Holla If Ya Hear Me, a new musical based on the life of the late rapper Tupac Shakur is hoping for a Broadway debut next season.
The musical currently is receiving a five-week workshop in New York, and is aiming for a 2013-2014 debut. It will be directed by Tony Award-nominee Kenny Leon, who tells Broadway.com that though the musical features the music of Tupac, he is not a character in the production.
“Tupac was a prophet and I want everyone to see that,” Leon said. “[‘Holler if Ya Hear Me’] is a present-day musical using all of Tupac’s music, but Tupac is not a character in the musical.”
The production is being produced by Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, along with Eric L. Gold, Chunsoo Shin and Jessica Green. Here’s how those producers describe the story:
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.
The book for the musical is written by Todd Kreidler, and takes it’s title from a song from Shakur’s 1993 sophomore album.
Leon has become known for directing a variety of productions including Stick Fly and Fences. The new musical will feature choreography by Wayne Cilento, who won a Tony for his work on The Who’s Tommy. Music supervision is by Daryl Waters, known for his work on Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, Memphis and The Color Purple.
Shakur was killed in a gang-related shooting in Las Vegas in 1996 at the age of 25. He released four studio albums during his lifetime, and had recorded enough material that six posthumous albums have been released.