bringing new audiences and artists to Broadway and beyond. Therefore, she has her hands on some of the most exciting material around. I'm thrilled and honored to work with her!"

MJ, the new Broadway musical inspired by the life of singer Michael Jackson, has shifted the dates of its world premiere. The musical was scheduled to open this summer at the Neil Simon Theatre; it is now scheduled to begin previews there on March 8, 2021, with opening night set for Thursday, April 15, 2021.

Ephraim Sykes is slated to star as Michael Jackson in the production, which has a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, direction and choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, and songs from Jackson's extensive catalogue of music.

MJ will feature set design by Derek McLane, lighting design by Natasha Katz, costumes by Paul Tazwell, sound design by Gareth Owen, projection design by Peter Nigrini, and hair and wig design by Charles LaPointe. Jason Michael Webb will serve as music director, with musical supervision by David Holcenberg, and orchestrations by Holcenberg and Webb.

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