‘For the Love of a Glove’: Echo Park musical puts a spin on Michael Jackson’s life story


“For the Love of a Glove” is a musical that tells the story of Michael Jackson’s life from the perspective of his glove. This time, his famous rhinestone-bedazzled glove is an alien from outer space. The play is going on now at The Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Theater in Echo Park.

This is the very first performance at this theater. The venue is run by the Center for Inquiry, a nonprofit that aims to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry and humanist values. 

Julien Nitzberg, writer and director of “For the Love of a Glove,” first got the idea for the story 17 years ago when studio executives approached him about writing a movie about Michael Jackson.

“When you're writing a biopic, you want to understand the person and sympathize with them. And even though I did a ton of research and was a big MJ fan as a kid, I couldn't make sense of his life,” Nitzberg says. 

So Nitzberg, inspired by surrealist writers like Nikolai Gogol and Franz Kafka, pitched the executives a certain version of Jackson's story. In it, an alien glove gave Jackson incredible powers -- in exchange for his blood -- and forced him to do terrible things. 

“I told the network this, and they laughed and said, ‘That is the funniest pitch we've ever heard. But can you do the normal version?’ ”

But Nitzberg wasn’t interested in a normal version. Fast forward 17 years, his surrealist vision of Michael Jackson’s life is now a musical with puppets playing through March 22.

Eric B. Anthony plays Michael Jackson. Photo credit: “For the Love of a Glove.”

Suzanne Nichols. Photo credit: “For the Love of a Glove.”



David Weinberg