Sunday, May 17, 2020

Washington Post: Pandemic taps the brakes on ‘A Strange Loop,’ the Broadway-bound Pulitzer winner [by Michael R. Jackson]

“A Strange Loop” was the 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama. 
(Joan Marcus)

Michael R. Jackson
(Zack DeZon)

By Peter Marks

May 14, 2020

“A Strange Loop,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical that was to begin its journey to Broadway at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in September, has been postponed, the company announced Thursday. The D.C. engagement is now slated for summer 2021 as the show’s next step.

Like so many projects in the planning stages, “A Strange Loop” is caught in the logistical nightmare of covid-19 curtailments.

“All theaters are having to learn what it means to open in phases, to protect our audiences and our artists,” said Maria Goyanes, Woolly’s artistic director. “So we are going to be moving ‘A Strange Loop’ to now end the Woolly Mammoth season. The hope is that we would be able to start performances early next summer.”

Other changes to the Woolly season have yet to be announced.

Michael R. Jackson’s musical, an autobiographical carousel of sorts, set in the overcaffeinated mind of a conflicted black gay playwright, has had its fortunes boosted by the Pulitzer it garnered May 4. So Jackson, Goyanes and Barbara Whitman — a New York producer attached to the show since its development period — were especially keen on establishing a realistic new timetable.

“I think we just didn’t know what was going to happen, with the daily saga of this virus,” said the Detroit-born Jackson. “Also, the thing I had been thinking about is people’s state of mind: When would people want to sit together and watch a show and have that communal experience again? It’s such a psychically traumatic thing. It’s going to take a while for people to relax with each other.”

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