A new Broadway musical will feature songs and poetry of the late Tupac Shakur.
“Holler if Ya Hear Me,” which opens at the Palace Theater on June 19, weaves 21 songs by Shakur (two of which are musically arranged versions of his poems) into a story about a community struggling to pull hope from the grasp of entrenched social ills. Put differently, it’s not a Broadway-ification of Shakur’s life or vision so much as a repurposing of his words into an emotionally felt, family-friendly context.
“It’s a story about unconditional love that uplifts all of his words,” said Kenny Leon, the musical’s director, a veteran of [August] Wilson’s “Fences” and the current “A Raisin in the Sun.” In that, “Holler” has plenty in common with the rest of Broadway, and the creative team was careful in managing how the play handled what Mr. Leon termed “the things that people think they hate” — bad language, guns, violence.
Murdered in 1996, Shakur’s influence remains, even after all these years. The actor, lyricist and poet is one of hip-hop’s most celebrated figures.
The musical stars Saul Williams and Christopher Jackson. For more information visit http://www.broadway.com/shows/holler-if-you-hear-me.
Sounds like a great way to feature Shakur’s legacy.
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