FULL CAST AND DATES ANNOUNCED FOR BROADWAY'S
A STRANGE LOOP
Starring ANTWAYN HOPPER, L MORGAN LEE, JOHN-MICHAEL LYLES, JAMES JACKSON, JR., JOHN-ANDREW MORRISON, JASON VEASEY,
and introducing JAQUEL SPIVEY
PERFORMANCES BEGIN WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2022
OPENING TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2022, AT BROADWAY’S LYCEUM THEATRE
(New York, NY) Tickets are now on sale for the Broadway premiere of A STRANGE LOOP, Michael R. Jackson’s Pulitzer-Prize winning musical, directed by Stephen Brackett, choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly, and produced by Barbara Whitman along with Page 73 Productions, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Playwrights Horizons. Previews will begin at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre (149 W 45th St) on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, and opening night is set for Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
The Broadway cast of A STRANGE LOOP features Jaquel Spivey, in his Broadway debut, as Usher. He joins original cast members Antwayn Hopper (Thought 6), L Morgan Lee (Thought 1), John-Michael Lyles (Thought 3), James Jackson, Jr. (Thought 2), John-Andrew Morrison (Thought 4), and Jason Veasey (Thought 5).
As a proud partner of A STRANGE LOOP, American Express® Card Members have access to exclusive pre-sale tickets before the general public beginning Tuesday, January 18 at 10:00AM (EDT) through Friday, January 21 at 9:59AM (EST) at Telecharge.com.
Presale tickets for A STRANGE LOOP are available exclusively to Audience Rewards® members from Friday, January 21st at 10AM ET to Tuesday, January 25th at 9:59AM ET. General on-sale begins Tuesday, January 25th at 10AM ET.
A STRANGE LOOP features set design by Arnulfo Maldonado, costumes by Montana Levi Blanco, lighting design by Jen Schriever, sound design by Drew Levy, music direction by Rona Siddiqui, orchestrations by Charlie Rosen and casting by The Telsey Office/Destiny Lilly.
Meet Usher: a Black, queer writer writing a musical about a Black, queer writer writing a musical about a Black, queer writer...
Michael R. Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, blisteringly funny masterwork exposes the heart and soul of a young artist grappling with desires, identity, and instincts he both loves and loathes. Hell-bent on breaking free of his own self-perception, Usher wrestles with the thoughts in his head, brought to life on stage by a hilarious, straight-shooting ensemble. Bold and heartfelt in its truth-telling, A STRANGE LOOP is the big, Black, and queer-ass Great American Musical for all.
Reviewing the recent run of A STRANGE LOOP at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Peter Marks of The Washington Post describes Jackson’s musical as “marvelously inventive, exhilarating, and beautifully staged by director Stephen Brackett and choreographer Raja Feather Kelly.” He writes, “There is so much to raise the spirits here. Jaquel Spivey makes an electric debut; it’s a guarantee you’ll never forget him. The score, played by a five-member band conducted by music director Rona Siddiqui, boils and bubbles in an ecstatic cascade of musicality. The ensemble members all deserve shout-outs.”
Michael R. Jackson was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for A STRANGE LOOP.
A STRANGE LOOP made its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons, in association with Page 73 Productions, in May 2019 to sold-out crowds. The show quickly became a critical favorite, praised as “exhilarating and wickedly funny” by New York Magazine’s Sara Holdren. Following the successful run, A STRANGE LOOP was the recipient of five Drama Desk Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, six Outer Critics Circle honors, two Obie awards, one Off-Broadway Alliance Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. The original cast recording of A STRANGE LOOP is available on Yellow Sound.
# # #
JAQUEL SPIVEY (Usher) is grateful to be making his professional debut in this iconic production. He recently graduated from Point Park University with a degree in Musical Theatre. He sends all of his love to Michael, Stephen, this stunning cast, Telsey+Co, Barbara, and Woolly Mammoth. For my family. God is good y’all! @jaquelspivey
ANTWAYN HOPPER (Thought 6) Broadway: HAIR! Select Off-Bway/NY: Pulitzer Prize Winning A Strange Loop (Playwrights Horizons), The Loophole (NY Public), Civil War Christmas (NYTW), and This Ain’t No Disco (NYSF). Select Regional: A Ghost In Satin (Williamstown Theatre Fest.), Nick's Flamingo Grill (Alliance), Camino Real (Goodman), The Brothers Size (Old Globe), Rent (Syracuse Stage), Jesus Christ Superstar (Lyric Opera House), Smokey Joe's Café (New Theatre). Film/TV: A Thousand And One, Girl Most Likely, Citizen Zero, The Knick, Blacklist, Royal Pains, Z: The Beginning Of Everything, Shades of Blue, A Gifted Man and the Voice of Shadow in Tear, Suture, Scab-a film to be released 2022. Recordings/In Concert: The Double Threat Trio (Demo, PCLO), Muscles: The Sun God (Jim Rado, Steve Margoshes), Voices In Ohio with The Bengsons (Ars Nova), Showboat (Carnegie Hall). Trained at the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon. Obie-2020 & a Craig Noel Award (Brothers Size).
