Sorry, Tupac fans. At least there's still the biopic!
A Broadway musical may just be one of the strangest venues for a Tupac tribute. Audiences, who went to see Holler If You Hear Me seem to think so too and the musical has now closed after six weeks on Broadway. The tribute musical, which included a number of Tupac songs, had its disappointing run at the Palace Theater. Unfortunately, it failed to attract enough attendees to justify the $8 miillion investment, according to MTV. The show received mixed reviews and never brought in more than $175,000 per week (for the record, those are very poor sales numbers for a Broadway show.
The aim of the show was to introduce a new audience to Tupac's work and to prove that a hip hop musical could flourish on Broadway.
“I was unable to sustain this production longer in order to give it time to bloom on Broadway,” lead producer Eric L. Gold said in a statement.
It may be because of the medium, since there aren’t too many hip hop and musical theatre crossover fans out there, but the numbers do paint a grim picture. Last week, the show managed to fill just 45 % of the seats, making for a disappointing gross of roughly $145, 000.
For his part, Gold still believes that a hip hop musical is a doable and fresh enough concept to work on Broadway. In his opinion, it was the over-inflated budget for Holler If You Hear Me that sealed its fate.
“If we don’t succeed, it’s going to be difficult to do another rap or hip hop show on Broadway,” Gold told Variety last week when vowing to keep the show open. “It’s an expensive game, and I’m the guy carrying the load financially. I made a rookie mistake by underestimating how much capital was necessary, but I’m tenacious.”
Apparently, tenacity alone wasn’t enough to save the production, which starred Saul Williams and was directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon, best known for A Raisin in the Sun. Despite the talent involved, the story was panned by the critics for being too clichéd.
The musical starred Saul Williams.