The Tupac musical is a Wrap. Did the Show Suck that Bad?

To be honest the entire idea sucked to begin with. I know that’s harsh, and I know it’s cool to say that hip hop is on Broadway, but at the end of the day, it’s all a business. How many people, do you think who can afford a ticket to see a Broadway show, would choose to see ‘Holler if Ya Hear Me’. Definitely not me.  Pac’s lyrics didn’t really lend themselves to be a play.  I also thought the show as about Tupac, it’s not.  It just uses his music as the backdrop to another cliche’d hood tale.

The show which held around 55 performances (17 previews and 38 regular performances) will be laid to rest on July 20th. A rep for the production confirmed that it was indeed being shutdown due to ticket sales and financial issues. A statement was released to the media that confirmed the obvious, [more…]

“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 shows producer thought that he could raise additional funding after admitting that he underestimated the cost of such a production. Eric L. Gold explained his mis-step in an interview with Variety last month,

“It can’t tell you if it’ll be two weeks or two months. 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.”

What he failed to mention is that he made a few other Rookie mistakes.  From the beginning it was clear that the marketing was all wrong, there was no solid plan.  Gold also made the mistake of NOT running a small out of town tryout to fine tune the production before hitting Broadway. Many new shows take this route to avoid such fates. Another rookie mistake he made was opening right near the Tony Awards, when all the award winners are getting all the ticket sales.  In the end these errors stacked up and were too much for the production to overcome.



Not extremely bad, but what you would expect:


Despite its soaring performances, this musical treatment of the works of Tupac Shakur places its searing source material in service of a generic gangland saga.


Flashes of Brilliance, Hamstrung by Cliché, in the Tupac Musical Holler If Ya Hear Me


‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’ Review: Tupac Musical Is A ‘Tiring Two-Plus Hours’

The $8 million dollar production included a cast of 22 and an orchestra of 9 and sales have not been north of $200,000 a week which is a super low number for a Broadway show.

They have tried several things to boost sales.  They performed on Good Morning America, and Good Day New York and even removed 600 seats out of the theater to give theater goers the impression that the show was packed.  None of it worked.  The last week of sales only netted about 45% of the seats available.



When you look at that $200,000 number that sounds like a hell of a lot of money, but let’s put it in perspective: The ‘Lion King’ and ‘Wicked’ both pull in over $2 million per week.  Not too mention those shows have an average ticket price of $130 to $160.  ‘The Book of Mormon’ is currently averaging $190.  The cost for a ticket to ‘Holler if Your Hear Me’ was around $24 to $45.  Ouch!


  1. The Lion King
  2. The Book of Mormon
  3. Wicked
  4. Jersey Boys
  5. The Phantom of the Opera
  6. Matilda
  7. Les Miserables
  8. Kinky Boots
  9. Aladdin
  10. If/Then
  11. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
  12. Motown The Musical
  1. Mamma Mia!
  2. Cinderella
  3. Chicago
  4. Rocky
  5. Rock of Ages
  6. Once
  7. Newsies
  8. Bullets Over Broadway
  9. Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  10. Pippin

Where does a show about Tupac fit in on this list for you? Exactly.

If I knew tickets were only $25 bucks – I would probably see it.  But I didn’t know and I’m sure I’m not the only Pac fan that didn’t know.  Exactly!  Here is the shows official featurette.