A new musical centering renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is in the works for Broadway, Deadline reports. The new performance will be composed by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s bandleader and musical director, Jon Batiste.
Producers Alan D. Marks and Barbara Marks announced the project on Wednesday (Sept. 26). Tony winner John Doyle will serve as the director.
“I want people to leave this show inspired to create. I want them to not only learn about Jean Michel Basquiat, an innovator, but to also feel the visceral thrill of the creative process and to deepen and discover their own creativity,” Batiste said in a statement. “We have an opportunity to tell a truly profound story, full of emotional highs and lows, with unbelievable art at the center. I’m honored to work with veteran storyteller John Doyle, the Marks and the Basquiat family. We are assembling a team to help craft a boundary pushing masterpiece inspired by a true American original.”
The development team is reportedly working closely with Basquiat’s estate to secure the rights to his artwork and personal archives, the producers confirm. Basquiat’s sisters, Lisane and Jeanine Basquiat, in particular, are very supportive of the upcoming musical.
“Over the years, many people have approached us about telling our brother’s story on stage. But having discussed this project with the Marks over many months, our interest was piqued once we understood that their approach to telling our brother’s story treats his life, his art and his legacy with respect and passion,” they said in a joint statement. “With Jon Batiste and John Doyle leading the creative team, we are thrilled with the possibilities. We cannot wait to begin the developmental process. Broadway is a new world for us, and we looking forward to sharing our brother’s life and art.”
Basquiat was one of the most famous and talented artists of his generation. He gained attention in the late-1970s for his graffiti art. He quickly shot up to major notoriety for his paintings that experimented with neo-expressionism and abstraction. He died in 1988 of a heroin overdose at the age of 27.
Additional details regarding production will be announced at a later date.