L MORGAN LEE (Thought 1) is an Obie award-winning actress and storyteller. She is the 2021 recipient of The Mark O'Donnell Prize. Her performance in A Strange Loop Off Broadway garnered her the distinction of being the first openly Transgender actress to originate a role in a Pulitzer Prize winning piece of theatre. L Morgan was recently cast to portray the title role in the British musical adaptation of the novel, The Danish Girl being workshopped in London. She is also developing a number of projects - including a new play, formerly titled, The Women (2021), last seen in Ars Nova's Vision Residency. In the studio, L Morgan can be heard singing Simon and McGuire's "The Dream" on The Rainbow Lullaby Album (Broadway Records). "She needed a hero, so that's what she became." @lmorganlee
JOHN-MICHAEL LYLES (Thought 3) is a Harlem-based, Texas-raised, multi-hyphenate creative. As an actor, he’s been seen in: A Strange Loop (Woolly Mammoth Theatre and Playwright's Horizons), This Ain't No Disco (Atlantic), Sweeney Todd (Barrow Street), The Flick (Barrow Street), Brooklynite (Vineyard), Big River (Encores!), 1776 (Encores!), The Art of Falling (Second City/Hubbard Street) & Choir Boy (Guthrie). TV credits include: "The Other Two", "Chicago PD", “NCIS: New Orleans”, & “The OA”. Film: Blind. As a writer, he’s co-writing a new musical with David Gomez, Shoot for the Moon, with developmental support from the Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellows class of ’21, Musical Theater Factory’s 2nd MAKERS Cohort & the ’21 Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. He wrote additional music for the Second Stage production of Young Jean Lee’s We’re Gonna Die. He is currently writing a new musical with support from 5th Avenue Theater’s First Draft: Raise Your Voice commission program. @jmlyles1 | www.john-michaellyles.com
JAMES JACKSON, JR. (Thought 2) is an actor, musician, and cabaret artist based in New York and originally from Massachusetts. An Obie Award-winner (A Strange Loop, off-broadway at Playwrights Horizons), a featured singer with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, his cabaret/solo work (Shady Sings the Blues, The Black-Ups) has been seen at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, Boston’s Club Oberon at the American Repertory Theatre, as well as the Lyric Theatre of Los Angeles, The Green Room42, Feinstein’s/54 Below, and The Post Office Cabaret in Provincetown. National Tours: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Whistle Down the Wind. Regional credits include Dreamgirls (DASH Supporting Actor Award), Henri Gabler (Exigent Theatre), The Wild Party (SpeakEasy Stage). He’s proudly been blocked by both Kirstie Alley and Taylor Dayne. This show is always dedicated to his mother - I miss you. Thank you to DGRW. And all of my love to Tom. www.TheJamesJacksonJr.com and @JJacksonJr
JOHN-ANDREW MORRISON (Thought 4) won a Lucille Lortel and an OBIE Award for his work in the Pulitzer Prize winning musical A Strange Loop Off Broadway (Playwrights Horizons and Page 73) and reprised his role at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC. He is also an Outer Critics Circle Honoree for his performance in The Off Broadway premiere of Blues for an Alabama Sky with KEEN Company. John-Andrew spent many years working at La Mama with George Ferencz as a member of The Experimentals working on readings, workshops and productions of around 50 new plays. John-Andrew's work has been seen throughout the country at theaters including The Hartford Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, La Jolla Playhouse and A.R.T. John-Andrew's work on film includes The Last OG and the television pilot West 40s. John-Andrew is a co-host and co-creator of the podcast 5 Questions with James and JAM with James Jackson Jr. He is also a guest interviewer for The Live at the Lortel podcast with host Eric Ostrow. John-Andrew holds a BA in Theater Arts from Brandeis University and an MFA in Acting from U.C.S.D. This Broadway debut is for his family and especially his mom. John-Andrew wants to thank his family for the prayers, worry and support. Thank you George. Instagram @jandymorri and johnandrewmorrison.com
JASON VEASEY (Thought 5) is so very happy to be back in the loop telling this story, with this family. He was last seen in both the Woolly Mammoth production of A Strange Loop and the original Playwrights Horizons production for which he won an Obie Award. Other credits include the Broadway and National touring companies of The Lion King and countless credits on stages across the country including Actors Theater of Louisville, Denver Center and The MUNY! On TV you could spot him on High Maintenance, Chicago Fire, Dash and Lily, Flatbush Misdemeanors, Betty and more. Upcoming: the film Home Free. Shoutouts to the folks at Nicolosi & Co. and as always DVS and V. Jason would like to dedicate this run and every other run of A Strange Loop to Darius Smith and especially Keldon LaVar Price and Rich Affannato. I wish you could’ve seen our show. You would’ve loved it.
