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A Strange Loop

From 213 member  reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Great acting, Great singing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

About the show

Playwrights Horizons and Page 73's new musical follows a young artist at war with a host of demons — not least of which, his own punishing thoughts — in an attempt to capture and understand his own strange loop. More…

Usher is a black, queer writer, working a day job he hates while writing his original musical: a piece about a black, queer writer, working a day job he hates while writing his original musical.

Member Reviews (213)


Ambitious, Great acting, Great singing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

Meta, Repetitious, Ambitious, Earnest, Thought-provoking

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.

Also Michael R. Jackson's tale of Usher's battle with his demons is a bumpy... Read more Read less

Indulgent, Funny, Cliched, Clever, Ambitious

See it if you are FAMISHED for any kind of "black" theater

Don't see it if you were expecting high brow black theater, because this is very "Tyler Perry story-telling" style despite what it preaches! WORD!!!

Also I'm all about EXPANDING black theater beyond the "Chitlin circut" styl... Read more Read less

Has tyler perry seen this?, Indulgent, Great singing, Excruciating, Confusing

See it if A strong black, gay, cis-gender male voice trying to figure suss out a world of confusing sexual & racial existence, acceptance & evolution.

Don't see it if I didn't understand this. As a white, straight, cis-gender male I didn't get it. Strong, intelligent, conflicted and earnest but lost on me

Refreshing, Overrated, Great singing, Great acting, Confusing

See it if you like supporting new works, shows with LGBTQ+ themes, and are curious about all the hype

Don't see it if you are sensitive to heavy language/sexual situations or would rather see a show with a more traditional plot

Also Bold, unapologetic, and mostly entertaining. The acting and singing ar... Read more Read less

During previews
Cliched, Confusing, Absorbing, Funny

See it if You are interested in the story of a black, overweight gay man trying to write a musical and find his way in life.

Don't see it if LGBT stories don’t interest you. You have no tolerance for an unfinished work.

Also There’s a lot to like in Strange Loop, including great performances an... Read more Read less

During previews
Overhyped music and play, Nice ideas but comes off unfocused rant, Amateur lead, Overrated, Audience responds to political rant alignment and sassy negatives . storytelling/writing lacks

See it if you want to see the "Inside Out" film idea on an overweight black LGBT musical theater writer. Interesting topic but doesn't work here.

Don't see it if you need smart/precise stories and production. Flat and runs out of steam - even in cultural rants. Stronger writing and direction needed.

Also Pixar idea (inner white girl) that falls apart with muddy writing and ... Read more Read less

During previews
Vulgar,, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if You want to see a 25 year old, troubled, confused young man bare his life. There was no redemption. Nothing new here at all.

Don't see it if As a gay man myself, I found it vulgar. "Edgy" doesn't mean crass. I found it disturbing. Are we laughing with him or at him?

Also I really did not care for this. I am a Gay Man. I lived through the Ai... Read more Read less

During previews
Repetitive, Nice moments towards the end, "title of show" did this better, "meta" parts don't work, Unnecessarily vulgar

See it if want to see a powerful song where a mother's comforting love curdles into a diatribe against homosexuality. The show hits its stride here.

Don't see it if Meta "how to write a show about me" conceit is tiresome. PH should've helped shape this promising piece and put it in their smaller theater

During previews
Slow, Disappointing, Banal

See it if You enjoy watching a cast have a blast on stage.

Don't see it if You’re uncomfortable with queer and black themes, or you prefer concrete plot lines over Brechtian ones.

June 17th, 2019
"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...
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June 17th, 2019
"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 Strang...
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June 17th, 2019
"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 re...
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June 17th, 2019
"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 b...
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Cast & Creatives (5)