Long journey for 'A Strange Loop' leads to 11 Tony Award nominations

"A Strange Loop" has earned more Tony Award nominations than any other show to open on Broadway this past year: 11 nominations in all including best musical.

May 25, 2022, 11:56 AM

Updated 785 days ago

Share:

"A Strange Loop" has earned more Tony Award nominations than any other show to open on Broadway this past year: 11 nominations in all including best musical. 
It's been a long journey to Broadway. Michael R. Jackson began writing "A Strange Loop" some 18 years ago. The main character, Usher, is a young, Black, gay man who is trying to write a musical while haunted by negative self talk. The other six cast members of "A Strange Loop" portray Usher's thoughts - inner voices that are often negative, setting up the conflict within Usher as he deals with self image, his sexuality, race and sense of identity. 
"Having started writing the show at a young age when I felt unseen, unheard, misunderstood and to try to capture that feeling of alienation in a jar, for it to resonate with audiences and people today means a lot to me because it means I'm not alone," says Jackson. 
Jackson wrote the book, music and lyrics to "A Strange Loop." The musical won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2020. The previous year it made its off-Broadway debut at Playwrights Horizons.
Jackson was 23 years old when he began writing "A Strange Loop," and says he's grown through the years of creating the show.
"I'm a different person in a lot of ways but I'm also the same," he says. "I'm the same artist who has a deep longing and questioning of his circumstance and who he was in the world. But I'm also different in that I don't have the same destructive and toxic thoughts that I had as a young person."

In addition to Jackson's Tony nominations for best original score and best book of a musical, Jaquel Spivey who plays Usher is nominated for best lead actor in a musical, John-Andrew Morrison for featured actor in a musical and a history-making best featured actress nomination  for L. Morgan Lee, the first transgender performer to be nominated for a Tony Award.
"A Strange Loop" is performed at the Lyceum Theatre.


More from News 12