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A Strange Loop

From 214 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 (214)


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

Thought-provoking, Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if This show is for someone that is looking for a thought provoking show that brings out a lot of different emotions.

Don't see it if If you want a conventional play that doesn’t make you take a hard look at society.

Dizzying, Edgy, Ambitious, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate courage, original music, fresh perspectives, fantastically clever lyrics, new perspectives, and unconventional beauty

Don't see it if If you are homophobic you will either be woken up or greatly challenged by this play to see all people as worthy and beautiful

Cliched, Banal, Dizzying, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you enjoy plays about current topics

Don't see it if you are offended by plays about gay men

Funny, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if If you have voices in your head from people and experiences in your past, you will relate to this show. Plus: top notch writing & music.

Don't see it if There is explicit reference to, and enactment of, gay sex. There's swearing, including the n-word. There is criticism of religion.

Also The experiences of the main character are very specific (he's 25 years... Read more Read less

Masterful, Funny, Exquisite, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if This show is simply incredibly. Completely unique and new voice breaking down barriers. A Must see.

Don't see it if You're looking for the same old tired musicals.

During previews
Needs shaping, Thought-provoking, Sexually charged, Strong voices, Great staging

See it if you like cutting-edge muscals. Creative staging, strg design (set, costumes). Many gd songs. Impt rarely-heard POV. Bl gay issues in USA.

Don't see it if you want resolns. You're caught (w talented author) in loop. No learning by rejecting parents. Destructive self-loathing. Repetitive issues.

Also ASL starts out strong, but it loses its way (it's a long 2 hr path...w... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Great staging, Refreshing, Intelligent, Hilarious

See it if You like shows that use multiple actors to portray the main character’s thoughts and emotions. No linear plot line. Great songs/singing.

Don't see it if If you’re not ready to look at some of today’s issues presented in a direct unflinching way. I guess it would probably be considered not PC.

Also I LOVED this show. Can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed so hard a... Read more Read less

During previews
Refreshing, Must see, Profound, Entertaining, Original

See it if You want to see an original show and a refreshing take on what musical theater can be. Raw, emotional, funny. One of year’s best!

Don't see it if You can’t handle very explicit sexual material.

During previews
Relevant, Indulgent, Raunchy, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if Jackson's very meta, very intense, very reactionary, very sexually raunchy musical about black gay male identity Very, very in your face!

Don't see it if After the initial shock wears off (if it does), has much to say about commodification in black/white male society An angry/sad cri de coeur

During previews
Bravura lead performance, Brilliantly composed, Brilliantly written, Startling, Fresh

See it if you have an interest in current theater, innovative musicals, black, queer or American culture, life in NYC or the human heart.

Don't see it if your idea of American art is Confederate statues.

Also I won’t say much about the story of “A Strange Loop.” That might spoil... Read more Read less

During previews
Intense, Hilarious, Edgy, Original, Bold

See it if shocking honestly about life as a black, gay man expressed with humor and music interests you. It is unlike anything I have seen before.

Don't see it if you dislike sexual scenes or extreme stereotypes to make points. Or you have hearing problems & are unwilling to use a hearing device.

During previews
Raw, Refreshing, Great singing, Great acting, Edgy

See it if A transgressive male -- black, gay, thick -- creates revealing meta-musical about a transgressive black, gay, thick male begging acceptance.

Don't see it if Darkly comic. False self-deprecation. Sexual situations. Raunch. Slurs. Still, there's more raw honesty here than is accustomed.

Also "Like one lone black gay boy I knew who chose to turn his back on the ... Read more Read less

During previews
Musical that will blow your mind by showing a musical being created before your eyes about the torments of being a young black gay man aspiring to write a groundbreaking musical about his life; may be too self-referential for some

See it if hilarious, scabrous, heartbreaking; clever lyrics; convincing lead, ensemble used inventively 2 embody artist's inner obsessions

Don't see it if involves a lot of navel gazing; cliche-ish portrayal of intolerant parents; explicit gay sex not 4 everyone

Also Congrats to Michael Jackson, who is the creative force behind this wor... Read more Read less

During previews
Quirky, Great acting, Great singing, Funny, Clever

See it if One man with his thoughts and emotions played by six (actors) thoughts. You want to laugh alot and just go with it.

Don't see it if If you get offended or uncomfortable with the subject.

Also Laughed a lot very enjoyable show. This is a Adult show.

During previews
Great acting, Clever, Entertaining, Very sexy, Highly original

See it if You enjoy in your face style theatre ! You are not squeamish about gay sex. You enjoy bio style theatre. You enjoy theatrical surprises !

Don't see it if You have no interest in the trials and life of a young black queer guy. You don’t enjoy raw language and actions to match.

During previews
Funny/sad, Fearless and honest, Very explicit lyrics, Actor larry owens is fantastic.

See it if Want an oft-hilarious, cleverly staged show based on playwright's real life; a heavy, blk gay man w all the cultural issues that assumes.

Don't see it if Have no interest in this important story and/or would be offended by raunchy staging/songs. It's long (no intrmssn) and sadly, no catharsis.

During previews
Very inventive. good music, Good music. good staging. good singing.

See it if You appreciate creative musicals dealing with the lgbtq community

Don't see it if You don’t want to see plays about lgbtq issues.

During previews
Masterful, Touching, Raunchy, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you want to see a highly original new musical with a terrific cast and a first-rate production

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with gay themes, simulated sex and rough language.

Also One of the most inventive shows I have seen this year.

During previews
One writer: book, music, lyrics, Deeply personal, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if Struggle to overcome negative thoughts and feelings about self-identity, being gay, race, weight, loneliness, self-esteem, religion & family

Don't see it if You don’t have empathy with someone who may have different personal problems than you. Real life language doesn’t hold anything back.

During previews
Cans of worms, Raunchy, Intense, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if A dive into a char’s consciousness. Cynical/accurate re what sells musicals. “If you don’t please the Caucasians you won’t get the dough!"

Don't see it if you think loops are for losers who don't try hard enough; a black, gay, fat man’s perspective’s too marginal to interest. NYC-centric.

Also Pretty much every minute is riveting. I-can’t-believe-it-went-there mo... Read more Read less

During previews
Home run in first at-bat for emerging playwright

See it if Inspired musical by and about a black gay man -- graphic, but tugs at the heartstrings. Exuberant cast. Surprising set. I must get the CD

Don't see it if Father and, especially, mother's ranting songs against homosexuality are so honest as to be uncomfortable. Sex scene and dialogue are nailed

During previews
Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great singing, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you want to see musical telling story personal & close to home for the playwright without being indulgent. Entertaining & funny, also sad.

Don't see it if you can’t handle offensive and politically incorrect language. Delivered in humorous way, but awkward at times—unsure to laugh or not.

During previews
Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great singing, Great acting

See it if you like fun,refreshing new musicals exploring the boundaries of a character (young, black gay man) without being wordy or clichéd

Don't see it if you are offended by raunchy language and behavior.

During previews
Ambitious, Super queer, Raunchy

See it if Emotional rollercoaster of a fat, fem, and Black gay man barreling through the unaccepting gay and theater world that’s superficial & judgy.

Don't see it if Frequent cussing, N word, gay sex / hook up culture talk turn you off. Very emotional discussions of larger body, sex, race, religion,family

Also Diversity: all queer Black cast!... Read more Read less

During previews
Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if A powerfully and absorbing look into an African-American gay man’s life.

Don't see it if If the topic of being gay offends you.

Also We went back a second time to experience the brilliance of Michael R J... 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)