Palace Theatre to Add Stadium-Style Seating for This Summer's HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME
According to the Wall Street Journal, audience members seated in the orchestra of the upcoming Broadway musical, "Holler If Ya Hear Me," will have a movie-theatre-esque experience. The production is spending $200,000 to alter the arrangement of seats in the orchestra, with hopes of augmenting the theatre's sense of intimacy. Edward Pierce, the show's scenic designer, says, "Everybody in those first few rows can basically high-five the actors. They're that close."
This new seating does diminish the number of seats in the Palace Theatre from 1,740 to 1,129, as the back rows of the orchestra will not be used. Though altering the typical seating arrangements of is not unheard of (particularly this Broadway season, with shows like "Cabaret" and "Rocky"), such a dramatic transformation is fairly rare.
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.
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).
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).