Arts & Culture

A Broadway Musical About Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat Is In Development

Basquiat's story will finally come to light through a new Broadway musical.


The story of the prominent artist Jean-Michel Basquiat will be told through a new Broadway-bound musical, Deadline reports. It will be composed by Jon Batiste, who is best known as the musical director and bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Tony winner John Doyle, known for Sweeney Todd and The Color Purple, will direct the musical.

According to the producers Alan D. Marks and Barbara Marks, the team is working closely with the Basquiat Estate and have acquired the rights to Basquiat’s artwork and archives.

The late painter’s sisters Lisane and Jeanine Basquiat issued the following statement about the Broadway 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. 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.”

Batiste, the composer for the project, also spoke about the musical: “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. 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.”

Basquiat’s legacy continues to thrive today. Just last year, the painter’s 1982 work Untitled sold for a record-breaking $110 million to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, making it the most expensive work ever sold by an American artist. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with Jon Batiste to bring to life the world of Jean-Michel Basquiat,” said Doyle. “Exploring his 1980s New York City will help us access the connections Basquiat made through the extraordinary body of work he created in his short lifetime.”

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