Kyle Ramar Freeman makes his West End debut as Michael R. Jackson's A Strange Loop officially opens at the Barbican Theatre June 29 after beginning performances June 17. Freeman leads the company as Usher after understudying the role on Broadway.
Freeman is joined by an all-British cast of Thoughts, including Sharlene Hector, Nathan Armarkwei-Laryea, Yeukayi Ushe, Tendai Humphrey Sitima, Danny Bailey, and Eddie Elliott. Rounding out the company as understudies are Kyle Birch, Rebecca Bernice Amissah, Momar Diagne, and Jean-Luke Worrell.
"I couldn't be more excited to test the universality of Usher's journey of self-acceptance with this extraordinary London company portraying Usher's Thoughts," said Jackson in an earlier statement. "I am even more excited to bring Broadway powerhouse Kyle Ramar Freeman to London to anchor this production of A Strange Loop. Kyle is an immense talent and I have no doubt that London audiences will fall as in love with him as they did in New York City."
Stephen Brackett returns to recreate his Tony-nominated direction, reuniting his Broadway creative team, including choreographer Raja Feather Kelly, music supervisor Rona Siddiqui, orchestrator Charlie Rosen, scenic designer Arnulfo Maldonado, costume designer Montana Levi Blanco, lighting designer Jen Schriever, and sound designer Drew Levy.
A Strange Loop finished its Tony-winning Broadway run January 15 at the Lyceum Theatre after opening April 26, 2022. With a book, music, and lyrics by Jackson, the Best Musical winner played 13 previews and 293 performances.
The musical centers on Usher, a young, Black, gay theatre writer grappling with his toxic inner thoughts while trying to write a musical about a young, Black, gay theatre writer grappling with his toxic inner thought while trying to write a musical about... and on and on.
The show was 2022's Tony Award winner for Best Musical and also won a Tony Award for Jackson's book. The 2019 Off-Broadway run led to the work winning the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, only the 10th musical to be awarded the honor and the first to have not played a Broadway run when the honor was bestowed.
Jackson's newest musical, White Girl in Danger, recently made its Off-Broadway premiere via Second Stage and Vineyard Theatre.