Musical inspired by Tupac Shakur songs being born

NEW YORK (AP) — A musical inspired by the music of Tupac Shakur hopes to bring gangsta rap to a Broadway stage.

A workshop of “Holler If Ya Hear Me” is currently under way in New York under the direction of Kenny Leon, who helmed the Broadway hits “Fences” and “The Mountaintop.” The new musical sets Shakur’s music to an original story and hopes to be ready for the 2013-2014 Broadway season.

Producers said Monday the musical is set in a Midwestern industrial city during present time and tells the story of two childhood friends “as they struggle to reconcile the challenges and realities of their daily lives with their hopes, dreams and ambitions.”

Rapper and actor Shakur, who had multimillion-seller albums like “2Pacalypse Now” and “All Eyez on Me,” was killed in September 1996 as he sat in a car in Las Vegas. He was 25 and known for his raw lyrics that drew on the rage of a coarse urban existence.

The new musical has a book by Todd Kreidler, who was a dramaturg for “Radio Golf” and “Gem of the Ocean,” and choreography by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento of “Wicked” and “Sweet Charity.” Afeni Shakur, the late artists’ mother, is a producer.

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