Tupac Shakur Rap Musical Eyes 2013-14 Broadway Run
By Adam Hetrick
Holler If Ya Hear Me, a new musical based on the music of late rapper Tupac Shakur, which is currently receiving a five-week New York City workshop, is aiming for a Broadway premiere during the 2013-14 season.
As previously reported by Playbill.com, Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon, who has staged Stick Fly, The Mountaintop and Fences on Broadway, is directing the musical that has a book by Todd Kreidler. The piece takes its title from a song on Shakur's second studio album.
The late rapper's mother, Afeni Shakur, along with Eric L. Gold, Chunsoo Shin and Jessica Green are producing the non-biographical musical. The anticipated 2013-14 Broadway arrival will depend on the availability of a Broadway theatre.
Here's how it's billed: "An original story set in the present day on the inner-city streets of a Midwestern industrial city, the musical tells the story of two childhood friends and their extended families as they struggle to reconcile the challenges and realities of their daily lives with their hopes, dreams and ambitions."
Holler If Ya Hear Me will feature choreography by Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento (The Who's Tommy, Wicked), with musical supervision by Daryl Waters (Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk, The Color Purple, Memphis).
The production will also have set and video by Tony Award winner David Gallo (First Date, Memphis), costumes by Reggie Ray (Stick Fly) and lighting by Mike Baldassari (Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret).
Shakur died as the result of a 1996 gang-related drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. In 2010 the Library of Congress selected Shakur's "Dear Mama" to become part of its National Recording Registry. He also appeared in the films "Poetic Justice" and "Above the Rim." His albums include "2Pacalypse Now," "Me Against the World," "All Eyez on Me," "Until the End of Time" and "Pac's Life."
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