In 1985, the song "We are the World," written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, brought together great musicians.
Today, the song is tying together two local artistic events.
"Who's Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band" was chosen as the performance to highlight the 10th gala dinner fundraiser "A Night for the Mishler."
The cast of “Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band,” also shown below, will perform at the Mishler Theatre, Altoona, on March 8.
The show and the gala will take place Saturday, March 8.
Janie Hite, vice president of Blair County Arts Foundation and committee chair for "A Night for the Mishler," said she was trying "to come up with a theme that would be a little bit different but connected to Michael Jackson for the gala dinner" for what she is sure "will be a very dynamic show."
The theme centered around "We are the World," expanded into "We Are the World of the Arts, We are the World of Music and We are the World of the Family," Hite said.
If you go
What: "Who's Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band"
When: 8 p.m. March 8
Where: Mishler Theatre, Altoona
Tickets: $38, includes box office handling fee. Tickets available at www.mishlertheatre.org, 944-9434, or at the theater box office.
What: "A Night for the Mishler" gala
When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8
Where: Altoona Heritage Discovery Center
Tickets: $125, includes gala dinner, "Who's Bad" performance and post-concert dessert reception. Tickets available at www.mishlertheatre.org, 944-9434, or at the theater box office.
The latter of the theme ideas is a good match for this year's Angel of the Arts Award recipients, Serena and Joe Stevens, who are receiving the honor "for their lifetime of service and commitment to the arts," and whose talented family members "have been a gift to our community," a Blair County Arts Foundation press release said.
"And the idea of the whole event is that it is a major fundraiser to keep the doors of the Mishler Theatre open for the community, which I think is important because I appreciate the arts and all of the different organizations who use the Mishler Theatre," Hite said.
BCAF offers the Family Theatre at the Mishler series, which is made up of several shows each year that area students attend, she said.
The "Who's Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band," the longest running tribute band to the late pop icon, will continue the evening's festivities when it, ahem, moonwalks onto the Mishler stage following the gala dinner.
The show covers Jackson's music from his time in the Jackson 5 to his more current hits, Taalib York, who is one of two lead vocalists portraying Michael Jackson, said in a recent phone interview with the Mirror from his home in Brooklyn, N.Y.
"It's a perfection. Michael is just so detail oriented and with any artist once you're very focused on accuracy and detail the world becomes really appreciative," York said of what makes the King of Pop so enduring. "Amazing talent, and on top of amazing talent [he] had a drive and a work ethic that took him to the top ... the reason it still remains popular is because it's like a Mozart piece, he has music that just kind of sustains the times because it's so well worked, well done."
"Who's Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band," a six-piece band, has performed around the world, including the London arena where Jackson planned to end his career with the concert series "This is It," the press release said.
BCAF Executive Director Kate Shaffer said in the press release, "Whether you loved the Jackson 5, or learned to moonwalk to 'Billie Jean,' 'Who's Bad' celebrates Michael Jackson's expansive career and his vision that the world can be united through music."
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.