After a sold-out run in Atlanta and Toledo, the award-winning iLLA! A Hip Hop Musical continues its reign and returns as part of the 2016 New York Musical Festival this week for concert performances at The Pearl Theatre. Directed by J. Kyle Manzay, the show features a book, with music and lyrics by Ronvé O’Daniel, and additional music by Jevares C. Myrick. David Coffman produces.
With the recent success of Hamilton, Coffman believes audiences are ready for this kind of story.
iLLA!, which is slang meaning, “to be greater,” tells the story of Prince, a classically trained dancer who dreams of becoming a hip-hop star. After suffering a humiliating defeat at a leading open mic competition, Prince struggles to redeem himself in the eyes of his friends and family.
He falls in love with a girl named Stacy but their family prejudices threaten to tear them apart. Can Prince overcome his fears and troubled home life to achieve his dreams? It’s a journey of Swagger, Survival and the Search for Self.
Watch the extended trailer below:
Titus Makin Jr. leads the cast as Prince. Many may remember him as one of the original Warblers in the hit-musical television show “Glee.” He’s joined by Andrew Bancroft, of Freestyle Love Supreme, and Danielle Lee Greaves (A Streetcar Named Desire, Rent).
Performances take place on Friday, July 29th at 5pm; Sunday, July 31st at 9pm; and Tuesday, August 2nd at 9pm.
Last year, iLLA! received its first reading at the New York Musical Festival Developmental Reading Series, where it won the 2015 Award for Excellence. It performed in subsequent workshops at the Toledo School for the Arts in Ohio, and the Cobb County Center for Excellence in Performing Arts in Atlanta, Georgia.
Per its mission statement, the NYMF “nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater.” In its thirteenth year, more than 90 shows have seen productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters all over the country, and in more than 24 countries worldwide.
The 2016 NYFM runs from July 11th to August 7th.
For tickets and more information, visit NYMF.