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    HomeCulture“A Strange Loop” Arrives at the Ahmanson Theatre

    “A Strange Loop” Arrives at the Ahmanson Theatre

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    Michael r. Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning musical “A Strange Loop” has arrived at the Ahmanson Theatre.

    Starring Malachi McCaskill as Usher, a 25-year-old self-proclaimed ‘fat, black and queer’ usher at the Lion King musical on Broadway, who is an aspiring musical theater writer who is writing a musical about an aspiring musical theater writer. His constant companions are his six judgmental thoughts including his inner negative and self-sabotaging criticisms, sex partners, historical black figures and his mother and father. The Thoughts are expertly played by Jordan Barbour, J Cameron Bartnett, Carlis Shane Clark, Avoice Hayles, Tarra Conner Jones and John-Andrew Morrison.

    The set usually comprises of a brick backdrop with six doorways allowing Usher’s thoughts to appear. There is a lot of Tyler Perry bashing and an offer for Usher to ghostwrite a Tyler Perry gospel musical, a big gospel featuring an “AIDS is God’s Punishment” number and plenty of well written and moving songs including “Inner White Girl,” “Exile in Gaywood,” “Second Wave,” “Memory Song,” and “A Strange Loop.” We travel with Usher as he navigates his way through a world that is uninterested in his point of view and does not want to acknowledge him for his size, sexuality or race.

    Like Douglas Hofstadter’s term “A Strange Loop,” the audience goes through many emotional stages up and down to end up back where it all started, for Usher to reveal that change is ultimately an illusion.

    “A Strange Loop” is playing at the Ahmanson Theatre through June 30, Tuesday through Sunday, Tuesday – Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, Sunday at 1pm and 6:30pm.

    Tickets at https://www.ahmansontheatre.net.

    The Ahmanson Theatre opened in 1967 and has staged a wide variety of dramas, musicals, comedies, classic revivals, and World premieres (including six by Neil Simon, who has had 13 plays presented here).

    Under the artistic leadership of Robert Fryer (1971–1989), the Ahmanson played host to a veritable who’s who in the entertainment world including Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Lemmon, Ingrid Bergman, Charlton Heston, Angela Lansbury, and Peter Ustinov. In 1989, Center Theatre Group Founding Artistic Director Gordon Davidson assumed the role of Artistic Director for the Ahmanson and was responsible for programming The Phantom of the Opera for a record-breaking four-year stay. The Ahmanson has been home to a number of musicals that moved to Broadway, including The Drowsy Chaperone (13 Tony Award nominations), Curtains (eight Tony nominations), and 9 to 5: The Musical as well as blockbusters including God of Carnage, Mary Poppins, and Jersey Boys.

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    Shaena Engle
    Shaena Engle
    Shaena Engle is a food, lifestyle and travel writer for a variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Pasadena magazine, AOL, The Daily Meal, The San Diego Union Tribune and PokerPro magazine. She has interviewed top chefs including Lidia Bastianich, Michael Chiarello, Hubert Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jose Andres, and many others. She has authored three books, The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Las Vegas (Globe Pequot Press), The Best Places to Kiss in Southern California (Beginning Press, a romantic travel guide) and Silver Linings: Triumphs of The Chronically Ill and Physically Challenged (Prometheus Books).  She is also an amateur magician and often writes on gambling, poker and magical happenings.  She also is a freelance consultant on restaurant, food, travel and hospitality public relations and marketing efforts.
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