re: Myles Frost and MJ over the weekend (spoilers)
Last Edit: WaymanWong 11:24 pm EDT 06/27/22
Posted by: WaymanWong 11:10 pm EDT 06/27/22
In reply to: Myles Frost and MJ over the weekend (spoilers) - mikem 11:34 am EDT 06/27/22

As long as ''MJ'' was ''Produced by Special Arrangement With the Estate of Michael Jackson,'' that pretty much determined the parameters of what this show would be: a showcase of Jackson's incredibly popular song catalog. It was folly if anyone ever thought it would tackle the more controversial sections of Jackson's life, let alone address the sexual allegations. His estate wouldn't want that, and more to the point: his fans, who are paying to see a feel-good Michael Jackson jubilee, don't want that either. ''MJ'' knows its audience. Since mid-February, their weekly grosses have been steadily climbing from $1.2 million, and the week after the Tonys, they topped $1.6 million and nearly sold out. In the long run, ''MJ'' could care less about Jackson's detractors; they were never buying tickets to ''MJ,'' even if Lynn Nottage wrote a more critical book. (It was shrewd for ''MJ'' to hire Nottage, a respected, two-time Pulitzer winner. It bought them some cover. Critics would've really lambasted a lesser-known librettist.)

I must admit I'm surprised at how well ''MJ'' had done during awards season. I thought the Tony nominators might be skittish about the controversy surrounding Jackson, and possibly snub the show or downplay its merits. Instead, they showered ''MJ'' with 10 Tony nominations, which is only one fewer than ''A Strange Loop,'' which was far more celebrated among critics. Awards pundits predicted ''MJ'' would win only 1 Tony: for choreography. But apparently Tony voters also had no qualms voting for ''MJ'' and gave it 4 Tonys, which is twice as many as they bestowed on ''A Strange Loop.''

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