After a six-week stint on Broadway, the Tupac Shakur musical ‘Holler if Ya Hear Me‘ will close on Sunday (July 20). According to the lead producer, Eric L. Gold, poor ticket sales and budget costs were the reasons why the show had to end.
In an interview with Variety, Gold said that he made a “rookie mistake” in underestimating the amount of funding needed to sustain such a big production.
The musical, which uses the songs from the late rapper to support the story line, was in dire financial straits from the beginning when it debuted in June.
According to the New York Times, the production never drew in more than $175,000 a week in total revenues, becoming one of the worst-selling musicals of recent years. Last week, the show earned $154,948 and only 45 percent of theaters seats were filled during its run.
Mr. Gold warned that if the Tupac musical doesn’t exceed its expectations it will be very hard to have another hip-hop-inspired production on Broadway.
On Monday (Jul 14), Mr. Gold issued a statement to announce the closing of the musical. The veteran producer praised the actors (among them Saul Williams) and production crew for their tireless work ethic on the play. It reads:
We are so proud to be a part of this ground-breaking production. The cast, musicians, production and creative teams gave more than just their professional excellence but contributed their passion as well. 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. Tupac’s urgent socially important insights and the audiences’ nightly rousing standing ovations deserve to be experienced by the world.”