Tupac musical Holler If Ya Hear Me to close on Broadway

The show's producer had struggled to attract an audience, with it grossing less than $200,000 each week

A non-biographical musical based on the poetry and music of Tupac is getting the chop just over a month after it opened.

Holler If Ya Hear Me began previews on 2 June but officially opened on 19 June at the Palace Theatre on Broadway, New York, to lacklustre reviews and a low turnout.

Despite the show being expected to close this coming Sunday, top price tickets in October are still available to buy for about $187 (£109), with the cheapest about $48 (£28).

A blurb for the musical, which is set in a gritty inner-city neighbourhood, states: “Broadway has always given voice to popular culture and social change. South Pacific, West Side Story, Hair, For Colored Girls, Sarafina and Rent are among the hits that hit home.

“Now Broadway gives voice to the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, whose music has sold over 77 million albums!”

 

As Billboard reports, other hits on Broadway such as Wicked regularly post a weekly income nearing the $2million mark, yet Holler didn’t quite muster ticket sales of $200,000 in any of its six weeks.

Producer Eric L. Gold said in a statement that he hopes “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.”

The initial cost of putting on the stage show was $8million, however last week only 45 per cent of its seats were occupied, the New York Times reports, as the production prepares to close at a loss.

The musical was directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon and stars singer and poet Saul Williams and Tony nominee actress Tonya Pinkins.

It was reported last week that production staff were trying to raise $5million to keep the show afloat while box office sales improved, with Gold telling Variety: “I made a rookie mistake by underestimating how much capital was necessary, but I’m tenacious.”

The veteran TV bigwig, who has managed the Ellen DeGeneres Show and also produced My Wife and Kids, admitted that the show’s precariousness meant they were going “week to week.” Unfortunately it has now transpired that this will be its last.

It would have had 17 previews and 38 regular performances when it finishes.

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