Holler If Ya Hear Me: full cast announced
The new musical Holler If Ya Hear Me, featuring the music of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, which will open at Broadway's Palace Theatre on 19 Jun 2014, following previews from 26 May 2014, has now announced full casting.
The cast will include 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 will feature 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.
Saul Williams is a poet, actor, singer and musician. He is perhaps best known for his starring role in the 1998 film 'Slam', which he also co-wrote, depicting the Slam Poetry movement. He is ranked as the Third highest-selling living poet in the world. As a musician, he has released four studio albums, including 'Volcanic Sunlight' in 2011, and as an actor, he appeared regularly on TV series 'Girlfriend' as Sivad and in such films as 'K-Pax', 'Lackawanna Blues' and 'The N-Word'.
Christopher Jackson's Broadway credits include 'After Midnight', 'The Bronx Bombers', 'In the Heights', 'Memphis' and 'The Lion King'. He is also a composer/songwriter, earning himself five Emmy nominations for 'Sesame Street' and has released a solo album titled 'In The Name of Love'.
Saycon Sengbloh has appeared on Broadway in 'Motown the Musical', 'Fela!', 'Hair', 'Wicked', 'The Color Purple' and 'Aida'.
Ben Thompson's Broadway credits include 'American Idiot' and the role of Miss Trunchbull in 'Matilda The Musical'.
John Earl Jelks made his Broadway debut in 'Gem of the Ocean' and was also nominated for a Tony Award in 2007 for 'Radio Golf'.
Joshua Boone will be making his Broadway debut, after receiving his Theatre Performance B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Dyllon Burnside will also be making his Broadway debut, after studying Musical Theatre Performance at CAP21.
Tonya Pinkins won a Tony Award in 1992 for 'Jelly's Last Jam'. She was also nominated for a Tony for 'Play On!' (1997) and 'Caroline, or Change' (2004). Her other Broadway credits include 'Merrily We Roll Along', 'The Wild Party', 'Radio Golf' and 'A Time To Kill'.
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 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.
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