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Broadway-Bound Jean-Michel Basquiat Musical Announced

Tony Award winner John Doyle will direct this original musical based on the artist's life and work.

John Doyle is set to direct a new musical based on the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
(© Janie Willison)

Producers Alan D. Marks and Barbara Marks have announced the development of a Broadway-bound original musical inspired by the life and art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Jon Batiste (The Late Show With Stephen Colbert) has written the music and lyrics, and Tony Award winner John Doyle (The Color Purple) will direct.

The development team is working closely with the Basquiat Estate and have secured the rights to Basquiat's artwork and personal archives. Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Basquiat issued a joint statement about the 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."

Additional creative team members and a production schedule will be announced at a later date.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) is one of the best-known artists of his generation and is widely considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His career spanned the late 1970s through the 1980s, until his death in 1988 at the age of 27. Before his career as a painter began, he produced punk-inspired postcards for sale on the street, and became known for political-poetical graffiti under the name of SAMO.