Tupac Shakur Musical HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, Starring Saul Williams, Will Close on Broadway This Sunday
Broadway's HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, the new musical inspired by the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, will close on Sunday, July 20 at the Palace Theatre. As of that date, the musical will have played 38 regular performances and 17 preview performances. Holler If Ya Hear Me began previews June 2 and opened June 19.
Speaking on behalf of the producers, Eric L. Gold said "We are so proud to be a part of this ground breaking production. The cast, musicians, production and creative teams gave more than just their professional excellence but contributed their passion as well. My hope is that a production of this calibre, powerful in its story telling, filled with great performances and exciting contemporary dance and music will eventually receive the recognition it deserves. It saddens me that due to the financial burdens of Broadway, I was unable to sustain this production longer in order to give it time to bloom on Broadway. Tupac's urgent socially important insights and the audiences' nightly rousing standing ovations deserve to be experienced by the world."
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. The musical features over 20 songs including "Holler If Ya Hear Me," "California Love," "I Get Around," "Thugz Mansion," "Keep Ya Head Up," "Dear Mama," "Me Against the World," "Unconditional Love" and "Hail Mary."
Written by Todd Kreidler and directed by Tony Award-winner Kenny Leon, HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME stars award-winning slam poet, actor, singer, musician Saul Williams (Slam) as John, Christopher Jackson (After Midnight) as Vertus, Saycon Sengbloh (Motown The Musical, Fela!) as Corinne, Ben Thompson (Matilda) as Griffy, John Earl Jelks (Radio Golf - Tony nomination) as Street Preacher, Joshua Boone (Brownsville Song [b side for Tray] at Actors Theatre of Louisville) as Darius,Dyllon Burnside ("Prison Break") as Anthony, Jahi Kearse (Baby It's You) and Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly's Last Jam, Caroline or Change, Play On!) as Mrs. Weston.
The cast also 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), Ari Groover (Bare Off-Broadway), F. Michael Haynie(Wicked), Jared Joseph (Book of Mormon National Tour), 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 Tony Award in 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 offers a Hip-Hop exhibition curated by The National Museum of Hip-Hop (NMoH) at the Palace Theater. The exhibition invites patrons to learn about the history of Hip-Hop through one-of-a-kind artifacts and memorabilia, interact with "Dreams Walls" by inscribing it with their dreams, and view a dynamic mural featuring the 4 Elements of Hip-Hop: DJing, Emceeing. B-Boying and Graffiti. HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME ticketholders can view the exhibition at no additional cost one hour prior to each performance. The exhibition will continue throughout the run of the production.
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus