Kyle Ramar Freeman will make his West End debut in the London transfer of Michael R. Jackson's A Strange Loop. Freeman will play Usher after understudying the role on Broadway. The 12-week U.K. run will begin June 17 ahead of a June 29 opening night at the Barbican Theatre.
Freeman will be joined by an all-British cast of Thoughts, including Jason Pennycooke (Hamilton), Sharlene Hector (Basement Jaxx), Danny Bailey (Jesus Christ Superstar), Eddie Elliott (Blues for an Alabama Sky), and Tendai Humphrey Sitima (The Play That Goes Wrong). Additional casting is to be announced.
"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," says Jackson in a 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 is returning 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, is currently playing Off-Broadway via Second Stage and Vineyard Theatre.
See photos from the Broadway run below: