During his brief professional career, Tupac Shakur proved himself to be one of the most prolific rappers of his generation. Though he passed away at an early age, his contributions continue to be revered by music lovers around the globe, and now, more than 15 years after his untimely death, Tupac and his music will soon be revived in a unique way.
In June 2013, it was announced that Tony Award-winning director, Kenny Leon, will be helming the forthcoming Broadway musical, “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” a modern-day jukebox musical that takes its name from a track off Tupac’s second album. Though the musical will exclusively feature Tupac’s music, Leon has stressed that it will not be a biography, but instead, will follow two childhood friends as they work through the struggles of everyday life in pursuit of their dreams and ambitions.
No official casting or theater information has been released, but the project is currently in a five-week workshop stage with hopes of reaching Broadway for the 2013-14 season. The project is being produced in part by Tupac’s mother, Afeni, who was left largely in charge of her late son’s estate and unreleased material following his death.
Though rap on Broadway might sound like an anomaly, “Holler If Ya Hear Me” won’t be the first of its kind. In fact, the 2008 Tony winner for Best Musical was “In the Heights,” which was set in New York City’s Washington Heights and included spots of freestyle rap interspersed with hip-hop. That being said, when the Tupac musical hits the Broadway stage, it will be the first full-scale rap musical ever to grace the “Great White Way.”
A wide variety of jukebox musicals have proven wildly popular on Broadway, especially in recent years. A new musical of The Beatles’ music, “Let It Be,” will begin previews this month, while “Mamma Mia!,” “Jersey Boys,” “Rock of Ages,” and “Motown: the Musical” all feature established popular music from ABBA, The Four Seasons, ‘80s metal, and ‘60s Motown, respectively. All these productions are currently running at New York theaters this year, and you can find all your theater tickets through our online marketplace.