Universal Music Group has announced a partnership with hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons to become a lead producer of The Scenario, a new stage musical set to the greatest hits from a three-decade span of hip-hop.
The production, which will draw upon UMG’s catalog and live performance resources, will launch its world premiere in New York City during the 2017-18 season, followed by a subsequent 30-city North American tour.
Tony Award-winning producer Scott Landis (Pajama Game, Nice Work If You Can Get It, An Act of God), UMG’s special advisor on theatrical development and production, will represent Universal Music on the producing team, alongside Simmons, Jake Stein for Def Pictures, and Tony-winning Broadway producers Scott Prisand and Jamie Bendell for Big Block (Rock of Ages, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Heathers).
The Scenario will feature an original story written by author and hip-hop historian Dan Charnas (The Big Payback, VH1’s The Breaks). Dates, additional creative team members, and cast will be announced at a later date.
Jumpstart Entertainment will serve as general manager of the musical.
“This show will be a thrilling and energetic celebration of hip hop culture, and we want that to be enjoyed by the millions of hop-hop fans across the country,” said Simmons in a statement. “In order to ensure that the musical is truly accessible to all, the tour will play a wide variety of venues, from large Broadway touring houses to inner-city concert stages.”