Ends Jul 28 | 1h 45m | Midtown W

A Strange Loop

From 188 member reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Great singing, Great acting, 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 (188)

MEMBERS SAY:

Ambitious, Great singing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing
85
Avg Score

90
Masterful, Great staging, Exquisite, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You want to see a superb cast, especially Larry Owens. Your emotions run the gamut. Complex and thought provoking.

Don't see it if You will be uncomfortable with graphic discussions of homosexual behavior.

91
Riveting, Intense, Edgy, Great staging, Clever

See it if You want to hear a fresh voice in musical theater.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with explicit sexual references, and race, size and sexual preference issues.

100
Epic, Must see, Profound, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you care about LGBT issues or issues of race; you like shows that don’t have cohesive plots but have important things to say.

Don't see it if the above is not true

82
Self-absorbed, Great music, Clever

See it if you like to witness unique, fresh, new theatrical voices. This is a joy from start to finish, despite some uneven moments.Complex & relevant

Don't see it if you don't find the topics of being gay, black, fat, male in today's America relevant or interesting. The show can get tedious & repetitive.

79
Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Profound, Great staging, Great singing

See it if you want to experience and support new musical theatre. It is a fascinating insight to a world many of us know nothing about

Don't see it if you are easily offended or if you are looking for a perfectly polished product. most of the second half of the show seemed to lose the point

90
Relevant, Great writing, Quirky, Edgy, Clever

See it if you like edgy, fresh musical theater from a young, exciting, black, queer and, yes, fat writer. He goes there without apology. Courageous!

Don't see it if you're looking for tame and entertaining. Entertaining, yes, but not tame.

Also Exciting work from an exciting young talent. Real potential to grow an... Read more Read less

70
Shows promise

See it if You like very meta tales of musical theatre artists in a musical.

Don't see it if You want a narrative that is straight forward and not self referencing throughout.

Also The first 30 minutes are a lot of fun. Some fun songs and lyrics. But ... Read more Read less

65
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

90
Must see, Raunchy, Edgy, Dizzying, Clever

See it if you are up to an outrageous, "in your face" rollercoaster that speaks volumes - if you are listening.......

Don't see it if you are easily offended or shocked.

85
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Raunchy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if a musical about an overweight black gay writer with lots of humor and great performances appeals. Full of subtle references and satire.

Don't see it if humorless repetitiveness and lack of resolution in the last 1/3 of an otherwise brilliant and insightful production discourages you.

90
Intelligent, Great singing, Resonant, Refreshing

See it if Big-hearted, fun, & undeniably smart musical that does its best to break down any stable sense of a self. Larry Owens = a national treasure!

Don't see it if With Playwrights Horizons' Student and Under 35 deals, this near-perfect musical is also made affordable for a larger audience.

77
Funny, Intelligent, Raunchy, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if You like a musical that's the anti-Broadway musical, you like to think about questions of race and homosexuality in a broadminded way

Don't see it if You want a more traditional musical, prefer political polemics, R rated material offends you

90
Relevant, Must see, Intense, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if you want to see how creative process and inner thoughts and background are inseparable. Relatable to all of us.

Don't see it if If you don't think you can relate to someone that is not exactly like you. Explicit sex scene.

25
Overrated, Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You like confusing story lines

Don't see it if Enjoy great singing

89
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intense, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you want to see a show about a man who's queer, black and overweight. It's unapologetically honest. The protagonist is complex and human.

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with strong language. The story is frank and graphic in its treatment of sex, race, religion, and many other issues.

91
Resonant, Great writing, Great singing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy hearing an original new voice, who speaks truth (even if sometimes uncomfortable) and makes the audience sit up and take notice.

Don't see it if You're homophobic or a prude.

Also I didn't know what to expect, but I loved this show. Yes, it's meta an... Read more Read less

88
Intelligent, Entertaining, Absorbing, Clever

See it if You appreciate talent! Also, very clever writing and inventive ways of telling story.

Don't see it if you have problems with simulated sex on stage.

78
Indulgent, Ambitious, Great singing

See it if you like Tyler Perry or that kind of delivery. It's a little different than I expected and i liked the music and style.

Don't see it if you want to experience an intelligent thought=provoking story. It sort of runs out of steam with the on-and-on ranting

70
Ambitious, Funny

See it if you like non-traditional structures. Or shows about putting on a show.

Don't see it if you want shows tat are realistic and do not break the fourth wall.

Also The ensemble steals the show. They are all wonderful playing many char... Read more Read less

79
Very strange, Quirky, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if You want to go on a wild musical trip of gay, black, Christian, insert intersectional identities, self loathing for 1:45.

Don't see it if You don’t need to see or hear about anal sex constantly. A few times, ok, I get it. After the 119th time, ok...we are not your shrink.

80
Indulgent, Resonant, Profound, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you're white.

Don't see it if you have to pay an arm and leg for a ticket.

83
Great staging, Unapologetically black, Thought-provoking, Imaginatively original, Ambitious

See it if You want to dive into a rabbit hole centering black queerness and more, you want existentialism, you like Urinetown/Rent/Be More Chill

Don't see it if You’re not ready to face actual intersectionality of embodied complexity that is graphic in voice, physicality and staging

Also The whole show is worthily original and refreshing. It is also long - ... Read more Read less

90
Intelligent, Great singing, Entertaining, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate musicals with great singing, a show that will have you laugh, cry, and reflect.

Don't see it if You don't like shows that focus on identity.

83
Complex, Impressive

See it if you want to see a new talent burst onto the scene with confidence and a distinctive, compelling musical voice.

Don't see it if you're going to be offended by frank, sometimes vulgar talk about queerness and blackness, or upset by a work that's rough around the edges.

Also This work isn't 100% polished, but damn it's good. The highs are high,... Read more Read less

87
Edgy, Absorbing, Great singing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy top musical talent that's not overproduced and are looking for content that might challenge your perspective.

Don't see it if Candid stories about self loathing, gay sex, being overweight and racial descrimination are too off putting or may be tough for you to watch

Also This play kept surprising me in ways that I appreciated - the talent, ... Read more Read less


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)