After six weeks on stage, Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Broadway musical inspired by rapper Tupac Shakur’s music, is closing on Sunday, July 20.
“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,” producer Eric L. Gold said in a statement. “Tupac’s urgent socially important insights and the audiences’ nightly rousing standing ovations deserve to be experienced by the world.”
While Holler If Ya Hear Me isn’t a biographical show, it uses Tupac’s music to form a new narrative about a crew of characters, including spoken-word artist Saul Williams’ John and Broadway star Tonya Pinkins’ Mrs. Weston. In the planning stages, director Kenny Leon, who recently won a Tony for his work directing A Raisin in the Sun, took “a box load of Tupac’s music” and went from there.
“The settings, the relationships, the characters are already in the material, and we just had to bring those all together,” Leon told EW in May.
Leon and his crew have had trouble attracting theatergoers since the beginning, though, and the show has become “one of the worst-selling musicals of recent years,” according to The New York Times.