Holler If Ya Hear Me Is More West Side Than Heights

Last updated June 18th, 2014 by Josh Ferri
 Holler If Ya Hear Me Is More West Side Than Heights

There’s a new musical in town inspired by the musical of late, great rapper Tupac Shakur. And some Broadway fans think rap and then think In the Heights, but we’re here to argue that Holler If Ya Hear Me is much more similar to the ground-breaking and iconic musical West Side Story than In the Heights.

1. There’s A Gang War Brewing on the Streets

Holler- Gang
Like the Jets and Sharks before them, the men of Holler are ready to rumble in order to defend their turf.
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

2. Some Major Dancing Going On

Holler- Dance
Tony-winning choreographer Wayne Cilento ('Tommy,' 'Wicked,' 'Aida') really worked to make the movement realistic while at the same time stylish and impressive.
Photo by Joan Marcus

3. A Guy Who Got Out But Gets Dragged Back In

Holler- Saul
Remember how Tony was out free, working an honest job before Riff visited him at Doc’s and begged him to attend the dance at gym? Well here, Saul William’s character John recently left prison in order to start a new honest life…but like all good intentions.
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

4. There’s A Wiser, Older Character One Degree Removed From the Street War

Holler- Weston- Tonya
As Mrs. Weston, the block’s matriarch, Tony winner Tonya Pinkins has all the wisdom of 'West Side’s Doc but with that fabulous Anita flair.
Photo by Joan Marcus

5. There’s an Against-All-Odds Love Story

Holler- Love
Love can bloom even in the worst of conditions.
Photo by Joan Marcus

6. “I Get Around/Keep Ya Head Up” Is Like an Amped Up “America.”

Holler Mash Up
Okay, if you love “America” in 'West Side Story' the movie (where it’s boys vs. girls) then you are going to lose your mind at 'Holler's first act mash-up.
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

7. There’s a Sweet Baby John Type Who Melts Your Heart

Holler- Baby
Broadway newcomer Dyllon Burnside plays Anthony, a young guy ready to go to war to avenge the death of his friend. Sounds hardcore until you see his sweet baby face.
Photo by Joan Marcus

8. “Thugz Mansion” Is Totally the “Somewhere” Number

Holler- Thugz
“Somewhere” is beautiful but it’s such a downer, at 'Holler' the utopian number has a real kick to it.

9. Holler Isn’t Afraid to Kill Off Characters

West Side Story- Rumble- original broadway cast
No spoilers, but 'Holler' also keeps it real.

10. It’s Ground-Breaking

Holler might later be viewed as a show ahead of its time. In the same way we look back and say, “How in the world didn’t the iconic West Side Story win Best Musical?”

Check out ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’ at Broadway’s Palace Theatre.