From Usher to Broadway: 'A Strange Loop' lights up the stage in San Francisco

ByReggie Aqui Localish logo
Monday, April 22, 2024
From Usher to Broadway: 'A Strange Loop' lights up the stage in SF
From Lion King usher to Pulitzer Prize winner, here's the story behind the musical, "A Strange Loop."

SAN FRANCISCO -- A new musical now playing in San Francisco has the best possible credentials. It won the Pulitzer Prize even before it got to Broadway and won a Tony once it opened.

"A Strange Loop" centers around a frustrated writer who, while working as an usher for "The Lion King," writes a musical about his experiences in that very role. ABC7 News Anchor Reggie Aqui spoke with the creator about his "Circle of *Strife.*"

"Usher is a young, fat, Black, gay, musical theater writer who is an usher at the Lion King," shared Michael R. Jackson, the creator of A Strange Loop. "He is cycling through his own self perceptions and his thoughts take form around him."

The storyline is inspired by Jackson's own journey as an usher for the widely acclaimed production.

"While I did draw from personal experience to write the show, it's not autobiographical," described Jackson. "It's emotionally autobiographical. I felt everything that Usher has felt."

The show is about to make its west coast premiere at A.C.T. in San Francisco. Inside the rehearsal room Reggie met up with the actor playing the lead role.

"I am still in college, I'm a junior at UNC Greensboro...but coming into this world is kind of surreal," said Malachi McCaskill, the actor playing Usher. "I get to go into the deepest, darkest part of my life, and I get to put it on the stage and do it honestly which is amazing."

"I want them to walk away thinking about themselves. Everybody has their own strange loop," Jackson added. "People can say all kinds of things about you externally in the world, but sometimes the worst person is inside. It's like no one can really hurt me more than I can hurt myself. You have more power than you think. It's about how you use that power."

A Strange Loop is playing at San Francisco's A.C.T. theater until May 12th and then continues its limited West Coast run in L.A.

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