See it if One gay man's experience told very powerfully and dramatically. Fantastic cast! Great music, direction & choreography.
Don't see it if Excessive profanity and explicit sexual language is not your cup of tea. It wasn't clear if there was a catharsis at the end.
See it if Really great music. The story and performances are very realistic.
Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with occasional sexual references.
See it if Queer chubby black 25 year old w/homophobic parents seeks his identity by writing this musical. Blistering honesty. Great music & staging.
Don't see it if You don’t want to see another show about a confused, angry 25 year old finding & accepting themself. Elaborate, humiliating gay sex scene.
See it if you like innovative, funny, serious, powerful musicals about character trying to belong within gay culture & African-American religiosity,
Don't see it if uncomfortable with graphic descriptions of gay life or criticism of conservative Christianity, actors playing multiple overlapping roles Read more
See it if u want to see a thoughtful, thought-provoking (& honest, personal) coming-of-age story that starts strong but eventually goes off-the-rails.
Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with frank (gay) sexual language & simulation, profanity & raw emotion; you seek a safe, conventional musical. Read more
See it if You love contemporary musicals about relevant issues (specifically, being a gay, black man) that are entertaining & have hummable scores.
Don't see it if You’re uninterested in navel-gazing stories, especially those about coming to terms with who you are and who you want to be.
See it if Super talent, Great staging The "usher" role is a gem. Supporting cast magic.
Don't see it if Risque. If done by others it would be called racist, Not for the faint of heart
See it if you enjoy shows that explore themes of identity, self-loathing, homosexuality, or struggling to make your dreams come true.
Don't see it if you’re not into meta shows. Due to the deeply personal nature of this play, the story-telling devices employed can feel lazy.
"Whether you are delighted, appalled or annoyed by the resulting production — and the odds are you will experience all of these responses — you can’t deny that it is uncompromisingly, exactly what it claims to be. Directed with admirable clarity by Brackett, with fabulously inventive choreography by Raja Feather Kelly, 'A Strange Loop' is a self-portrait in an endless hall of mirrors that dares to forbid closure, escape or redemption to the artistically thwarted being at its center."
"The first 20 minutes are an exhilarating cocktail of hilarious lyrical complexity and Owens’s Idina Menzel belt; even after the rage begins to mount, Jackson—abetted by a bravura ensemble and Brackett’s super direction—keeps extending what we can take with explosively funny asides. But 'A Strange Loop,' for all its mayhem, is basically a Passion play...Owens and Jackson take our hands and press them deep into the wound that the world has made: It stains us, but it stanches the blood."
"Jackson’s triumph with 'A Strange Loop' is that by diving into the excruciatingly personal, he finds the broadly human...If 'A Strange Loop' sometimes feels like an early play — like a writer trying to muscle through the 20s-dominating obsession with self so that he can break out and into the rest of the world and the rest of his work and life — it’s also rich with clever comedy and eviscerating honesty."
"Sometimes exhilarating, sometimes exasperating...The loops and hoops that Usher has to go through in the show’s final quarter become entangled with careening themes and repetition...Still, both Usher’s journey and Jackson’s show offer bracing insights into the endless strata of conflicts faced by those who are young, gifted and black — and so much more."
"This show can’t decide whether to lead a revolution, sell out, or curl up in a ball hurling insults at a mirror. That’s the subversive, polymorphous genius of it...The seven-member cast is nothing short of heroic...Director Stephen Brackett brings it together with style and verve, immensely aided by Raja Feather Kelly’s seemingly bottomless bag of choreographic tricks."
"We get 100 uninterrupted minutes of the rawest, funniest, most uncomfortably honest musical you're likely to see all year...In Usher, Jackson has created a character that doesn't fit neatly into any tribe, which makes him that much more potent as a dramatic force...The result is a show that uses the language of musical theater to express ideas that have never been uttered in a musical."
"'A Strange Loop' takes a highly unpromising premise and spins it into something startlingly, brutally honest...I cannot think of any other play that has so uncompromisingly confronted the institutional homophobia found in many black churches; this alone makes 'A Strange Loop' one for the books...'A Strange Loop' is a cry from the heart, but not so raw that one wants to turn away. This is due no doubt in part to Stephen Brackett's crisp, fast-moving direction."
"But for a good stretch, Jackson keeps us engaged....Jackson's melodies fall easily on the ear, when they don't repeat themselves too much, and his lyrics are rather better than his music, when they don't repeat themselves too much...Jackson, in short, is lucky. Which isn't to say he lacks talent. 'A Strange Loop' shows promise, and one hopes that, having gotten this musical session on the couch out of his system, he'll next tackle something more far-reaching."