A Strange Loop
MusicMichael R. Jackson
LyricsMichael R. Jackson
BookMichael R. Jackson
PremiereMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03): Playwrights Horizons, New York City
Productions
AwardsObie Award for Playwrighting
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical
Pulitzer Prize for Drama

A Strange Loop is a musical with book, music and lyrics by Michael R. Jackson. The show had its world premiere Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in co-production with Page 73 Productions[1] and ran from May 24 to July 28, 2019. The original cast recording was released on September 27, 2019, on Yellow Sound Label.[2] The album peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Cast Albums chart.[3] The Washington, DC production at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company originally scheduled for September 2020 was postponed to December 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[4][5] A Strange Loop is expected to premiere on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre in early 2022.[6] A Strange Loop won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Summary

The musical is about Usher, coincidentally named the same as his day-job as an usher for The Lion King on Broadway, a fat, Black, gay writer who tries to navigate the heteronormative white world. He is backed by a six-person all-black-queer ensemble who voice his inner thoughts as he begrudgingly ghost writes a new Tyler Perry stage play.[7]

Cast and characters

Character MTF Workshop (2017) Off-Broadway (2019)[8] Washington, DC (2021)[5]
Usher Larry Owens Jaquel Spivey
Thought 1 Larry Hamilton L Morgan Lee
Thought 2 James Jackson, Jr.
Thought 3 Elijah Caldwell John-Michael Lyles
Thought 4 John-Andrew Morrison
Thought 5 Chris White Jason Veasey
Thought 6 Antwayn Hopper

Musical numbers

Awards and nominations

On May 4, 2020, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to Jackson for the musical, with the committee citing the show as "A metafictional musical that tracks the creative process of an artist transforming issues of identity, race, and sexuality that once pushed him to the margins of the cultural mainstream into a meditation on universal human fears and insecurities." The show is the tenth musical to win the award, as well as the first musical written by a black person to win and first musical to win without a Broadway run.[9]

Original Off-Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2020 Lucille Lortel Awards[10] Outstanding Musical A Strange Loop Nominated
Outstanding Director Stephen Brackett Nominated
Outstanding Choreographer Raja Feather Kelly Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical Larry Owens Won
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical John-Andrew Morrison Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical L Morgan Lee Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design Montana Levi Blanco Nominated
Drama Desk Awards[11] Outstanding Musical A Strange Loop Won
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Larry Owens Won
Outstanding Director of a Musical Stephen Brackett Won
Outstanding Music Michael R. Jackson Nominated
Outstanding Lyrics Won
Outstanding Book of a Musical Won
New York Drama Critic's Circle Awards[12] Best Musical A Strange Loop Won
Drama League Awards[13] Outstanding Production of a Musical A Strange Loop Nominated
Distinguished Performance Award Larry Owens Nominated
Off-Broadway Alliance Awards[14] Best New Musical A Strange Loop Won
Pulitzer Prize Pulitzer Prize for Drama Michael R. Jackson Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical A Strange Loop Honoree
Outstanding Book of a Musical Michael R. Jackson Honoree
Outstanding New Score Michael R. Jackson Honoree
Outstanding Director of a Musical Stephen Brackett Honoree
Outstanding Choreographer Raja Feather Kelly Honoree
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Larry Owens Honoree
Obie Award[15] Playwrighting Michael R. Jackson Won
Special Citation Creative team and ensemble – Antwayn Hopper, James Jackson, Jr., L Morgan Lee, John-Michael Lyles, John-Andrew Morrison, Larry Owens, Jason Veasey, Elijah Caldwell, Stephen Brackett, Raja Feather Kelly, Arnulfo Maldonado, Montana Levi Blanco, Jen Schriever, Alex Hawthorn, Cookie Jordan, Charlie Rosen, Rona Siddiqui, Michael R. Jackson Won

References

  1. ^ "A Strange Loop, by Michael R. Jackson". www.pulitzer.org.
  2. ^ "A Strange Loop (Original Cast Recording)". Amazon Music. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  3. ^ "Chart Search". Billboard. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  4. ^ Culwell-Block, Logan (2020-05-15). "Broadway-Aimed D.C. Production of A Strange Loop Postponed to Summer 2021". Playbill. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
  5. ^ a b Gans, Andrew (December 3, 2021). "Michael R. Jackson's A Strange Loop Opens at Woolly Mammoth December 3". Playbill. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  6. ^ Culwell-Block, Logan (December 20, 2021). "Pulitzer-Winning A Strange Loop to Play Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  7. ^ Rizzo, Frank. "Off Broadway Review: 'A Strange Loop'". Variety. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  8. ^ "A Strange Loop". Playwrightshorizons. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "A Strange Loop, by Michael R. Jackson". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  10. ^ Clement, Olivia (2020-04-14). "Playwrights Horizons Leads 2020 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations With Strange Loop and Heroes of the Fourth Turning". Playbill. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  11. ^ "PBreaking: 2020 Drama Desk Awards Nominations- The Full List!". Broadway World. April 21, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  12. ^ "2019-2020 New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards". dramacritics.org. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  13. ^ BWW News Desk. "Breaking News: Drama League Announces 2020 Nominations". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  14. ^ Clement, Olivia (April 28, 2020). "Check Out the Nominees for the Off-Broadway Alliance Awards". Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  15. ^ "2020 Obie Awards". obieawards.com. Retrieved July 14, 2020.