Just last week producers had vowed to keep the show open for as long as they could, while acknowledging that if weekly receipts continued to come in as low as they have since the musical began previews in early June, then the production’s lifespan wouldn’t be long.
Producer Eric L. Gold had hoped to raise an additional $5 million to sustain the show, while swinging big with a major marketing gambit in order attract attention. That initiative never came together.
“Holler if Ya Hear Me,” an original story with a score drawn from the work of late rap great Shakur, was an ambitious project for Broadway, where the traditional audience demographic skews older and white — and less open to a hip-hop tuner than a young crowd might be. Aiming high, the production’s backers opted to open cold on Broadway without an out-of-town tryout or a national tour to markets that might prove more receptive to the title.
Since the tuner began previews June 2, weekly sales have scraped bottom, never once breaking the $200,000 mark. Last week attendance came in at just 45% of overall seating capacity. Reviews were mixed, and none were glowing enough to move the needle at the box office.
The $8 million musical will shutter at what amounts to a total loss. The shuttering will leave Broadway’s Palace Theater vacant, with the venue’s next tenant not yet locked.