A Strange Loop visited Feinstein's/54 Below to film a Tiny Desk concert for NPR to celebrate their opening at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre. Watch the video above and hear the company perform "Intermission Song," "We Wanna Know," "Inner White Girl," "Periodically," and "Memory Song."
The Tiny Desk series, which began in 2008, is currently working in a Tiny Desk (Home) format, with artists recording their concerts in spaces other than the NPR offices where the series began. Feinstein's/54 Below played a pivotal role in the musical's rise when, in 2016, composer and lyricist Michael R. Jackson performed a concert version for New Musicals at 54; the production chose to cram into a booth at the popular cabaret venue for their concert as one of the first homes of the production.
Led by Jackson, the performance features Antwayn Hopper, James Jackson, Jr., L Morgan Lee, John-Michael Lyles, John-Andrew Morrison, Jaquel Spivey, and Jason Veasey, with music director Rona Siddiqui on the keys, Beth Callen on the guitar, Ian Jesse on the bass, and Marques Walls on the drums.
The Tiny Desk concert has video by Magicshak Media, Michael Zamora, Nick Shakra, Anton Ponomarev, and Maksim Kataev; audio by Amanda Raymond and Josh Rogosin; musical direction by Rona Siddiqui, and production by Josh Rogosin, Bob Boilen, Bobby Carter, Kara Frame, Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Ashley Pointer, and Keith Jenkins.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop officially opened on Broadway April 26 after a COVID-delayed start of performances. The musical, which had its world premiere Off-Broadway in 2019 at Playwrights Horizons, features a book, music, and lyrics by Michael R. Jackson, who makes his Broadway debut with the production.
Newcomer Jaquel Spivey leads the cast as 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.
Stephen Brackett (Be More Chill) directs the production, with choreography by Raja Feather Kelly (Suffs), scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado, costumes by Montana Levi Blanco, lighting design by Jen Schreiver, sound design by Drew Levy, hair, wig, and makeup design by Cookie Jordan, music supervision by Rona Siddiqui, orchestrations by Charlie Rosen, vocal arrangements by Jackson, and casting by The Telsey Office's Destiny Lilly. Tomoko Akaboshi is music coordinator, and Chelsea Pace is intimacy director.