The music of the late, great Tupac Shakur is coming to Broadway later this year. “Holler If Ya Hear Me” currently is casting, and selected actors will begin workshops in April, according to a casting call in Playbill.
Broadway.com reports the story of the upcoming musical:
“Set in the present day on the inner-city streets of a Midwestern industrial city, the musical tells the story of two childhood friends (John and Vertus) and their extended families as they struggle to reconcile the challenges and realities of their daily lives with their hopes, dreams and ambitions.”
Kenny Leon will direct the production, and previously has held small workshops with Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur. He also spoke in a PBS interview of his desire to work on a production based on the rapper’s discography.
“The idea was always to make a musical inspired by his music and not to do an autobiographical approach to his life or anything like that,” Leon said in the interview. “And because I always thought that Tupac was a prophet and I thought if everybody could hear his words and hear his stories, they would see what I see.
“Todd [Kriedler] is writing the book,” he continued, “and with the lyrics by Tupac, it’s going to be very exciting, pretty much would change the face of musical theater as we know it on Broadway, so I am looking forward to that.”
Tupac was gunned down in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996 at the age of 25, and died six days after the incident of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest at University Medical Center. The murder has yet to be solved. He has sold more than 75 million albums around the world. He released six studio albums throughout his lifetime, and more have been released posthumously, many comprised of unreleased recordings of the prolific artist.