Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Only in New York: 2022 Theater Season Will Pit Michael Jackson Musical vs. Michael R. Jackson Musical


Michael Jackson vs. Michael Jackson.

This could only happen in New York, on Broadway, and during a tough year.

There will be not one but two Michael Jackson musicals opening in the 2022 theater season.

The first one, “MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical,” has already begun previews. It’s on pause right now until December 27th and has an opening date of February 6, 2022. This is the musical about the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, during his zenith with “Thriller,” “Bad,” and “Dangerous.”

The second one, “A Strange Loop,” is written– book, lyrics, and music- – by  someone called Michael R. Jackson.  The description: “Meet Usher: a Black, queer writer writing a musical about a Black, queer writer writing a musical about a Black, queer writer…  ”

So it’s a Michael Jackson musical about Usher? Not ‘the Usher’ as in singer Usher Raymond. Someone named Usher. Got that?

“A Strange Loop” won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It also won five Drama Desk Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, six Outer Critics Circle honors, two Obie awards, one Off-Broadway Alliance Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. But it’s never played on Broadway. It will open sometime this spring at the Lyceum Theater now that “Macbeth” with Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga has moved to the Longacre.

Just imagine if some fan mistakes one of these musicals for the other. They will be getting quite a surprise when the curtain goes up!


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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