Diehard Tupac Shakur fans hoping to see a glimpse of the highly-anticipated “Holler If Ya Hear Me” music production have had their wishes met courtesy of new behind-the-scenes footage surfacing online. #HollerIfYaHearMe
The new footage shows cast members singing some of Pac’s most iconic anthems.
Previews for the show begin June 2 at the Palace Theatre, with an opening date set for June 19. But to get an early sense of how Shakur’s work is being interpreted, check out the exclusive behind-the-scenes clip below. It takes you inside the studio as the cast of Holler If Ya Hear Me belts out “California Love,” a ballad version of “Unconditional Love,” and the title song. (Entertainment Weekly)
Reports claim potential attendees will experience a slew of additional Pac records performed.
Directed by current Tony nominee Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) and starring veteran spoken-word artist and rapper Saul Williams, Holler If Ya Hear Me is not a biographical tale about the late Shakur. Instead, his songs build an entirely new narrative based on the themes of family, opportunity, community, poverty, and love that ran through Tupac’s lyrics. Some of his most beloved songs are represented, including “Dear Mama,” “I Get Around,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” and “I Ain’t Mad at Cha.” (Entertainment Weekly)
Recent reports revealed music veteran Saul Williams would take his talent to the big production.
Let’s just clear up some confusion that we’ve already seen floating around the internet: Williams is not, we repeat, not portraying Shakur in the musical. The plot of the play takes in the Midwest, where two friends (one of whom, presumably, is Williams) struggle to escape from the grips of poverty. It’s a plot line not unlike Shakur’s own, and will feature the late rapper’s hits, including “California Love,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” and “Me Against The World.” (Music Times)
The upcoming musical will reportedly break new ground for hip-hop culture.
Williams is an ideal choice for the lead in a musical that inevitably will need to incorporate rap. The actor has also gained renown for his performances of hip-hop, spoken word poetry, and often a hybrid of the two forms. Hip-hop has yet to gain much of a foothold on Broadway despite its mainstream strength in the music industry. The closest thing an official Broadway number has had to hip-hop was 1978’s Runaways, a production from Elizabeth Swados. We don’t have to explain that rapping is far different from the typical melodic approach of a Broadway musical, and writers have shied away from hip-hop because of it. (Music Times)
Check out the footage: