Saturday, April 13, 2024

Broadway: Tony Winner “A Strange Loop,” by the Other Michael Jackson, Closing After Less than a Year


There were two Michael Jackson musicals in the last Broadway season. One was a hit, and the other is closing after less than a year of performances.

“A Strange Loop,” from Michael R. Jackson, a very gay musical about a Broadway usher named Usher who dreams about putting on his own show, will shut its doors on January 15, 2023. Never a box office draw, with songs and materials that couldn’t be widely discussed, and a totally unknown star, “Strange Loop” was never going to be a mainstream hit. As one producer said to me when it opened, a true national tour wasn’t going to happen, and schools couldn’t perform it.

Nevertheless, “Strange Loop” won the Tony for Best Musical. It didn’t even win for Best Score– that was “Six.” But the idea persisted that it was the Best Musical. And now it’s leaving the stage.

This is not the norm for other Best Musical winners, which usually make it through a full season. But “A Strange Loop” averages $600,000 a week, which is about $400,000 less than a hit. Will it pay back investors? Unlikely. And it didn’t help Broadway to get that Tony Award. “A Strange Loop” is silo’d, so to speak. You can say to someone who didn’t get a ticket to the other Michael Jackson musical, “MJ,” they should go see “A Strange Loop.” It’s a very different experience.

A valiant try, for sure.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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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