Mark Lamica , who spent nine years working with Frank Dileo, tells us he’s planning a musical tour that will be loosely based on dealings between the King of Pop and the legendary cigar-chomping music man Dileo, who died in August 2011.
Lamica tells us the “dramical,” which he calls “The Man,” will follow the blueprint of the Oscar-winning movie “Dreamgirls” by showing the “ins and outs and ups and downs” of the music business, with “some of the dirt” sprinkled in for added drama.
“It’s a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the making of a superstar client through the eyes of a manager,” Lamica says.
The Jackson and Dileo characters will bear some resemblance to the actual men, but the musical’s story will purposely be “vague,” Lamica explains, so producers won’t have to deal with Jackson’s estate.
“People who know will know, and others won’t,” says Lamica.
Dileo served as Jackson’s manager during the superstar’s heyday in the ’80s. They parted ways at the end of the decade, but reunited shortly before Jackson’s death in 2009.
Prior to his death at 64 from heart complications, Dileo was working on an autobiography that was intended to expose music industry secrets. We reported last August that Dileo had grown increasingly disenchanted with the co-executors of Jackson’s estate.
Lamica says part of the play will be “very loosely based” on secrets his former partner planned to expose.
While the inspiration for the play can be traced to the Jackson-Dileo relationship, Lamica says it could be about “any manager and his iconic, major star.”
“This could be [manager] Freddy [DeMann] and Madonna. This could be [manager] Scooter [ Braun] and Justin Bieber ,” he says.
Lamica will team with Grammy Award-winning composer and singer Larry Hart to produce original music for the show. None of Jackson’s iconic works will be used, again because Lamica doesn’t want to deal with the Jackson estate.
“I’m not getting involved with those clearances,” he says.
Casting has not begun, but Lamica, who’s now lining up producers, does have certain actors in mind. Auditions are tentatively set for next year, and while he wouldn’t provide any names, he did say the play will likely feature familiar faces from “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas.” (Dileo played gangster Tuddy Cicero in the latter.)
When we first got wind of the play, we were told Broadway was its target, but Lamica says he’d prefer to take the show on the road and eventually turn a “cautionary tale for future artists” into a movie.