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2Pac musical ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’ forced to close early

APphoto_Theater Review Holler If Ya Hear Me

Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Broadway musical inspired by the life and lyrics of the late Tupac Shakur, has been forced to close on June 20, due to poor ticket sales. The non-biographical rap musical set in an innercity neighborhood in the Midwest just opened a month ago, but it was met with low attendance and mixed reviews. Attendance was low, even during previews in early June.

The project is the brainchild of famed poet, writer and actor Saul Williams, who also stars. Shows were held at the Palace Theater in Times Square, one of Broadway’s larger venues. The Palace has a seating capacity of 1,700; but this particular production realigned the seating and the theater’s orchestra section; which removed roughly 600 seats.

There is an accompanying book by Todd Kreidler and the play was directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon. But none of that seemed to generate much buzz for this production. Many critics felt that the characters were cliché and flat, the story was too muddled and Shakur’s lyrics were not ideal for stringing together a cohesive narrative. And it was posited that the themes of the poverty, crime, community and redemption were lost in a hackneyed plot.

Popular Broadway shows currently tend to gross more than $1 million a week, but Holler… never topped the $200,000 mark. The average paid admission for Holler ranged from $24 to $45, which makes it a cheaper night out than the bigger shows, which typically cost as high as $160.

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