Home business Broadway: Tony Winner “A Strange Loop,” by the Other Michael Jackson, Closing...

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.

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