A Tupac Musical Gets a Second Chance

At that point, “In the Heights” was the only Broadway musical that had successfully incorporated hip-hop. A year after “Holler” closed, a show called “Hamilton” arrived, its hip-hop score helping to make it the rare once-in-a-generation blockbuster.


Kenny Leon is directing “Holler if Ya Hear Me” for True Colors.

Johnathon Kelso for The New York Times

“People have commented to me that it was one moment too soon, and that opening on Broadway was just too ambitious,” Eric L. Gold, the lead producer, wrote in an email. “Not opening originally in Atlanta is one of my biggest regrets.”

Mr. Leon said he hoped the True Colors rendition would lead to more life for the show. “A lot of eyes are on the production to see how it works in Atlanta, so that maybe we could have a national tour,” he said.

The story line will remain largely the same, though recent events may give it a new impact.

“People are going to see the story through a different lens because of Ferguson and Black Lives Matter,” Todd Kreidler, the librettist, predicted.

In “Holler,” John has just returned home after serving six years in prison to find that his best friend, Vertus, and ex-girlfriend Corinne are in a relationship. To make matters worse, when Vertus’s brother Benny is killed in a gang war, revenge is in the air, which sends their mother into a tailspin.

Determined to keep his new job at the salvage yard and leave his criminal past behind, John must learn who to hold onto and what to let go of in order to survive.

For the True Colors production, Mr. Kreidler said he reordered and reorganized some material. The opening number, “My Block,” now focuses on John’s being released from prison, and we meet the other characters later. The second number is now “I Ain’t Mad at Cha,”…

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