Tupac Shakur's spirit rises in Broadway's 'Holler'

June 20, 2014 2:23 AM

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Tupac Shakur's spirit rises in Broadway's 'Holler'

NEW YORK — As recently as five or 10 years ago, it would have seemed ludicrous to put Tupac Shakur's name and the term "jukebox musical" in the same sentence. Not that the notion of such a project should induce any more (or less) eye-rolling than that of using some classic-rock act's catalog as fodder for new drama. But the latter formula simply caters more to the demographic traditionally associated with Broadway audiences.

So let's first praise Holler If Ya Hear Me (*** out of four stars) for what it's doing — acknowledging that Broadway audiences are growing more diverse, and encouraging that growth — and, just as important, what it isn't doing: milking nostalgia.

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