New non-biographical musical could prove a significant draw for African-American audiences
“Holler If Ya Hear Me,” the musical inspired by the lyrics of the late rapper Shakur, has locked in a Broadway slot at the Palace Theater, where the show will open in June.
The production looks poised to become a potentially significant draw for African-American auds, a demo of theatergoers that for years had gone largely untapped before productions including 2005’s “The Color Purple” and the 2008 all-black staging of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” proved that African-American ticketbuyers will turn out in force for a property that turns their heads.
Penned by Todd Kreidler, a frequent dramaturg for August Wilson, “Holler If Ya Hear Me” tells a non-biographical story about inner city lives. Kenny Leon, helmer of the upcoming revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” starring Denzel Washington, directs “Holler” with choreography by Wayne Cilento (“Wicked”).
Project has been in the works for some time, but has only now confirmed a venue and a timeline, which sees the musical begin previews May 26 ahead of its June 19 opening at the Palace, where the recent revival of “Annie” finished up its run earlier this month.
“Holler If Ya Hear Me” comes to Broadway backed by a team of commercial producers led by Afeni Shakur, Tupac Shakur’s mother, as well as Eric L. Gold, Chunsoo Shin and Jessica Green. Casting remains to be set.
A biopic about Shakur is also in the works.