Kenny Leon 'Thankful' to Bring Tupac Musical, HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, to Broadway
As BroadwayWorld previously announced, a new musical inspired by the work of Tupac Shakur, titled HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, is on its way to Broadway. Directed by Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun , Fences  The Mountaintop), the project is planned for a Broadway production in the 2013-2014 season, subject to theatre availability.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Leon chatted about putting together the new musical. He revealed: "We had to have a group of actors that could sing, that could rap, that could dance - that could do hip-hop dance as well as straightforward Broadway musical dance. We had to have a good mix of 24 people who could do it all, but above all we needed actors who could tell the story."
He continued: "It's great that I get a chance to do a Broadway musical. Sometimes the industry has a way of putting you in a corner, like 'This is what he does.' Especially if you do it well. I'm thankful to work as often as I do on Broadway."
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Featuring the music of Tupac Shakur, the non-biographical rap musical features a book by Todd Kreidler (dramaturg for Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean, and associate director for Fences ) and choreography by Tony Award Winner Wayne Cilento (Wicked, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed..., AIDA, Sweet Charity ), with musical supervision by 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 Who's Tommy, Titanic, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Memphis), costumes by Reggie Ray (Stick Fly) and lighting by Mike Baldassari (Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret , "NINE" [movie]).
HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is produced by Afeni Shakur, Eric L. Gold, Chunsoo Shin and Jessica Green.
An original story set in the present day on the inner-city streets of a Midwestern industrial city, the musical tells the story of two childhood friends and their extended families as they struggle to reconcile the challenges and realities of their daily lives with their hopes, dreams and ambitions.
Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996), best known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. His force was evident during the height of his popularity in the Nineties, but his influence as the voice of the streets continues to echo today throughout urban culture. He has become an eternal icon of youthful brilliance and rebellion with an immeasurable impact on each new generation.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos