For all you die-hard Tupac fans, get ready for the “Thug Life” to make its debut on Broadway. According to Playbill, the life of the late rapper will be set to music in a show called Holler If Ya Hear Me.
The musical is said to be directed by Kenny Leon (who also directed A Raisin In the Sun, Stick Fly, and The Mountaintop) and will feature music from Tupac Shakur’s extensive musical catalogue.
African-American male and female rappers between the ages of 18 and 35, with strong rap and guitar talents, were encouraged to try out for lead roles, according to the audition information posted on Playbill.
Leon candidly discussed his plans to direct a musical about the life of Tupac and how he got involved in the project during an interview with PBS last November.
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. 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.
So a year from now hopefully you’ll be seeing this world-changing musical on the Broadway stage. I couldn’t be more excited. Todd Krickler is writing the book, and with the lyrics by Tupac, it’s going to be very exciting, pretty much would sort of change the face of musical theater as we know it on Broadway, so I am looking forward to that.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Leon revealed that he recently held a workshop with Shakur’s mother, Afeni, in preparation of a larger scale production.
“I’m doing a reading of a musical that I’ve been working on with the music of Tupac Shakur. So I’m working with his mother Afeni on this Broadway musical,” Leon said.
Although there have been other Broadway musicals with primarily black casts, Holler If Ya Hear Me will be the first full-scale, hip-hop production in Broadway history.
There is no set date for the Broadway premiere of “Holler If You Hear Me,” but the musical is sure to shake up the “Great White Way.”
Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC