Michael R. Jackson is the creator of the Tony Award-winning musical A Strange Loop. It’s a musical about writing a musical. It’s about the usher – whose name also happens to be Usher – and follows his life, his parents, his friends, his self-doubts and his aspirations.
The musical also asks the questions: what does it mean to be a black, gay playwright? What does it mean to write a work of art about blackness, or queenerss? And who is that art for?
A Strange Loop explores some very big ideas in its hour and 45 minute runtime. It’s also funny, approachable and really catchy. It won the honor for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical at the most recent Tony Awards.
Recently our correspondent Julie Klausner caught the show on Broadway, and she fell in love right away. So she sat down with Michael R. Jackson and together they chatted about the musical. They talked about who inspired some of the characters in the project, the first time Michael showed the musical to his family and more.
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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