One Minute World Arts- A Strange Loop: Audacious, Uproarious, and True

A Strange Loop, the 2022 Tony Awards winning musical that also won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, depicts the story of Usher, who is a black queer writer writing a musical – very much based on the playwright and composer of the musical Michael R. Jackson himself – and his inner conflicts. It portrays Usher’s family trauma, personal desires, fears, and anxieties, so as to illustrate themes such like racial prejudice, sexual identity, as well as social disapproval. The messages delivered through the show are straightforward, sharp, and wittily funny. After its Broadway premiere in April this year, it was highly complimented by The Washington Post as “the best new musical”.


The stage design of A Strange Loop, with brick doorways and a corridor-like space, matches very nicely with Usher’s “thoughts”, which are transformed into several characters who would converse and argue with him on stage, so that the audience can see the dialectical and emotional spiral contained in Usher’s heart. Meanwhile, the cleverly designed lighting and the costume design driven by a streetwear style have also added psychological layers to enrich the characterization of Usher and the portrayal of his inner struggles, making the show further strengthened with audacious honesty and uproarious hilarity. Ever since its premiere, A Strange Loop has been very well received by newspapers and magazine in the U.S. and the U.K. The New York Times hailed the musical as “a ferocious, pungent hit”.




甫於今年6月榮獲東尼獎 最佳音樂劇的《怪咖繞圈圈》(A Strange Loop),亦曾在2020年摘下普立茲戲劇獎 的桂冠;其內容講述一名黑人同志音樂劇作家阿瑟(Usher)的內在矛盾,直擊主角心底的家庭創傷、個人慾望,以及種種恐懼不安,從而帶出種族偏見、性別認同與社會壓力等主題。全劇宛如該劇作者麥可.傑克森(Michael R. Jackson)的自況書,直白、深刻,且充滿趣味;4月於百老匯上演後,被《華盛頓郵報》(The Washington Post)譽為是新創音樂劇之翹楚。


本劇的舞台設計與主角的思緒搭配得天衣無縫:阿瑟穿梭在以幾扇門為背景的廊道間,與幾個代表他「內在思維」的角色(Thoughts)對話論辯、表露心跡;台上燈光的明暗變化,則反映出他的心理糾葛,再加上帶著街頭風 的服裝設計,使得整場表演充滿妙趣橫生的想像力。自從首演以來,《怪咖繞圈圈》廣獲英美報章雜誌一片好評;《紐約時報》(The New York Times)盛讚本劇為「生猛有力、深刻透徹」的上乘之作。



Photo Credit ©Arnulfo Maldonado, Joan Marcus.