So-called experts will probably tell you that if you’re trying to produce a successful show on Broadway, you need to do something called “make money.” Apparently, someone forgot to share that strategy with the producers of Holler If Ya Hear Me, because less than one month after the show’s official opening at the Palace Theatre, word is that it is closing. In fact, the show, which features the music of Tupac Shakur without actually telling the story of his life, is scheduled to close on July 20, which will most certainly add its name to the list of all-time Broadway flops.
Despite neither of the lead producers having much experience with Broadway shows, they still share a belief that the message of Tupac’s songs can thrive beyond this failure. However, according to Billboard, there are no actual plans to take Holler If Ya Hear Me on the road just yet, despite the apparent urgency of the late rapper’s words.
“My hope is that a production of this caliber, powerful in its story telling, filled with great performances and exciting contemporary dance and music, will eventually receive the recognition it deserves,” said [producer Eric L.] Gold in a statement. “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.” (Via Billboard)
The cast of the show appeared on Good Morning America last week to perform “California Love” in quite the Broadway fashion, but the show still only pulled in $155,000 in ticket sales out of a possible $917,000, according to the BBC. Additionally, while people are still paying an average of $190 to see The Book of Mormon, the average ticket price for Holler was just $24.
Somewhere, Tupac is shaking his head. My guess is Nebraska or Costa Rica.