Broadway’s Palace Theatre Will Get Makeover for Holler If You Hear Me
Holler If You Hear Me may not be eligible for anything this season as it begins previews after the official Tony Awards cut off date has passed but that isn’t stopping this Broadway production from hollering at us already to show just how different your experience may be on Broadway while attending this production. As if a Tupac inspired musical wasn’t enough to turn heads, now it looks as though the producers of Holler are looking to alter their new home. Altering a Broadway theatre is not unusual for productions that work to capture audiences in a new light as opposed to the unusual theatre setup. However, with little known about Holler If You Hear Me already, the news only builds excitement as Broadway awaits its new rap and first musical of the 2014-2015 season. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that Broadway’s Palace Theatre has received $200,000 for a makeover to the theatre for the upcoming Holler If You Hear Me!
Cast members of the new Broadway musical Holler If you Hear Me won’t need to holler at all it seems for their audience will be only just feet away from them. The iconic Palace Theatre on Broadway is getting a $200,000 makeover in order to better suit the new Tupac inspired musical set to begin previews in May. The idea comes from scenic designer Edward Pierce and the entire Holler creative team as they work to create an intimate experience in one of Broadway’s largest houses.
The makeover solely focuses on the orchestra section of the Broadway theatre. The Palace, like most Broadway theatres, has a deep orchestra that extends far back into the house and under the balcony. For Holler If You Hear Me, the creative team has removed Row A through Row J and placed those seats on stadium like seating. The seats now angle up with the top row sitting right in front of the balcony. Below is photos showing what the Palace Theatre looks like for most productions and what is has been transformed to look like for Holler If Ya Hear Me.
As previously managed, the dramatic re-positioning of the seats will bring the audience within feet of the performers during performances. The remaining rows in the orchestra section, Row K through Row Z, will not be used for the production. This will bring the Palace’s overall seat count down from 1,740 to 1,120. While it is not unusual for productions to alter specifics in a theatre for the experience of a production, two prime examples this season would be Cabaret and Rocky, it is unusual for a production to alter solely an entire section of seats in the theatre.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, scenic designer Edward Pierce talked about how he thinks the seating reconfiguration will not only be good for the production as a whole but the actors as well. He said;
“As an actor, you’re constantly trying to split your focus. I think the actors are going to find some great comfort in this because they only have to play up, which means they can keep their chin up, which allows them to be very consistent and clean in projecting these lyrics.”
Another interesting alteration made to The Palace for Holler If You Hear Me involves the show’s playing space. The stage has been extended past it’s proscenium to cover the orchestra pit. This will bring performers even closer to the audience. The orchestra will be located out of sight for performances.
However, in the grand scheme of all this, these two factors are working together for the overall production. The show plans to project images onto panels on the stage and the stage floor as well. The larger stage space will allow for this and the stadium seating in the orchestra section will secure all audience members being able to see the projections.
According to the Wall Street Journal, The Nederland Organization which owns The Palace Theatre approved Holler‘s seating reconfiguration from the very beginning. The proposal then went through the process all must when altering a historical building. In a statement to the Journal, Executive Vice President of the Nederlander Organization Nick Scandalios said;
“If we can help a producer and a set of artists live out their artistic dream and at the same time protect the public and the landmark, that’s something we want to encourage. We want a wide variety and as much artistic expression on Broadway as possible.”
Holler If You Hear Me is set to begin previews at The Palace Theatre in Times Square on May 29th before officially opening June 19th, 2014! The new show will come with a new look and feel for one of Broadway’s most iconic houses located in the heart of Times Square and the New York theatre district. Stay with Luner on Theatre as we bring you everything you need to know about Holler If You Hear Me as we count down to Opening Night! For more information, visit Holler If You Hear Me’s Official Broadway Website. Be sure to check Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!