I Am King

The King of Pop is Brought to Life in Top Touring Tribute Show at the Miramar Cultural Center

Sharing the same first and middle name as the man he impersonates, Michael Joseph Firestone says he was the biggest Michael Jackson fan growing up, and he still is today. He began impersonating the King of Pop in the late 1990s, a time when he says he was one of just four or five artists to take on this role. 

After two decades of studying and perfecting Michael’s moves, Firestone brings his show “I Am King: The Michael Jackson Experience” to the Miramar Cultural Center on May 10 at 8 PM, a 90-minute live performance he describes as “theatrical awe” combining a choir, multimedia, dancers and non-stop high-energy. 

The City of Miramar goes one-on-one with Firestone as he describes this special show and how his very unique journey began.

What can the audience expect from “I Am King: The Michael Jackson Experience”?

I wanted to give this show more of a theater feel, more dramatic. A lot of multimedia in there. We try to hit as much as we can in an hour and half. It’s terrible because I want to put everything in, but you always have to do “Billie Jean”. You always have to do “Thriller” and “Beat It”, so those override other songs. We do “Liberian Girl”, which is nice because I get to breathe, but it’s also nice to do a song that people don’t recognize as much. You know who the real Michael Jackson fans are when that song comes on.
How did your journey as a Michael Jackson tribute artist start?

When I was 16 years old, I had a recording contract and the main complaint was “Man, you sound like Michael Jackson” and I moved to Vegas. I started playing around with makeup and after a year, I learned how to approach it like a painting. Once I got the hang of that, I went full force with it. It kind of fell into my lap, really. At the time, there weren’t a lot of Michael Jackson impersonators in 1998-1999. There were maybe three to five guys that were good and I thought, “If they can do it, I can do it”.

There are a lot of Michael Jackson impersonators out there. What is unique about the show that you do?

Honestly, I think it’s the fact that it’s live. It’s a four-piece band. We are actually using a choir in Miramar. My band, these guys smoke them all, and my dancers are tight. I think you get a real life feel of what Michael Jackson was and we also try to give it an element of theatrical awe. The video really adds to the show big time. This thing, it never stops, like a machine. There’s not a dull moment. 

How does the audience react during your show? Is it nostalgic for them?

“Human Nature”, when I start singing that, people freak out! It’s hard to stay in your character when they are crying, and I know why. I’m pretty sure they are crying because they had a flashback moment and something triggered this emotion and they get very sad and happy. They will be smiling and they will be crying. Those are the hardest reactions.

Michael Firestone is the King of Pop in “I am King: The Michael Jackson Experience” at the Miramar Cultural Center on May 10 at 8 PM. Tickets are $35, $45 and $60 for VIP seating, a meet-and-greet with Firestone and a themed drink. To purchase tickets, visit MiramarCulturalCenter.org or call the Box Office at 954-602-4500.