Already closed | 1h 45m | Midtown W

A Strange Loop

From 207 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 (207)

MEMBERS SAY:

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

During previews
85
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
80
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
94
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
77
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
75
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
87
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
91
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
80
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
75
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
91
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
85
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
95
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
100
Masterful, Great writing, Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see an amazing original new musical. Off the charts in all ways. Must see

Don't see it if You have trouble with language and looking at real deep issues.

During previews
95
Edgy, Ambitious, Must see, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if You want to see a great play like nothing you have seen. It is funny, smart, personal, moving, uncompromising and unafraid to break rules.

Don't see it if Afraid of or uncomfortable with: blackness, queerness, introspection, self and family disapproval, simulated sodomy or dissing Tyler Perry.

Also This tells an important story in entertaining fashion, but one not usu... Read more Read less

During previews
90
Exquisite, Raunchy, Quirky, Edgy, Hilarious

See it if You love an Off-Broadway musical that does what no Broadway musical ever could, because it's so family unfriendly and just downright crazy.

Don't see it if You have an uptight bone in your body. You will be offended.

During previews
91
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Funny, Ambitious

See it if you want to experience an IMPORTANT THEATRICAL VOICE exploring key themes in identity, sexuality, family, & career. Superb performances!

Don't see it if you're not prepared for sexually frank dialogue, music, & action re: the life of a gay black man dealing with homophobia and body shame.

Also Show could be tighter (family sections and gospel church sequence run ... Read more Read less

During previews
80
Thought-provoking, Dizzying, Great singing, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if you want to see staging from a theatrically unusual point of view: overweight, gay black man with all his insecurities. Cast is amazing.

Don't see it if you are offended by coarse language and sexually explicit scenes. Almost two hours with no intermission.

Also This deeply personal story held my interest completely. While there ar... Read more Read less

During previews
85
Thought-provoking, Emotional, Original, Great cast, Meta

See it if to experience the journey of the protagonist (playwright). While funny at times, his pain is palpable. Ambitious & creative show. Very meta.

Don't see it if not comfortable with LGBT themes, explicit depiction/description of sexuality, or going deep with painful experiences. Could be tightened.

During previews
86
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
79
Thought-provoking, Great singing, Funny

See it if you want a funny but hard-hitting show about black queer culture.

Don't see it if you don't like Real Housewives or like musicals to be purely fluffy.

During previews
99
Relevant, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You’re into the black queer narrative. Some harsh language, the N-word, and sexual talk, but, it was all relevant, as it was all woven to-

Don't see it if Gether. One of the best musicals, I’ve seen. It’s such a pivotal piece about the black gay plight. No reason not to see, unless you’re

Also Against the narrative. Tyler Perry/ it is not! It’s an incredible piec... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Resonant, Indulgent, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you're looking for characters traditionally unrepresented in musical theatre; you have an interest in identity issues

Don't see it if you're looking for a classic, feel-good musical; you're uncomfortable with brutally frank discussions of race, sexuality, and identity

Also Oh man, this show is going to live with me for a long time. I identify... Read more Read less

During previews
73
Indulgent, Unpolished, Funny, Crude, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a no holds barred musical exploration of black queer culture.

Don't see it if You're offended by crude language or want to see a expertly precise musical because this is a little rough around the edges.

During previews
80
Edgy, Boundary breaking, Great acting, Great singing, Exciting

See it if Full-on Bway-style musical about a queer black character who's writing a musical while full of self-loathing, demeaned by religious parents

Don't see it if Show is raw, out there, sometimes so personal it's hard to watch; not for young kids. But powerful, groundbreaking stuff and the lead is A++

During previews
84
Self-indulgent, Clever, Moving, Funny, Audacious

See it if A wild, reflecting -mirrors exploration of identity. Oozes creativity, energy and hormones. Jackson is a real talent.

Don't see it if The identity in question is a black, gay. overweight theater nerd. There is lots of booty sex talk and some mildly graphic same-sex sex.

Also This show is a good thing, even when it's too much of a good thing. Mi... 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...
read more
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...
read more
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...
read more
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...
read more

Related content


Cast & Creatives (5)