Alexa Montgomery | November 2016
“It was like some crazy art-world marriage and they were the odd couple” -Victor Bockris, Warhol: A Biography.
Andy Warhol had a vast array of skills under his repertoire from his artwork to his films but, Broadway was never one of them. That will change this December as Staged Dreams has announced the world premiere of, COLLABORATION: WARHOL & BASQUIAT, a new American play written by Tony Award nominee, Calvin Levels and directed by fellow Tony Award nominee, Lonny Price. The play will be presented at Here’s MainStage Theatre, located in New York’s SoHo district. It runs December 2 through 22, 2016. Obviously Warhol will not actually be taking center stage himself; however, actor Ira Denmark dawned in a white wig and all, aims not to disappoint. Denmark most recently appeared as Mr. Mushnik in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at the Sharon Playhouse.
Jean-Michel Basquiat is portrayed by Calvin Levels. Levels starred on Broadway in OPEN ADMISSIONS for which he won the Theatre World Award and was nominated for the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Outer Critics Circle Award.
The play will illustrate the relationship between two highly acclaimed artists, painter, Jean-Michel Basquiat and pop artist, Andy Warhol. In the 1980’s, the pair began a working relationship, and in 1986 Warhol was deeply involved in a large series of paintings derived from The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The series was commissioned by the art dealer Alexandre Iolas, who offered Warhol a show in Milan right across the street from the real Last Supper. Warhol worked on the project on and off for a year, and the source material of da Vinci’s Christ image became the central motif of Ten Punching Bags (Last Supper), a collaborative sculpture with Basquiat. Too boot, Basquiat and Warhol were close friends. The play will explore not only the pair’s working relationship but their friendship as well, and each artist’s untimely death.
Performance dates are December 2 thru December 22, 2016, Wednesdays thru Fridays at 8:30PM, Saturdays at 4:00PM and 8:30PM, and Sundays at 4:00PM. Running time is 2 hours, including intermission. For tickets and information, visit here.org, or call (212) 352-3101 or toll-free at (866) 811-4111. HERE’s Mainstage Theatre is located at 145 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013 (enter on Dominick Street, one block south of Spring Street).