A film based on the late rapper/actor’s life is still in Limbo (Antoine Fuqua was to direct it, and even began the casting process last spring, but nothing came from that, and Fuqua left the project; John Singleton then was said to have taken over for Fuqua, but then he left the project as well); but a Tupac Shakur stage musical is apparently in the works with Kenny Leon (maybe the most popular black director working on Broadway right now; although there aren’t exactly many of them).
Here are the details…
It’ll be titled Holler If Ya Hear Me, the title of a track from 2Pac’s second solo album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
Director Leon first mentioned the project last year, while doing press for The Mountaintop (Katori Hall’s award-winning play), stating:
“The idea was always to make a musical inspired by his music and not to do an autobiographical approach to his life or anything like that… And because I always thought that Tupac was a prophet and I thought if everybody could hear his words and hear his stories, they would see what I see.”
And earlier this year, he added:
“So we are going to probably do a big workshop in New York this summer and I’m going to try to bring it to Broadway in the next Broadway season… So a year from now hopefully you’ll be seeing this world-changing musical on the Broadway stage. I couldn’t be more excited… Todd Krickler is writing the book, and with the lyrics by Tupac, it’s going to be very exciting, pretty much would sort of change the face of musical theater as we know it on Broadway, so I am looking forward to that.”
Fast-forward to yesterday, when this casting notice began circulating:
As it states, these are workshop dates, so no expected premiere date yet; a lot still has to happen. And given Kenny Leon’s recent successes (Fences and The Mountaintop notably) he’s likely in a strong position to get the production on stage, as he says, in the next year.
Alright actors… go!