NEW YORK, March 20 (UPI) -- Music titan, theater producer and entrepreneur Russell Simmons is developing The Scenario, a stage musical set in the 1980s and '90s golden age of hip-hop.
Featuring an original story by acclaimed author and rap historian Dan Charnas, the show is expected to premiere in New York City in late 2016.
"Hip-hop's explosion was fueled by a generation with an incredible hunger to discover new ways of expression," Simmons said in a statement. "These artists were always breaking the mold with new rhythms and new ideas, while at the same time telling so many important and timeless stories that over the decades have continued to remain just as relevant. This is why the music continues to strike a chord with fans worldwide. It felt like such a natural fit to weave the best of these sounds and stories into an energetic and thrilling musical that would transport audiences through one of the most innovative artistic movements of our time."
"These classic songs, stories and rhythms will find a new audience on the theater stage," added Jake Stein, who is shepherding the project on behalf of Def Pictures and will also produce with Simmons. "We believe this show will be an entirely new entry point for appreciating hip-hop as a transformative art that has shaped culture, fashion, music and entertainment of all forms, and we hope it will help open the door for other live theatrical experiences."
"Part of what made the Rock of Ages experience so incredible for theatergoers was the joy of hearing the most beloved songs of an era serve as the storyteller," said producer Scott Prisand. "Russell is the catalyst of all this extraordinary music that has already touched generations to the core around the world; we're taking those beats everyone knows and loves, and setting them into a fun original story."