A day after seeing Thriller Live at Auckland's Civic Theatre, I'm still trying to work out what exactly it is.
I have, however, determined what it isn't. It is definitely not a musical. There is no plot or narrative, as we've come to expect from other West End musicals based on the hits of real-life chart toppers, such as Jersey Boys or Mamma Mia.
Nor is it a classic tribute show, with performers faithfully re-enacting the original artist's look and sound.
Yes, there are moments when a Michael Jackson lookalike moonwalks around the stage. But for the most part, there's no attempt to recreate the King of Pop's signature style. For one thing, the key performer is a woman.
Rather, it's a bit like a cross between a tribute show and being on a cruise ship for karaoke night. Which isn't to say it's not great fun. There was, quite literally, dancing in the aisles. There was even a man with a glowstick headdress.
Which is perhaps the best indication of what kind of show this is. If you love to break out a glowstick and boogie, this is for you. If not, well ...
Essentially, it's a celebration of Jackson's music, beginning with the early years of the Jackson 5, moving on to the disco days and then to the world domination of Thriller and Bad.
Each era is covered off by a couple of key hits and the occasional medley, allowing a rotation of soloists to come to the fore and have their moment to shine. Standouts included MiG Ayesa's rendition of Man in the Mirror and Alex Buchanan singing, well, anything.
The vocals were strong. A few missed notes and fumbled lines marred the start of the night, before everyone settled into the rhythm.
Less convincing were the narrated intervals, which saw various cast members read out a roll call of milestones and sales statistics. They were factoids so well-worn and generic, you have to wonder why they bothered. Anyone who likes MJ's music enough to see the show will surely know this basic background.
More impressive was the troupe of back-up dancers, who kept the momentum going and brought a much-needed visual spectacle to the show. When they weren't on stage, things tended to drag.
But as the night ended with an all-singing, all-dancing hit parade, you couldn't help but feel a little short-changed. Yes, it was entertaining and fun. But it never managed to reflect the magnitude of Jackson's life and legacy.
As the show tagline says, he is the undisputed King of Pop. He really deserves something more impressive than this. Something a little less karaoke.
What: Thriller Live
Where: Civic, Auckland
When: Until February 22.