Broadway's Tupac Shakur Musical HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME Begins Rehearsals
Rehearsals for Holler If Ya Hear Me, the new Broadway musical inspired by the lyrics of Tupac Shakur begin today, Monday, April 21. Written by Todd Kreidler and directed by Kenny Leon, Holler If Ya Hear Me will begin performances on May 29, 2014 and open June 19, 2014 at the Palace Theatre (1564 Broadway at 47th Street).
Award-winning slam poet, actor, singer, musician Saul Williams (Slam), Christopher Jackson (After Midnight), Saycon Sengbloh (Motown The Musical, Fela!), Ben Thompson (Matilda), John Earl Jelks (Radio Golf - Tony nomination), Joshua Boone (Brownsville Song [b side for Tray] at Actors Theatre of Louisville), Dyllon Burnside ("Prison Break") and Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly's Last Jam, Caroline or Change, Play On!)
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.
Saul Williams plays John, Christopher Jackson is Vertus, Saycon Sengbloh is Corinne, Ben Thompson plays Griffy, John Earl Jelks plays Street Preacher, Joshua Boone is Darius, Dyllon Burnside is Anthony and Tonya Pinkins plays Mrs. Weston.
The ensemble features Tracee Beazer (Memphis), Afi Bijou (Fela!), Mel Charlot (Three-time World Hip Hop Champion), Carrie Compere (Shrek National Tour), Otis Cotton, Ryan Davis (danced for Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj), Brandon Gill (Neighbors at The Public), Ariana Groover (Bare Off-Broadway), F. Michael Haynie, Jared Joseph (Book of Mormon National Tour), Jahi Kearse (Baby It's You), Muata Langley (freestyle Krump performer), Candace Maxwell, Valentine Norton ("American Idol"), Christina Sajous (Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark), Charlene "Chi Chi" Smith, Jaime Lincoln Smith (Ruined Off-Broadway), Donald Webber, Jr. (Motown The Musical) and Joaquina Kalukango (Godspell).
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 winning choreographer 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 creative team also includes scenic design by Edward Pierce (The Other Place, Shatner's World) based on original concepts by David Gallo, projections by Zachary G. Borovay (No Man's Land, Waiting for Godot), costumes by Reggie Ray (Stick Fly), lighting by Mike Baldassari (Cabaret [1998/2014], First Date), sound by John Shivers (Kinky Boots) and David Patridge (Soul Doctor) and casting by Caparelliotis Casting (Casa Valentina, The Trip to Bountiful).