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Tupac Shakur Musical ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’ Gets Broadway’s Cold Shoulder

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 6:55pm PDT

Tupac Shakur Musical ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’ Gets Broadway’s Cold ShoulderA rare, not to say quixotic, attempt to bring rap music into the Broadway mainstream, Holler If Ya Hear Me will close Sunday at the Palace Theatre after 17 previews and 38 regular performances. Embedding the music of murdered poet and rapper Tupac Shakur into a tale of struggle to find dignity on mean streets, Holler featured a strong ensemble cast led by what, under happier circumstances, would have been a star-making performance by hip-hop poet and rapper Saul Williams.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 9.19.40 PMThe show was staged by Kenny Leon, who had just had a triumph directing a Broadway revival of A Raisin in The Sun starring Denzel Washington. Capitalized at about $8 million, the show lost money every week. Last week it took in just $154,948, or 17% of its gross potential, while playing to houses that were less than half-full in a legendary theater whose seating capacity already had been reduced by hundreds of seats for the show.

The musical, which opened in June, features over 20 Shakur songs, including the title number, ”California Love,” “I Get Around,” “Thugz Mansion,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” “Dear Mama,” “Me Against the World,” “Unconditional Love” and “Hail Mary.” Time magazine’s Richard Zoglin called the show “a bold effort to open up Broadway to a new musical idiom, without diluting it or reducing it to a cartoon. The show hollers, and you … Read More »

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DeadlineNow: Tupac-Inspired Musical ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’ Hits Broadway (Video)

By | Friday June 20, 2014 @ 1:37pm PDT
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Tupac In The House Judy Garland Built

Saul Williams is impressive as the lead of a musical that is less about the iconic rapper and more about life on the streets set to his music. Deadline's Jeremy Gerard reports on opening night at the Palace.

Related: Tupac Shakur Rattles Broadway In ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’

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