Michael Jackson, the superstar of Rock’n’Roll music, died on June 25, 2009. Suddenly, after the missile-like bombardment of news media, this has-been superstar, who has been frequently mocked, exploited, and studied by cultural analysts, studies has become a new immortal cultural legend. The three creators of Michael Jackson-back to the 80’s in 2005 decided to restage this well-received and sold-out theatre in a new version under this new cultural atmosphere.
In Michael Jackson-back to the 80’s, three of Michael’s most representative albums (Thriller in 1984, Bad in 1988, and Dangerous in 1991) are selected as the core sections of the play. Starting from the memory of Michael and his symbolic meanings, the play attempts to interpret this cultural phenomenon from a Taiwanese point of view, bringing the audience back to the Taiwanese pop culture of the 80s through a collage of news events and elements of popular culture. The fragmental but sweet collective memory of the generation born in the 1970s towards the 80s are evoked by reenacting scenes from “Entertainment 100”, the legend of swordsman “Chu Liu Xiang”, the pop music group The Little Tigers, love soap operas of Chiung Yao, the bank robber Li Shike, the Olympic taekwondo gold medalist Chen Yi-An, the athlete Li Fu-en, Knight Rider’s car, and the Taiwan version of “We are the world”—“A better tomorrow”.