As usual I worry about being mean about new British musical theatre because people will then accuse me of not supporting the industry etc. but I thought it was a bit pants, really. Songs going nowhere melodically or lyrically, lots of LOUD BELTING AT THE TOP OF YOUR VOCAL RANGE deafening the audience, and a very, very odd plot - it's still not much clearer even locating the letter to the top of the show, and basically nothing gets resolved. I understand that in a 54 second moment perhaps you only get a snapshot - but I don't think a single plotline reached a conclusion.
My personal interpretation is that the Busker has never had a relationship with anyone and that the letter isn't his either. He fancies Secretary!Kate and imagines what he would do if he asks her out on a date - but he mostly is just making up stories about the lives of everyone in the lift with him and from the letter. That's why everyone's called Gabriel, Sarah or Kate - because those are the names from the letter or that he overhears in the lift. There's nothing to say that the nameless teacher is a lesbian, or that Secretary!Kate loves her boss... it's all just made up.
The show isn't thought-provoking in the right way - it's just baffling. The teacher's song is just an endless list of places/things she's "lost in" - so what? What does that tell us? What does Stripperina!Kate's song say that the book scenes didn't already (although honestly that applies to all the songs)? Why is there no consistency to when the "avatars" in the chatroom speak and when the real people do? etc. etc.
Where are the cheap shows using kids? ANYTHING using kids is horrifically expensive to run. Charlie is going to be hugely costly - not to mention Matilda and Billy Elliot's continued runs.
As for the shows you have closing next year, let's think about what's replacing them:
Cabaret - no idea what's opening at the Savoy when that closes, could be anything really
Shrek - replaced by Charlie, starring Douglas Hodge and who knows who else, likely to be a huge spectacular show
Dreamboats - isn't even in a musical house, no wonder a play's taking over again
Taboo - not playing a traditional theatre venue
Chicago tour - there will be other tours to employ all those actors next year
Once has a larger cast than Blood Brothers (and one that requires quadruple threats as it's an actor muso show). Ghost is being replaced by Viva Forever, starring the great Sally Ann Triplett and a hugely talented young cast. Grease went years ago. Legally was replaced by Cabaret, and WOZ is of course being replaced by Chorus Line.
Of course all these things are down to personal taste, but I'm not sure what you want to see that means the new shows we're getting aren't exciting.
So what musicals are opening ? The Bodyguard and Viva Forever ... jukebox musicals.
Thank goodness for The Book of Mormon transferring.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory too (although I guess that's a way away). And the Chorus Line/Kiss Me Kate revivals.
At least Viva Forever has an original storyline - and let's not forget that Loserville isn't entirely original anyway, with four or five songs coming off a pre-existing album.
For people who say that Loserville hasn't "found its audience" - who do you think that audience was? Who do you think didn't come to see the show? No matter how good the reviews had been (and it didn't deserve rave reviews anyway), it's not a family show (you wouldn't take little kids to see it and their parents would be bored), it's not a date show, it's not massively funny nor particularly dramatic... it's a show about teenagers that appeals to young adults who aren't going to spend full price on a stalls ticket. From a commercial point of view it just wasn't a goer.
I'm sure the show will make back some of its losses through licensing on the amateur circuit; it's the kind of thing that youth groups, NYMT etc. will lap up, far more so than other flops like Lend Me A Tenor.