Theater News

Tony Winner Russell Simmons Is Developing a New Musical About Hip-Hop

Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Big Block coproduces.

Russell Simmons is developing a new hip-hop musical entitled The Scenario.
Russell Simmons is developing a new hip-hop musical entitled The Scenario.
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

Tony-winning producer and hip-hop magnate Russell Simmons has announced the development of a new stage musical entitled The Scenario, which will feature hip-hop hits from the '80s and '90s.

The Scenario will feature an original story penned by author and hip-hop historian Dan Charnas (The Big Payback). Producers aim to premiere the musical in New York City in late 2016.

Simmons cofounded the musical label Def Jam Recordings in 1984 and created the Def Comedy franchise in 1989. He will produce The Scenario through his Los Angeles-based production company Def Pictures, along with Tony-winning Broadway producer Big Block (Rock of Ages).

"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," said Simmons in a statement. "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."

Simmons won a Tony for producing a Broadway version of HBO's Def Poetry Jam, which ran at the Longacre Theatre for 198 performances in 2002 and 2003.