We’ve talked aboutHoller If Ya Hear Me a few times before here. Last time Ink tackled the show, it had not yet gone into previews, and he was hopeful about its tenure on the Great White Way.
Sadly, its run has come to an end: Holler If Ya Year Me closed on Sunday after only a few months in front of audiences. While its producer has suggested that its short run was the fault of the “financial burdens of Broadway”, others have suggested that the fact that the musical used Tupac’s music but didn’t actually tell Tupac’s story hobbled it before it could get out of the gates. Its lead actor, Saul Williams, has suggested that there was more at play in an interview with Rolling Stone:
I also cannot go without saying that there was something deeply embedded in a lot of the reviews that went deeper than just a dislike of the play. (x)
A long time ago, in a galaxy somewhere near South Central Pennsylvania, I promised my gentle readers updates on Holler if Ya Hear Me, the upcoming musical based on the music of Tupac Shakur. The musical, directed by the esteemed Kenny Leon (the director of Broadway’s Raisin in the Sun, currently showing), will not engage with the story of Tupac’s life, but rather will use his music to tell a different story. Songs such as “California Love” and “Keep Ya Head Up” will score the story of two friends growing up in a low-income neighborhood in the Midwest. As the press notes mention, “through the poetry of one of the 20th century’s most influential and culturally prominent voices, [Holler if Ya Hear Me] will give a window into realities of the streets still relevant today”. Continue reading →