Holler If Ya Hear Me (musical)
|Holler If Ya Hear Me|
Broadway Playbill cover
The musical had a 5-week workshop in summer of 2013.
The musical began previews on Broadway at the Palace Theatre on June 2, 2014, and officially opened on June 19, 2014. The musical closed on July 20, 2014, after 17 previews and 38 performances. Directed by Kenny Leon, the musical staging and choreography was by Wayne Cilento.
One of the producers, Eric L. Gold, "blamed the show’s closing on 'the financial burdens of Broadway'...'I was unable to sustain this production longer in order to give it time to bloom on Broadway.' Mr. Gold also recently told Variety that he made a 'rookie mistake' by underestimating the amount of capital necessary to keep the $8 million show running." The show had mixed reviews.
A cast album of this musical was recorded but never released.
Principal roles and original Broadway cast
- John – Saul Williams
- Vertus – Christopher Jackson
- Corinne - Saycon Sengbloh
- Darius - Joshua Boone
- Anthony - Dyllon Burnside
- Street Preacher - John Earl Jelks
- Mrs. Weston - Tonya Pinkins
- Griffy - Ben Thompson
- Nunn - Jahi Kearse
Principal roles and Regional premier cast
- John – Rob Demery
- Corinne - D. Woods
- Darius - Markelle Gay
- Anthony - Wonza Johnson
- Vertus – Garrett Turner
- Street Preacher - Eddie Bradley, Jr
- Mrs. Weston - Theresa Hightower
- Griffy - Rob Lawhon
- Nunn - Durrell Lyons
According to Playbill, the musical is billed: "'Holler If Ya Hear Me', the world inside Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics, blazes to life in a non-biographical story about friendship, family, revenge, change and hope. Inner city lives struggle for peace against the daily challenges they face in this entertaining and original musical. Through the poetry of one of the 20th century’s most influential and culturally prominent voices, we are given a window into realities of the streets still relevant today."
Source: Internet Broadway Database
Marilyn Stasio, in her review in Variety, wrote: "The true believers won’t care about such pedestrian matters as the predictable book and clumsy characterizations...The music...is terrific.... But the performers are so overly watermeloned that the lyrics are almost unintelligible....The other major drawback is that the story told in Todd Kreidler’s book isn’t the story we want to hear. It’s not the life of Tupac Shakur.... it’s the generic tale of a thug named John...who comes out of prison determined to go straight, only to be drawn back into the violent gang culture of the neighborhood by friends who demand his undying loyalty to the clan philosophy of life-as-war."
David Rooney, writing in The Hollywood Reporter noted: "Critical response to the show was lukewarm. While many reviewers appreciated the attempt to stretch the jukebox musical format in new directions, going beyond the safe parameters of Baby Boomer hits, most found the story of racism, poverty, crime, violence, community and redemption mired in plot cliches and stock characters....It was apparent from the outset that not only was the show's marketing not working, but also that producers had made a mistake in bypassing the developmental opportunities of an out-of-town tryout and the fine-tuning window of a longer preview period."
- Hetrick, Adam (January 8, 2014). "Tupac Shakur Musical 'Holler If Ya Hear Me' Will Play Broadway's Palace Theatre". Playbill.
- Holler If Ya Hear Me PlaybillVault.com, accessed December 14, 2015
- Rickwald, Bethany. "Broadway's Tupac-Inspired Musical 'Holler If Ya Hear Me' to Close" theatermania.com, July 14, 2014
- Healy, Patrick (July 14, 2014). "'Holler if Ya Hear Me' to Close on Sunday". The New York Times.
- "'Holler If Ya Hear Me' Songs" ibdb.com, accessed December 15, 2015
- Stasio, Marilyn (June 19, 2014). "Broadway Review: 'Holler If Ya Hear Me' With Songs by Tupac Shakur". Variety.
- Rooney, David (July 14, 2014). "Tupac Musical 'Holler If Ya Hear Me' Meets Swift Demise on Broadway". Billboard.