Saul Williams, the star of the musical “Holler If You Hear Me,” spoke with Rolling Stone this week about why he thinks the show wasn’t a success. The show closed after only one month and 55 performances on Broadway. But Williams was quick to point out its accomplishments:
Could you foresee at all that Holler If Ya Hear Me would close this early or was it a surprise?
We’ve known what was going on all along. Every day at rehearsal, Kenny Leon was saying, “Let’s be very clear with the fact that this play is probably going to be hated coming out the gates.” We see how full or empty the house is every night. Twenty-six thousand people have seen the play and, of those people, we’ve had fucking standing ovations every night and tremendous support from the people that have seen it. But the producer, Eric Gold, said to me, “We expect that the first two months are going to be really difficult.”
Why do you think more people didn’t come out to see it?
One of our producers came in really angry because he had spoken to one of the TKTS people [who man Broadway ticket-selling booths] — not saying she was a producer — and asked them, “What about Holler? Should I see that?” And the response of the person who is supposed to guide tourists to plays was like, “It’s a bit of a downer. It’s not necessarily as fun as” whatever other play they mentioned. Then she approached another one and that person was like, “Oh, it got really bad reviews.” We started a street team at the last minute to counter those TKTS people who are really supposed to be promoting everything on Broadway. I also cannot go without saying that there was something deeply embedded in a lot of the reviews that went deeper than just a dislike of the play.
Read more at Rolling Stone.