The long-awaited Tupac Shakur musical finally has an opening date. Holler If Ya Hear Me, which is inspired by the late rapper's music, will officially kick off its Broadway run on June 19th at the Palace Theater in New York, while preview performances for the program will begin on May 26th.
The production, which boasts an $8 million budget, will feature songs from throughout the rap icon's career, including classics like "California Love," "Keep Ya Head Up," "Me Against the World" and, naturally, the title song. However, unlike the long-delayed biopic that begins shooting this year, the story itself will not be directly based on Shakur's life or his drive-by shooting death in 1996.
Instead, the script (written by Todd Kreidler) focuses on two childhood friends living in a poverty-stricken Midwestern industrial city, struggling to realize their dreams. In a statement, the show's producers call Holler a tale of "friendship, family, revenge, change and hope."
Holler If Ya Hear Me will be directed by Kenny Leon, who earned a Tony Award nomination for 2010's Fences. Along with television producer Eric L. Gold and theater producer Shin Chun-soo, the musical will be produced by Shakur's mother, Afeni. As Leon told Broadway.com, "Tupac was a prophet, and I want everyone to see that."