After about 2 years in development, it’s finally arrived!
The Tupac Shakur–inspired stage musical with Kenny Leon directing, is 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.), and is now set to make its debut this spring (previews begin June 2) on Broadway 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 is directing this year – the other being Denzel Washington in another revival of Raisin In The Sun, which is currently running.
So a busy year already for Mr Leon.
The news of‘s debut was announced via press release below, which also came with the below full show poster. Casting hasn’t been announced yet however.
Here’s the Holler If Ya Hear Me 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.
Actor/musician/poet Saul Williams stars in the production, and is joined by Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins. Rounding out the cast are Christopher Jackson, John Earl Jelks and Saycon Sengbloh.
Joining director Kenny Leon and author Todd Kreidler on the creative team are Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento, and musical supervisor Daryl Waters.
The design team includes sets and video by Tony Award winner David Gallo, costumes by Reggie Ray, lighting by Mike Baldassari and sound by John Shivers and David Patridge.
Holler If Ya Hear Me is produced on Broadway by Afeni Shakur, Eric L. Gold, Chunsoo Shin and Jessica Green.
For tickets and more info, visit: www.HollerIfYaHearMe.com.
In the newly-released video below, meet the cast of Holler If Ya Hear Me and enjoy a sneak peek at some of their performances: