Relaunch of the Very Unauthorized Michael Jackson Musical (The One with the Puppets) Set for February 2023!

Angela A
5 min readFeb 15, 2023

Bazalaam Beats Productions is thrilled to announce the reopening of the cult-hit musical FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE: AN UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL FABLE ABOUT THE LIFE OF MICHAEL JACKSON AS TOLD BY HIS GLOVE. Having been prematurely closed by the coronavirus pandemic, the surrealist satire will reopen February 25, 2023 in the brand new Carl Sagan-Ann Druyan Theater at the Center For Inquiry West (CFI) on 2535 W. Temple Street in Los Angeles with a book by Julien Nitzberg, original music by Coco Morier, Drew Erickson and Max Townsley, and choreography by Cris Judd. The remount features a revised script, new songs, and yes — even more puppets.

FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE imagines a fresh, revisionist view of the strange forces that shaped Jackson and the scandals that bedeviled him. By refracting well-documented life events through the narration of Michael’s iconic white glove — a sentient alien glove attempting a takeover of humanity — the show serves as an unflinching interrogation of the roles that racism, homophobia and religion played in the creation of one of pop culture’s most mystifying titans.

For the Love of a Glove

Produced by Jackson 5 tour manager and Motown executive Tony Jones, FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE had already sold out audiences and attracted international coverage when it was shuttered by the worldwide pandemic. Seeing that the existing dramatized representations of Michael Jackson never dealt with the layered complexities of his life, Tony Jones became involved involved with

FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE in its earliest stages. A confidante of Jackson’s for over four decades, Jones feels that FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE’s unique allegorical reimagining tells a truer version of Michael’s story than any of the more realistic attempts have ever accomplished. FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE utilizes a combination of actors and incredible life-sized puppets to tell the story of Michael Jackson’s career and home life. LA Weekly writes: “[The musical] takes the timeline of Jackson’s life … and expands the story into surreal absurdity while consciously weaving in sociological, political and religious commentary. The stars here are the 20 incredible life-sized puppets: ambitious works of art, integrated with live, visible actors that recall the Broadway musical AVENUE Q.” The puppets, designed by renowned puppeteer Robin Walsh, draw from the Japanese Bunraku form and are operated in full view of the audience. Realistic and close to life size, these twenty original works of art portray members of the Jackson 5, Donny Osmond, Barbara Walters, Emmanuel Lewis and Corey Feldman.

During its initial run, NPR’s Andrew Limboing hailed FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE as, “raunchy, surreal and absurd.”

Artillery Magazine called it, “madly inventive… functions as a critique on American race relations, religion, and the pitfalls of the music industry… [it] veers from the sublime to the obscene in an idiosyncratic demolition of the traditional jukebox musical.”

LA Weekly advised: Suspend your disbelief, check your political correctness at the door and go see this off-the-wall show with an open mind while preparing yourself for a comical, culturally warped adventure.”

The journey to this remount shines as a testament to the cast and creative team’s dedication to the project. In addition to the universal adversity posed by the coronavirus pandemic, cast members have individually overcome cancer diagnoses, bone marrow transplants, and vehicular injury since the end of FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE’s initial run. The cast and creative team remained in close contact over the last three years and despite these hurdles, the production is delighted to reopen with nine of the original ten cast members returning to their roles.

Writer and director Julien Nitzberg is best known as the producer and director of the documentary feature The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, produced by Johnny Knoxville and distributed theatrically by Robert DeNiro’s company Tribeca Film. Other works include the controversial comic operetta The Beastly Bombing or A Terrible Tale of Terrorists Tamed By The Tangles Of True Love, dubbed by the Huffington Post “the first great work of comedy to emerge from the post-9/11 little planet of horrors.” It was staged in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Amsterdam and won the LA Weekly Theater Critics Musical of the Year Award.

Nitzberg is currently fulfilling a two season order from Tubi for his adult animated series Breaking Bear, a crime parody about meth-peddling grizzly bears. Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge serves as producer. Nitzberg has also served as a producer and writer on Cinemax’s animated series Mike Judge Presents Tales From the Tour Bus and has also written scripts for HBO, Showtime, Amazon Films, TNT, USA, IFC, Paramount Studios, CBS Studios and NBC.

Coco Morier is a songwriter, artist, and producer. Morier’s best known work include songs recorded by Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Ellie Goulding and Demi Lovato. As a solo recording artist/producer and with her band Electrocute, she has written and produced scoring for film, television, and video games such as The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, Broad City, Grey’s Anatomy, Radio Shack, Verizon, Crayola, Victoria’s Secret, Kung Fu Panda, Fifa and The Sims.

As a session musician and orchestral arranger, Drew Erickson has contributed to recordings of myriad artists including Florence + the Machine, Father John Misty, Mac Demarco, Weyes Blood and Tim Heidecker. Most recently Erickson cowrote and produced songs for Lana del Rey’s Blue Banisters.

Max Townsley is a Dallas-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and singer. He has toured the globe as a guitarist with the bands Midlake and Neon Indian. He composed and performed the music for the feature film Song Of The Cicada, and as a songwriter he has penned songs for Keith Urban and Sabrina Claudio. His vocals were featured in the first episode of the HBO series Genera+ion.

Cris Judd served as a choreographer and dancer for Michael Jackson’s HIStory Tour. His choreography has been featured on the MTV VMA’s, Super Bowl Halftime Shows and in numerous Netflix productions.

The cast is led by Eric B. Anthony (Broadway casts of The Lion King, Hairspray and Mary Poppins) as Michael Jackson and Patrick Batiste as Thrihl-Lha, Michael’s glove. The cast also features Andrew Ableson, Trecey Dory, Daniele Gaither, Mitchell Gerrard Johnson, Pip Lilly, Justin Anthony Long, Daniel Mills, Suzanne Nichols, Terra Strong, Sasha Urban and Austin Laine Walker. Puppeteers are Robin Walsh and Craig Ward Gibson.

Producers are Leigh R. Crawford, Tony Jones, Betsy Zajko and Burk Zanft, with Heather Marie Marsden serving as Consulting Producer. Creative team includes Andrea Keller (Production Design), Chris Moscatiello (Music Director), Ann Closs-Farley (Costume Design), Derrick McDaniel (Lighting Designer) and Victoria Hoffman (Casting).

Smaller Michael with Corey and Emmanuel

Tickets to FOR THE LOVE OF A GLOVE are on sale today at https://www.fortheloveofaglove.com.

Reach the production on Instagram and Twitter at @fortheloveofaglove and on Facebook at “For the Love of a Glove.”

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