re: Myles Frost and MJ over the weekend (spoilers)
Posted by: mikem 08:12 am EDT 06/28/22
In reply to: re: Myles Frost and MJ over the weekend (spoilers) - WaymanWong 11:10 pm EDT 06/27/22

Wayman, I think you're right about what the MJ audience wants. I was thinking that another way the creators could have avoided controversy would have been to have woven the songs into a new story like with Mamma Mia, but that's not what the target audience wants. They want to see Michael Jackson on stage, in concert.

I also thought MJ would get less awards attention, and I also thought Phylicia Rashad might have had issues as well. It's interesting to note that the Drama Desks, which announced their winners unusually late this year so probably had little influence, also awarded MJ Best Lighting and Sound, and also awarded Rashad. Although now that I've seen MJ, the lack of dimensionality to MJ helps diffuse the controversy. It's a weird biomusical in that it doesn't feel like a celebration of the person. I'm not sure anything positive happens to MJ in the present-day part of the show, unless you count the implication at the very end and kind of off-stage that his concert tour was successful. He still has the pill problem, he still hasn't resolved the issues with his father, he makes some kind of connection to the reporter but she makes it clear that he's a story to her and she doesn't seem to care about him as a person.

Putting aside the controversy around MJ, I think that Jaquel Spivey would have won Best Actor if he hadn't been sick and missed so many performances. He won both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk. Just like with Six, which is a great show in many ways but maybe too frothy for a Best Musical win nowadays, I think Frost is playing a character that isn't given a lot of weight by Nottage's book. To me, through no fault of Frost's, I think the lack of weight and substance is a big contrast to Usher in A Strange Loop, and I think Spivey would have had the edge if he had been healthy.

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