Eric Gold and the other producers of "Holler If Ya Hear Me" knew they were taking a huge gamble when they decided to create Broadway's first all-rap musical, based on the songs of Tupac Shakur.
More than a decade after the Monroeville native and Hollywood super agent began pursuing his dream of bringing 2Pac to musical theater, with a book by Pittsburgher Todd Kreidler and Tony-winning director Kenny Leon at the helm, the dream died quickly. The show that required an expensive retooling of the Palace Theatre and had just two workshops before hitting New York, where it was met with mixed reviews. "Holler" had tried to reach out to the late Shakur's fan base and was hosting a National Museum of Hip-Hop exhibition at the Palace, but even with a huge ad campaign and plenty of pre-publicity, it was playing to 53 percent capacity last week.
This press release arrived tonight via e-mail:
Broadway's HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, the new musical inspired by the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, will close on at the Palace Theatre. As of that date, the musical will have played 38 regular performances and 17 preview performances. HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME began previews and opened June 19.
literally take center stage and hold it."
Speaking on behalf of the producers, Eric L. Gold said, "We are so proud to be a part of this ground breaking production. The cast, musicians, production and creative teams gave more than just their professional excellence but contributed their passion as well. My hope is that a production of this calibre, powerful in its story telling, filled with great performances and exciting contemporary dance and music will eventually receive the recognition it deserves. It saddens me that due to the financial burdens of Broadway, I was unable to sustain this production longer in order to give it time to bloom on Broadway. Tupac's urgent socially important insights and the audiences' nightly rousing standing ovations deserve to be experienced by the world."