A Strange Loop, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Michael R. Jackson, is everything Broadway is not — risky, shocking, hilarious, dangerous, thrilling. The meta-meta musical ostensibly follows Usher, an – you got it – usher at The Lion King on Broadway on his journey trying to pen a musical about a black gay man trying to write a Broadway play. Usher, played to perfection by Jaquel Spivey in his first professional role, is tormented by his doubts that are manifested by six crackerjack actors – played by L Morgan Lee, James Jackson Jr., John-Michael Lyles, John-Andrew Morrison, Jason Veasey and Antwayn Hopper – as well his mother who just wants him to write like Tyler Perry (who is mercilessly skewered throughout the show).


What follows is hard to believe – and it’s so daring and out-there that you have to pinch yourself to believe you are watching a Broadway show. His doubts about his writing, racial identity, body and self-worth are just some of the multitude of topics explored. It ain’t for the prudish – the show is filled with explicit talk about gay sex – or those seeking comforting show tunes. But great theater often means getting outside one’s comfort zone. A Strange Loop really awakens viewers to the possibilities of theater by confounding expectations of what a Broadway show really can be.

A Strange Loop is now playing on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre. Get your tickets now.

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