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A Must See

New Hip Hop Musical iLLA Is Creating A New Beat

iLLA: /ilə/ adjective. Exceedingly ill. Greater than. More superior. “His beat is ill, but mine is illa.”  Do you have what it takes to be iLLA?

Hip Hop is once again taking the theater by storm in the form of the newest hit contemporary musical iLLA!  After premiering at this year’s annual New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), iLLA received the 2015 Award for Excellence for the NYMF Developmental Reading Series.

iLLA! follows Robert, a classically trained dancer, who dreams of becoming a famous rap star.  After suffering a humiliating defeat at a leading open mic competition, Robert struggles to redeem himself in the eyes of his peers. He falls hard for a girl named Stacy but his family’s prejudices threaten to tear them apart.  Can Robert overcome his fears and troubled home life to achieve his Hip Hop dreams? It’s a journey of Swagger, Struggle and Self-love that we all must travel.

The fresh production touts musical influences ranging from hip hop to R&B to gospel with music by Jevares C. Myrick and book and lyrics by Ronvé O’Daniel.  Alumni of Wright State University, the writing duo are both theater veterans, having collectively performed in shows including Book of Mormon, Seussical the Musical, Ragtime, Smokey Joe’s Cafe and Altar Boyz.

In more exciting news, iLLA! was recently selected as the first NYMF Next Link Project for 2016.  An exclusive writer service opportunity, Next Link entitles the production to subsidize production slots at the festival, training sessions that optimize the creative team’s access to funds and professional contacts, and a qualified dramaturg to assist the writer in improving the show.

It’s thrilling that shows like Hamilton are setting the stage and opening up new doors for innovative takes on a traditional art form.  Congratulations to the cast and crew of iLLA!  Stay tuned for all the latest news on this HOT new musical.  You heard it here, it’s gonna be FIRE!

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