08 Jan Tupac Shakur Musical Sets Broadway Opening Date
The New York Times
Jan 8, 2014
by PATRICK HEALY
“Holler if Ya Hear Me,” a new musical inspired by the work of rapper Tupac Shakur, will begin performances on Broadway at the Palace Theater on May 26, the producers said on Wednesday. The $8 million production is not a musical biography about Shakur, who died in a drive-by shooting in 1996 at the age of 25; rather, the producers said in a statement, it is an original story about “friendship, family, revenge, change and hope” as poor urban residents struggle against challenges in their lives.
The show is to include several of Shakur’s songs, among them “Me Against the World,” “California Love” and “Keep Ya Head Up,” in addition to the title song.
The musical, which was developed in closed-door workshops, will open on Broadway without an out-of-town tryout run. It has a script by Todd Kreidler, who wrote a new stage version of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” that opened last month in Washington. The director is Kenny Leon, a Tony Award nominee for the 2010 revival of “Fences.” Casting and other production details will be announced later.
Among the producers of “Holler if Ya Hear Me” is Afeni Shakur, Tupac Shakur’s mother; Eric L. Gold, a television producer (“The Wayans Bros.”); and Shin Chun-soo, a prominent theater producer in South Korea.
The show’s opening night is scheduled for June 19. “Holler if Ya Hear Me” will not be in the running for the 2014 Tony Awards, the Broadway industry’s highest honor, because performances begin after the April cut-off for Tony eligibility.