Detroit playwright Michael R. Jackson snags two Tony Awards

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

Jun 13, 2022 at 10:34 am
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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