Cast Set for Pre-Broadway Run of Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop
Casting is set for the pre-Broadway run of Michael R. Jackson‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop. Originally announced to play at at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C in September 2020 and then delayed due to COVID-19, A Strange Loop will now begin performances on November 22 for a six-week limited run. Newcomer Jaquel Spivey will star as Usher, the role played by Larry Owens when the musical had its world premiere at off-Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons in 2019.
Joining Spivey are original cast members Antwayn Hopper, L Morgan Lee, John-Michael Lyles, James Jackson, Jr., John-Andrew Morrison and Jason Veasey. Christopher Michael Richardson joins the cast as the understudy for Usher.
“When I think about all the unexpected work Woolly could do, what’s more unexpected than a Broadway-bound musical?” said Maria Manuela Goyanes, artistic director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. “This show is very special to me. When I was 25 and Michael R. Jackson was 24 and still in graduate school, I directed the first early readings of A Strange Loop. With this project, my past is becoming my present, and, in a way, my very own strange loop! This musical centers a Black queer man whose experience stands in sharp relief to the more mainstream LGBTQ progress we’ve seen over the past decade. Woolly Mammoth will break into song with what I believe to be completely Woolly material—a bold show with nerve, replete with soaring and gut-wrenching show tunes.”
A Strange Loop is directed by Stephen Brackett and features a book, music and lyrics by Jackson. Rona Siddiqui music directs with Raja Feather Kelly serving as choreographer.
The musical explores the thoughts of Usher, a Black, queer writer working as a Broadway usher while writing his original musical: a piece about a Black, queer writer working as a Broadway usher while writing his original musical
A Strange Loop received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The musical has also won five Outer Critics Circle Award Honors, two Lucille Lortel Awards and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical.
The creative team also includes set designer Arnulfo Maldonado, costume designer Montana Levi Blanco, lighting designer Jennifer Schriever, sound designer Drew Levy, hair/wig/makeup designer Cookie Jordan and orchestrator Charlie Rosen.