Music by Drake and Kendrick Lamar is being considered for inclusion.
After the runaway success of the historical hip hop musical Hamilton, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to capitalize on the newest trend on Broadway. Fittingly, the person doing that capitalizing is Russell Simmons. He’s been developing the hip hop musical The Scenario since 2015, right around the time Hamilton came out.
In an interview with the New York Times, Simmons explained that The Scenario will tell the story of a few different artists (probably fictional) who “struggle and evolve” over the course of three decades of music. Universal Music Group is backing the production, which will exclusively use music from the label’s extensive catalog. Songs by Drake, Kendrick Lamar and the Sugarhill Gang are all being considered for inclusion. The title of the production is a reference to A Tribe Called Quest’s track “Scenario.”
The show will debut in New York during the 2017-18 theatrical season before going on a 30-city tour across the United States, stopping at both “traditional and non-traditional venues.” It’s unclear what exactly that means, but it seems like Simmons and Universal want to open the show up to more people than traditionally-sized Broadway theaters usually allow. There will also be an element of audience participation that isn’t normally incorporated into musical theater.
Explaining his vision for the show, Simmons said, “I want kids in the ‘hood in Detroit to see it. I want sophisticated theatergoers in New York to see it. And they’re going to love it whether they’re 50 or 14.”
We’ll have to wait another year to see how The Scenario turns out, but Mr. Simmons has our attention.