MICHAEL R. JACKSON'S (Playwright, Composer, Lyricist) 2020 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle winning A STRANGE LOOP (which had its 2019 world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions) was called "a full-on laparoscopy of the heart, soul, and loins" and a "gutsy, jubilantly anguished musical with infectious melodies" by Ben Brantley for The New York Times. In The New Yorker, Vinson Cunningham wrote, "To watch this show is to enter, by some urgent, bawdy magic, an ecstatic and infinitely more colorful version of the famous surreal lithograph by M. C. Escher: the hand that lifts from the page, becoming almost real, then draws another hand, which returns the favor." In addition to A STRANGE LOOP, he also wrote book, music and lyrics for White Girl in Danger. Awards and associations include: a New Professional Theatre Festival Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, an ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award, a Whiting Award, the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Obie Award, an Antonyo Award, a Fred Ebb Award, a Windham-Campbell Prize, a Dramatist Guild Fellowship and he is an alum of Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group. @thelivingmj (Twitter), @thelivingmichaeljackson (Instagram) www.thelivingmichaeljackson.com
STEPHEN BRACKETT (Director) Broadway: The Lightning Thief (Longacre Theater), Be More Chill (Lyceum Theater). Off-Broadway: A Strange Loop (Playwrights Horizons/Page 73, Woolly Mammoth, Obie and Drama Desk Awards), Be More Chill (Signature and Two River Theaters), The Lightning Thief (Theaterworks USA/National Tour), Buyer & Cellar (Rattlestick and Barrow Street Theaters/National Tour), The Mad Ones (Prospect Theater), Ultimate Beauty Bible (Page 73), Wringer (NYCCT), Carnival Kids (Lesser America), The Correspondent (Rattlestick), After (Partial Comfort), The Material World (Dixon Place), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova), and The Tenant (Woodshed Collective). Regional: Fall Springs (Barrington Stage), Significant Other (Geffen Playhouse), I Now Pronounce (Humana Festival), Le Switch (About Face), The Great Pretender (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley). London: Be More Chill (The Shaftsbury Theater and The Other Palace) and Buyer & Cellar (Menier Chocolate Factory). Upcoming: AD 16 (The Olney Theater), To My Girls (Second Stage) and Radiant Baby (Two River).
RAJA FEATHER KELLY (Choreographer) is a choreographer and director, and the Artistic Director of the feath3r theory; a dance theatre and media company based out of Brooklyn. He is a three-time Princess Grace Award winner (2017, 2018, 2019), a 2020 Obie Award winner and Outer Critics Circle Award honoree for choreography for the Pulitzer-winning musical A Strange Loop. Raja was also the 2019–2021 Randjelović/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts, an inaugural Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, and a 2019 Creative Capital award recipient. His choreography has also garnered a 2018 Breakout Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), the Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography (2016), and he was Dance Magazine's inaugural Harkness Promise Award (2018). Kelly is the 2019 SDCF Joe A. Callaway Award finalist for outstanding choreography of Fairview (Soho Rep, Berkeley Rep, TFANA and winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama). Frequent collaborators include: Lileana Blain-Cruz, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Sarah Benson, and Michael R. Jackson. Over the past decade, Kelly has created sixteen evening-length premieres with his company the feath3r theory, the most recent premiere being WEDNESDAY at New York Live Arts. Raja also directs and choreographs extensively for Off-Broadway theatre in New York City. Recent Works include We're Gonna Die at Second Stage Theater, MacBeth In Stride at A.R.T., and A Strange Loop at Woolly Mammoth. Upcoming Projects include On Sugarland at New York Theater Workshop, SUFFS at The Public Theater, and Lempicka at La Jolla Playhouse.
