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    Host of events to mark Michael Jackson's birthday


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    Host of events to mark Michael Jackson's birthday

    Post  starfish on Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:28 am

    Host of events to mark Michael Jackson's birthday

    August 24, 2010
    BY BOB KOSTANCZUK, 648-3144

    The Urban League of Northwest Indiana is offering two tickets for the price of one to "A Michael Jackson Tribute Spectacular" on Saturday at Merrillville's Star Plaza Theatre.

    "If you buy one ticket, you get the other ticket of the same value free," said Vanessa Allen, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit organization, which serves Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.

    Under the two-for-one deal, tickets priced at $28, $48 and $68 can be purchased through Friday at the Urban League office, 3101 Broadway, Gary.

    More information is available by calling 887-9621.

    The Michael Jackson tribute concert, which starts 8 p.m. Saturday, features Tony Award winner Melba Moore and Jennifer Batten, a former tour guitarist for Jackson.

    Also scheduled to perform is Jackson impersonator Edward Moss and a large choir of Northwest Indiana residents.

    Allen said the Urban League of Northwest Indiana will get 15 percent of the ticket sales it generates for the "Tribute Spectacular."

    That percentage is earmarked for educational initiatives.

    The tribute concert for the iconic Gary native is a centerpiece for the four-day MJFanvention, which begins Thursday, and is based at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza.

    When it comes to those who buy various event packages or pay some type of admission fee, the producer of the Jackson fan fest expects a turnout of several hundred people -- perhaps as many as 700.

    Meanwhile, city officials announced Monday they will hold a "This is It" birthday tribute and block party for the late entertainer. The tribute will be 2 to 6 p.m. at 2300 Jackson St., the family's home where Michael grew up. The tribute includes local entertainment, music, a Michael Jackson impersonator, and a special birthday cake made by Hazel Montgomery of Gary.

    Related activities include a scheduled appearance by Joe Jackson -- Michael's father -- at a ceremonial cutting of his late son's birthday cake between 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday at the old Jackson-family home, 2300 Jackson St., Gary.

    "The King of Pop" would have turned 52 this Sunday.

    Also this week, there's a West Side Theatre Guild stage play called "Michael Jackson.. Yesterday, Today and Forever," at 7 p.m. Thursday at West Side High School. Tickets will be sold at the door.

    At 2 p.m. Saturday, a huge "Thriller" dance will be performed to the Jackson song of the same name at Michael's childhood home and on Roosevelt High School property directly behind it.


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