re: A Strange Loop - Usher
Posted by: Chazwaza 12:30 pm EDT 05/15/22
In reply to: re: A Strange Loop - Usher - Ncassidine 12:10 pm EDT 05/15/22

Not to go tellin' tales, but I've heard from a few people involved with the show that Owens was a massive diva to work with, to the point of actively not wanting him to transfer if it does. I don't know if that was the reason at all, he gave a tremendous performance. Though I will say as I reflect on it and have listened to the off-broadway cast album a bunch of times since, his performance is *very* performy, and his style of acting (and delivering comedy outside of this show) is often very sort of heightened stylized-annoying-as-a-choice if that makes any sense... and perhaps they decided the show would benefit from a more likeable and grounded type of performance in the role? I do not know.

From the projects he has done since and has currently, I honestly can't imagine him passing up starring in a history-making new musical (in a role he originated but in a short run in a much smaller theater) on Broadway, with the distinct possibility of winning a Tony for best actor or at least being a front runner with lots of buzz and push (which can do wonders for a career even if you don't win). Of any musical ever, I can't think why this wouldn't be the one he'd want to star in on Broadway.
Meaning... it's hard to think he passed on continuing with the show in order to do a small and unmemorable role on Life and Beth or a small recurring role on the last season of Search Party (not sure when it filmed and if it would have kept him from doing the show, but since it shoots in NY I highly doubt they wouldn't have accommodated him -- also the role was not great and very in line with what he's always asked to do, so not sure why he'd pick that over Strange Loop on Broadway either way).
So I have a feeling from what I've heard and assumed... the creative team/producers wanted to try a different actor in the role.

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