Detroit playwright Michael R. Jackson snags two Tony Awards

Jackson’s play ‘A Strange Loop’ won best musical and best book for a musical

click to enlarge Michael R. Jackson. - RON ADAR/ SHUTTERSTOCK
Ron Adar/ Shutterstock
Michael R. Jackson.

Michael R. Jackson showed up and showed out at the 75th annual Tony Awards over the weekend. Donning a glamorous pink cape, Jackson took home best musical and best book for a musical awards for his play A Strange Loop.

It took Jackson nearly two decades to write A Strange Loop, which he called “emotionally autobiographical.” The play centers around a Black gay man named Usher as he works as an usher on Broadway while writing a musical… about a Broadway usher trying to write a musical.

A musical about a gay man trying to write a musical about a gay man trying to write a musical, written by a gay man? There should be no question as to why it’s titled “A Strange Loop.” Characters in the play portray Usher’s self-critical thoughts.

A Strange Loop premiered on Broadway in April 2021 to rave reviews following an off-broadway run in 2019. Jackson also has a Pulitzer Prize for the play. It was nominated for 11 awards heading into the Tony Awards ceremony, the most of any other play this year.

While A Strange Loop ultimately lost for best featured actress in a musical, L Morgan Lee, who stars in the play, made history as the first openly trans performer to be nominated for a Tony Award.

Fellow Detroit playwright Dominique Morisseau also received a nod for her play Skeleton Crew, with the iconic Phylicia Rashad winning best featured actress for her role in the play.

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About The Author

Randiah Camille Green

After living in Japan and traveling across Asia, Randiah Camille Green realized Detroit will always be home. And when she says Detroit, she's talking about the hood, not the suburbs. She has bylines in Planet Detroit News , Bridge Detroit , BLAC magazine, and Model D . Her favorite pastimes are meditating...
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