Kenny Leon Breathing New Life Into Tupac Musical With Hopes for a National Tour

Regional News   Kenny Leon Breathing New Life Into Tupac Musical With Hopes for a National Tour The creative team says Broadway was the tryout as a brand-new production of Holler If Ya Hear Me prepares to open in Atlanta.
Tonya Pinkins and Christopher Jackson in Holler If Ya Hear Me.
Tonya Pinkins and Christopher Jackson in Holler If Ya Hear Me on Broadway Joan Marcus

The creative team behind the Broadway production of Holler If Ya Hear Me, the 2014 hip hop musical that was inspired by the music and lyrics of late rapper Tupac Shakur, has reunited in Atlanta to work on the show and potentially prepare it for a national tour.

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Kenny Leon Charles Chessler

Kenny Leon, who directed the Broadway premiere, reunites with book writer Todd Kreidler, with the addition of choreographer Jared Grimes, who joins the team for the show’s regional debut.

Holler If Ya Hear Me is set to open in Atlanta September 12 in a new production from Leon’s True Colors Theater Company. Though the storyline will remain largely unchanged, today’s political climate will undoubtedly imbue the musical, which shines a light on the struggles of young black men in America, with newfound relevance.

In an interview with the New York Times, the Tony-winning director said he hoped the show would have more life, and sees the potential for a national tour.

Librettist Kreidler told the Times that he has reordered and reorganized some material for the Atlanta run, and that for him, Broadway was “the tryout.” Echoing this sentiment, lead producer Eric L. Gold said that “not opening in Atlanta (originally)” was one of his “biggest regrets.”

The show had a short-lived life on Broadway, opening June 19, 2014, at the Palace Theatre and closing just a month later on July 20.

Watch highlights from the production below:


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