PAGE 73 PRODUCTIONS Since its founding in 1997, Page 73 has unwaveringly focused on nurturing early-career playwrights and expanding the theatrical canon. The organization has consistently sought to open new pathways to recognition for fresh, urgent, and daring voices, in part by mounting works solely by writers who have not yet had a New York City premiere Off-Broadway. In addition to producing playwrights’ New York debut productions, Page 73 offers writers career guidance, financial assistance, and development opportunities. Page 73’s celebrated world and New York premieres include Zora Howard’s STEW (2021 Pulitzer Prize Finalist), Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop co-produced by Playwrights Horizons (2020 Pulitzer Prize), Mia Chung’s Catch as Catch Can, Leah Nanako Winkler’s Kentucky co-produced by EST, Max Posner's Judy, Clare Barron’s You Got Older (two Obie Awards), George Brant’s Grounded, and Susan Soon He Stanton’s Today Is My Birthday. Diversifying the American theater and making space for voices theater audiences have not yet heard is at the core of Page 73’s ethos. In 2020, the organization was honored with an institutional Obie Award “for providing extraordinary support for early-career playwrights.”
WOOLLY MAMMOTH THEATRE COMPANY creates badass theatre that highlights the stunning, challenging, and tremendous complexity of our world. For over 40 years, Woolly has maintained a high standard of artistic rigor while simultaneously daring to take risks, innovate, and push beyond perceived boundaries. Co-led by Artistic Director Maria Manuela Goyanes and Managing Director Emika Abe, Woolly is located in Washington, DC, equidistant from the Capitol Building and the White House. This unique location influences Woolly’s investment in actively working towards an equitable, participatory, and creative democracy. One of the few remaining theatres in the country to maintain a company of artists, Woolly serves as an essential research and development role within the American theatre. Plays premiered here have gone on to productions at hundreds of theatres all over the world and have had lasting impacts on the field. These include the world premiere productions of Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed in 2009 that later went on to be the first Broadway play with a cast & creative team of all Black women; Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer-Prize Winner Clybourne Park in 2010; and Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns: a post-electric play in 2012. Woolly produces theatre beyond our building by sending productions like Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird across the nation and bringing Aleshea Harris’s What to Send Up When It Goes Down to neighborhoods throughout DC. A national tour of Madeline’s Sayet’s Where We Belong will launch in 2021. In addition, Woolly was the first to pioneer Pay-What-You-Will tickets in the DMV, which are now available at every single performance. Woolly Mammoth acknowledges that the theatre stands upon occupied, unceded territory: the ancestral homeland of the Nacotchtank whose descendants belong to the Piscataway peoples. Furthermore, the foundation of this city, and most of the original buildings in Washington, DC, were funded by the sale of enslaved people of African descent and built by their hands. Understanding that history and context, Woolly values building relationships with neighbors and resident artists in the DMV area. Our nationally acclaimed Connectivity Department is one of the ways we accomplish this by linking Woolly to like-minded community organizations in order to generate mutually beneficial, impact and power-aware partnerships.
PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS is dedicated to cultivating the most important American playwrights, composers, and lyricists, as well as developing and producing their bold new plays and musicals. Adam Greenfield became Artistic Director in 2020; Leslie Marcus has served as Managing Director since 1993. Following its 50th anniversary season, Playwrights builds upon its diverse and renowned body of work, counting 400 writers among its artistic roster. In addition to its onstage work each season, Playwrights’ singular commitment to nurturing American theater artists guides all of the institution’s multifaceted initiatives: our acclaimed New Works Lab, a robust commissioning program, an innovative curriculum at its Theater School, and more. Robert Moss founded Playwrights in 1971 and cemented the mission that continues to guide the institution today. André Bishop served as Artistic Director from 1981–1992. Don Scardino succeeded him and served until 1996. Tim Sanford, the organization’s longest-serving Artistic Director, held the position from 1996-2020. Over its 50-year history, Playwrights has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including seven Pulitzer Prizes, 13 Tony Awards, and 47 Obie Awards.