AS STRANGE LOOP IN CONCERT Announced At Joe's Pub
A Strange Loop in Concert, a performance celebrating the release of the original cast recording of Michael R. Jackson's immensely acclaimed musical, will come to Joe's Pub at the Public on Monday, October 14.
The album features 17 tracks of Jackson's witty, eviscerating, and moving music and captures the momentous energy of the musical's beloved world premiere production, directed by Stephen Brackett (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, Be More Chill) and choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly (Playwrights: If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka; Ugly, Fairview). Yellow Sound Label, Playwrights Horizons, Page 73 Productions, and Barbara Whitman recently announced the release of the much-anticipated album, which is produced by Jackson and Michael Croiter.
The concert at Joe's Pub begins at 7pm. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at www.joespub.com and 212.967.7555 as of 5pm today (September 10). Joe's Pub at the Public is located at 425 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003. CDs will be available for purchase at the show. The recording will also become available on September 27 digitally on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Apple Music, and is now available for preorder on yellowsoundlabel.com and phnyc.org.
A Strange Loop garnered resounding critical acclaim in its three-week extended world premiere this summer. The New York Times, in a Critic's Pick review, described it as a "full-on laparoscopy of the heart, soul, and loins... a gutsy, jubilantly anguished musical with infectious melodies." Time Out New York gave the musical five stars, writing in its Critic's Pick review that Michael R. Jackson is "a lyrical and musical talent with deep wells of invention." New York Magazine wrote that the show is "exhilarating and wickedly funny...a triumph," and ArtForum called it a "brazen and brilliant game changer." The New Yorker applauded Jackson's "lyrical cleverness" and the "unlikely levity" and "buoyant intensity" of his songwriting. The magazine emphasized that the cast "sings beautifully" in a series of "deftly composed, painlessly executed harmonic" numbers.
Featured on the recording are all seven original Off-Broadway cast members, listed in alphabetical order: Antwayn Hopper (Broadway: Hair; Off-Broadway: The Loophole, A Civil War Christmas) as Thought #6; James Jackson, Jr. (Off-Broadway: The Black-Ups, Radio City Christmas Spectacular) as Thought #2; L Morgan Lee (Off-Broadway: Defiant, Majestic, and Beautiful, Ludo's Broken Bride; Tour: Jesus Christ Superstar) as Thought #1; John-Michael Lyles (Off-Broadway: This Ain't No Disco, Sweeney Todd, The Flick) as Thought #3; John-Andrew Morrison (Off-Broadway: The Tooth of Crime, The Greenwich Village Follies; Regional: Marley, The Musical) as Thought #4; Larry Owens (Off-Broadway: Gigantic; Regional: Grease, Dreamgirls) as Usher; and Jason Veasey (Broadway: The Lion King; Off-Broadway: The Loophole, For the Last Time) as Thought #5.
Jackson's musical plays with content and form in the subversive tradition of other personal and/or concept-driven musicals-such as Company, A Chorus Line, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Ain't Supposed To Die A Natural Death, and Passing Strange-in addition to the raw, unfiltered "candor and humor" of 90s indie rocker Liz Phair. Jackson also looked into Douglas Hofstadter's concept of "a strange loop"-the idea that selfhood is essentially a recursive loop in which, as Hofstadter explains in his 2007 book I Am a Strange Loop, "despite one's sense of departing ever further from one's origin, one winds up, to one's shock, exactly where one had started out." He applied this idea to creating an intimate glimpse into the inner life (and strange loop) of a young artist at war with a host of demons-not least of which are the punishing thoughts in his own head. What's most remarkable is that this nuanced subject becomes the basis of a rapturous musical-to quote the opening number, "a big, black, queer-ass American" show-that relishes and shatters the conventions of the form.