Laser Michael Jackson returns to the Edelman Planetarium

- Image courtesy of Edelman Planetarium

During the month of November, the Edelman Planetarium is showing people the king of pop in laser form after a more than three-year hiatus.

“Laser Michael Jackson,” a laser light show that combines the music of Michael Jackson with visual design had stopped playing at rowan due to a technical malfunction with a projector in the planetarium. The projector has recently been replaced and the show is now screening along side a similar Pink Floyd Laser Show.

The most recent screening of “Laser Michael Jackson,” was on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. A group of 21 people filled the planetarium to relax and enjoy a time machine that cultivates Jackson’s biggest hits from the 60s, 80s and 90s, a touch of present day laser design.

A variety of colored lasers form diverse shapes that twist and turn on screen that creates a sense of motion, along with hits like Beat It, Thriller, Human Nature, ABC by the Jackson 5, and others.

Betty Bates and Eileen Monahan, two sisters both from Williamstown NJ decided to see the show with a group of children to enjoy their chilly Saturday night.

Monahan said Bates called her after she found out about the show by a web search. Interested in entertaining the children on a Saturday night, Bates wanted to see what the show would be like.

“I love Michael Jackson, so that caught my eye right away,” Bates said. “I thought at first it was just going to be about the planets and space and everything.”

Both sisters enjoyed the show and mostly enjoyed how the children found it amusing as well. For both sisters, it was their first time experiencing a laser show at the Edelman Planetarium.

“While I was watching [Laser Michael Jackson] I will truthfully say, that I’m going to go online and see what other shows they got coming up because its close by, its inexpensive, and it’s a good thing for the kids to do,” Monahan said.

The Edelman Planetarium airs Laser Michael Jackson and other laser shows through “Laser Fantasy,” the company which produces them. The planetarium gets the rights to air the show, and then Planetarium Director Amy Barraclough maps out when each will be shown.

This is the first semester during Barraclough’s tenure as director that laser shows have returned to the planetarium. Nearly five years ago, the system in the planetarium used to ventilate the room broke and was not replaced. Barraclough replaced the broken projector with a new one that is brighter and more energy efficient, so laser shows could return to Rowan University this fall.

One of the shows Barraclough has been frequently asked to show was Laser Michael Jackson. After being absent since the laser system broke, Barraclough decided to fill the request from people and brought the show back to Rowan.

“Laser Michael Jackson was one [show] where faculty and students were coming by my office going, ‘when are you going to bring this back? We used to play it all the time. It was great, and we’d love to see it again.'” Barraclough said. “People are really excited that the shows are back.”

“Laser Michael Jackson” will continue its run with three more showings Nov. 4, 11, and 18. All shows start at 7 p.m.

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