After about 2 years in development, it’s finally arrived!
The Tupac Shakur–inspired stage musical with Kenny Leon helming, which we’ve been following for those 2 years, 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.), is now set to make its debut this spring, on Broadway, with performances beginning May 26, and an official opening on June 19, 2014, at the Palace Theater.
So it’s not a Tupac biopic per say. Director Leon first mentioned the project 2+ years ago, 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.”
The project has since gone through a series of workshops, some of which we mentioned on this site, and I should note, it’ll be the second Broadway show that Leon will be directing this year – the other being Denzel Washington in another revival of Raisin In The Sun, which is set to debut on April 3.
So a busy year already for Mr Leon.
The news of Holler If Ya Hear Me’s debut was announced via press release below, which also came with the below full show poster. Casting hasn’t been announced yet however.
First, here’ an official synopsis:
The world inside Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics blazes to life in a non-biographical story about friendship, family, revenge, change and hope. Inner city lives struggle for peace against the daily challenges they face in this entertaining original musical. Through the poetry of one of the 20th century’s most influential and culturally prominent voices, we are given a window into realities of the streets still relevant today.
The rest of the story follows via press release below:
HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, a new musical inspired by the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, written by Todd Kreidler, directed by Kenny Leon, will begin performances on May 26, 2014 and open June 19, 2014 at the Palace Theatre (1564 Broadway at 47th Street).
Casting and ticketing information will be announced soon.
HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, the world inside Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics, blazes to life in a non-biographical story about friendship, family, revenge, change and hope. Inner city lives struggle for peace against the daily challenges they face in this entertaining and original musical. Through the poetry of one of the 20th century’s most influential and culturally prominent voices, we are given a window into realities of the streets still relevant today.
Joining director Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun [2004 and 2014], Fences , The Mountaintop) and author Todd Kreidler (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and direction of How I Learned What I Learned), on the creative team are Tony Award® winner Wayne Cilento (Wicked, The Who’s Tommy, How to Succeed…, AIDA, Sweet Charity ), and musical supervisor Daryl Waters (Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk, The Color Purple, Memphis).
The design team includes sets and video by Tony Award® winner David Gallo (The Mountaintop, The Drowsy Chaperone, Memphis), costumes by Reggie Ray (Stick Fly), lighting by Mike Baldassari (Beauty and the Beast [Europe], Cabaret , Nine [movie]) and sound by John Shivers (Kinky Boots) and David Patridge (Soul Doctor).
HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is produced on Broadway by Afeni Shakur, Eric L. Gold, Chunsoo Shin and Jessica Green. General Manager is Richard Martini for KL Management.