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Holler If Ya Hear Me: first preview delayed

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The new musical Holler If Ya Hear Me, featuring the music of the late rapper Tupac Shakur and directed by Kenny Leon, which will open at Broadway's Palace Theatre on 19 Jun 2014, has postponed its first preview. Originally scheduled for 29 May 2014, the production will now begin previews on 02 Jun 2014. According to producers, the reason for the delay is to allow a longer tech schedule in the theatre.

Holler If Ya Hear Me is set in the present day on the inner-city streets of a Midwestern industrial city, and 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.

Featuring the music of Tupac Shakur, the non-biographical rap musical features a book by Todd Kreidler (dramaturg for 'Radio Golf' and 'Gem of the Ocean') and choreography by Tony Award Winner Wayne Cilento ('The Who's Tommy'), with musical supervision by Tony-nominee Daryl Waters ('Memphis,' 'Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk').

The cast includes Saul Williams (John), Christopher Jackson (Vertus), Saycon Sengbloh (Corinne), Ben Thompson (Griffy), Tony Award nominee John Earl Jelks (Street Preacher), Joshua Boone (Darius), Dyllon Burnside (Anthony) and Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (Mrs. Weston).

The ensemble features Afi Bijou, Mel Charlot, Carrie Compere, Otis Cotton, Ariana Groover, Jared Joseph, Jahi Kearse, Muata Langley, Valentine Norton, Christina Sajous, Charlene "Chi Chi" Smith, Jaime Lincoln Smith, Donald Webber Jr. and Joaquina Kalukango.

The design team includes sets and video by David Gallo, costumes by Reggie Ray and lighting by Mike Baldassari.

Holler If Ya Hear Me is produced by Afeni Shakur, Eric L. Gold, Chunsoo Shin and Jessica Green.

Kenny Leon (Director) received a Tony nomination for his helming of August Wilson's 'Fences.' Other Broadway credits include 'Stick Fly,' 'The Mountaintop,' 'Radio Golf,' 'Gem of the Ocean' and 'A Raisin in the Sun.'

Tupac Shakur, known by his stage name '2Pac,' was an American rapper. Shakur has sold over 75 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Most of Shakur's songs are about growing up amid violence and hardship in ghettos, racism, other social problems, and conflicts with other rappers during the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry. The artist was murdered in Las Vegas in 1996, aged 25.

- by Tom Millward

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