Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Photos: Saul Williams, Christopher Jackson, Saycon Sengbloh, Ben Thompson, John Earl Jelks, Joshua Boone, Dyllon Burnside and Tonya Pinkins star in HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME

Award-winning slam poet, actor, singer, musician Saul Williams (Slam), Christopher Jackson (After Midnight), Saycon Sengbloh (Motown The MusicalFela!), Ben Thompson (Matilda), John Earl Jelks (Radio Golf – Tony nomination), Joshua Boone (Brownsville Song [b side for Tray] at Actors Theatre of Louisville), Dyllon Burnside (“Prison Break”) and Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly’s Last JamCaroline or Change, Play On!) star in HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, the new Broadway musical inspired by the lyrics of Tupac Shakur.  Written by Todd Kreidler and directed by Kenny Leon, HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is currently in previews at the Palace Theatre (1564 Broadway at 47th Street). The production officially opens on Thursday, June 19, 2014.

The Cast of Holler If Ya Hear Me. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Cast of Holler If Ya Hear Me. Photo by Joan Marcus

HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, the world inside Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics, blazes to life in a non-biographical story about friendship, family, revenge, change and hope. Inner city lives struggle for peace against the daily challenges they face in this entertaining and original musical. Through the poetry of one of the 20th century’s most influential and culturally prominent voices, we are given a window into realities of the streets still relevant today.

The Cast of Holler If Ya Hear Me. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Cast of Holler If Ya Hear Me. Photo by Joan Marcus

Saul Williams plays John, Christopher Jackson is Vertus, Saycon Sengbloh is Corinne, Ben Thompson plays Griffy, John Earl Jelks plays Street Preacher, Joshua Boone is Darius, Dyllon Burnside is Anthony and Tonya Pinkins plays Mrs. Weston.

Saul Willams and Saycon Sengbloh. Photo by Joan Marcus

Saul Willams and Saycon Sengbloh. Photo by Joan Marcus

The ensemble features Afi Bijou (Fela!), Mel Charlot (Three-time World Hip Hop Champion), Carrie Compere(Shrek National Tour), Otis CottonAriana Groover (Bare Off-Broadway), Jared Joseph (Book of Mormon National Tour), Jahi Kearse (Baby It’s You), Muata Langley (freestyle Krump performer), Valentine Norton (“American Idol”), Christina Sajous (Spider-Man:  Turn off the Dark), Charlene “Chi Chi” SmithJaime Lincoln Smith (Ruined Off-Broadway), Donald Webber, Jr. (Motown The Musical) and Joaquina Kalukango (Antony and Cleopatra).


Joining director Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun [2004 and 2014], Fences [2010], The Mountaintop) and author Todd Kreidler (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and direction of How I Learned What I Learned) on the creative team, are Tony Award winning choreographer Wayne Cilento (Wicked, The Who’s Tommy, How to Succeed…[1995], AIDA, Sweet Charity [2004]), and musical supervisor Daryl Waters (Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk, The Color Purple, Memphis).

Tonya Pinkins and Christopher Jackson. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tonya Pinkins and Christopher Jackson. Photo by Joan Marcus

Kenny Leon winner of the award for Best Direction of a Play for A Raisin in the Sun poses in the press room during the 68th Annual Tony Awards on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Kenny Leon winner of the award for Best Direction of a Play for A Raisin in the Sun poses in the press room during the 68th Annual Tony Awards on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The creative team also includes scenic design by Edward Pierce (The Other Place, Shatner’s World) based on original concepts by David Gallo, projections by Zachary G. Borovay (No Man’s LandWaiting for Godot), costumes by Reggie Ray (Stick Fly), lighting by Mike Baldassari (Cabaret [1998/2014], First Date), sound byJohn Shivers (Kinky Boots) and David Patridge (Soul Doctor) and casting by Caparelliotis Casting (Casa ValentinaThe Trip to Bountiful).

HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is produced on Broadway by Afeni ShakurEric L. GoldChunsoo ShinJessica Green and Marcy Kaplan-Gold.  General Manager is Richard Martini for KL Management.

Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster at www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 877-250-2929.  Tickets available in person at the Palace Theatre box office, 1564 Broadway at 47th Street. Ticket prices range from $59 to $139 (all prices include a$2.00 facility fee).   Use code MPEN for special preview prices listed on the flyer. A limited number of student tickets at $35 are available through TIX4STUDENTS at www.tix4students.com. TIX4STUDENTS is an annual membership program for students 18+ only that provides access to purchase student tickets online in advance (validation of student status required). HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is participating in this program as part of their commitment to being accessible to college students.ImageProxy-1.mvc

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Late Night Singing with Garth Kravits at 54 Below with The Skivvies, at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland and Michael Raye’s Soul Gathering
A.C.T.’s Production Photos of The Orphan of Zhao starring BD Wong, Sab Shimono, Julyana Soelistyo, Stan Egi, Orville Mendoza, Paolo Montalban and More, Opens June 11
Bryan Cranston, Audra McDonald, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessie Mueller, Lena Hall, Sophie Okonedo, Kenny Leon, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, All The Way, A Raisin in the Sun, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and More Take Home 2014 Tony Awards
Jun. 23: The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall Features Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, André De Shields, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon and More
Jun. 16: Project1Voice & NBLCA Presents Staged Reading of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf Featuring Trazana Beverley, LaChanze, Adriane Lenox, Tonya Pinkins, Lillias White, Denise Burse Fernandez, Marva Hicks, Roslyn Ruff and More
June 13-14: Washington National Opera Presents Huang Ruo & David Henry Hwang’s An American Soldier in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater
June 22 – July 27: Blair Underwood, Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Lead the Cast of The Old Globe’s Othello, helmed by Barry Edelstein 
Wesley Taylor and Mitchell Jarvis’ ‘it could be worse’ Series Featuring Adam Chanler-Berat, Alison Fraser, Gideon Glick and More Airs on Pivot TV in June; and on Hulu in July
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
June 4: Garth Kravits, Lena Hall, Lesli Margherita, Wesley Taylor and More Strip Down with The Skivvies at 54 Below 
May 31 – June 22: Annette O’Toole Leads Cast of Wendy Wasserstein’s “Third” Helmed by Michael Cumpsty at Two River Theater Company 
June 5-7: National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 
May 28 – June 29: Lisa Joyce, Henry Kelemen and CJ Wilson Join Mary McCann in Atlantic Theater Company’s OUR NEW GIRL
Jun. 16: Project1Voice & NBLCA Presents Staged Reading of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf Featuring Trazana Beverley, LaChanze, Adriane Lenox, Tonya Pinkins, Lillias White, Denise Burse Fernandez, Marva Hicks, Roslyn Ruff and More
Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, Sonya Tayeh, Emmanuel Brown, Mia Katigbak, K. Todd Freeman, John Earl Jelks Among 2014 OBIE Award Winners
LAByrinth Extends New York Times Critic’s Pick Sunset Baby, Starring John Earl Jelks, DeWanda Wise and Harvey Gardner Moore, to December 15
Photos: LAByrinth’s Opening Night of Dominique Morisseau’s Sunset Baby with John Earl Jelks, DeWanda Wise, Harvey Gardner Moore, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Tracie Thoms, Alano Miller and More
Photos: John Earl Jelks, DeWanda Wise, Harvey Gardner Moore, André De Shields at Dominique Morisseau’s Sunset Baby
Nov. 6 – Dec. 8: Tony Nominee John Earl Jelks, Dewanda Wise and Harvey Gardner Moore Star in Labyrinth’s American Premiere of Sunset Baby by Dominique Morisseau at Bank Street Theater
Photos: Opening Night of Will Power’s Fetch Clay, Make Man with John Earl Jelks, Richard Masur, Nikki M. James, K. Todd Freeman, Ray Fisher 
NYTW Production Photos of Fetch Clay, Make Man: Ray Fisher, Nikki M. James, John Earl Jelks, K. Todd Freeman
Photos: André Braugher, Ami Brabson, Christine Toy Johnson, Antoinette LaVecchia, Richard Topol, Victor Williams, Nikkole Salter, Elizabeth Van Dyke at Oni Faida Lampley’s Tough Titty at the Paradise Factory
Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award
Photos: Late Night with Holy Land’s Jojo Gonzalez
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Q & A with Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play’s Garth Kravits
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999
Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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