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The Collaboration starring Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope on Broadway
The Collaboration starring Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope on Broadway
Broadway

The Collaboration starring Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope on Broadway

New York, NY
Jeremy Pope, Paul Bettany and Krysta Rodriguez join forces in this NYC debut.
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About The Collaboration starring Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope on Broadway

Warhol. Basquiat. Electric, eccentric, polar opposites… together, for the first time in the most unlikely partnership the art world has ever seen. Paul Bettany (The Avengers, WandaVision, A Very British Scandal) and Jeremy Pope (Choir Boy, Ain’t Too Proud, The Inspection) star in the thrilling American premiere of the London sensation.

In the summer of 1984, longtime international superstar Andy Warhol and the art scene’s newest wunderkind, Jean-Michel Basquiat, agree to work together on what may be the most talked about exhibition in the history of modern art. But can these two creative giants co-exist, or even thrive? The stage is their canvas in this sizzling tour-de-force by Anthony McCarten (four-time Oscar®-nominated writer of The Two Popes and Bohemian Rhapsody), directed by the acclaimed Kwame Kwei-Armah (Artistic Director of London’s Young Vic).

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Two powerhouse actors play two titans of the art world in The Collaboration: Jeremy Pope and Paul Bettany star as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. Get The Collaboration tickets on TodayTix.

The Collaboration is a play about the infamous, sole joint exhibit Warhol and Basquiat created in the 1980s. More specifically, the show imagines the conversations the men had about art and life while creating paintings together in the studio. Warhol and Basquiat were an odd-couple pair, each of whom brought a fully different perspective: Warhol was in his 50s, white, embracing consumer culture in his pop art, and past his career's peak. Basquiat was in his 20s, Black, rebelling against commercialism in his Neo-Expressionist work, and just getting started in the art world.

Their collaboration ultimately fizzled out nearly as quickly as it began, but playwright Anthony McCarten dives into the brief, explosive era where they philosophized, traded blows, and sometimes, found common ground.

Bettany and Pope starred in the show's world premiere in London and reprise their roles for The Collaboration on Broadway. Bettany is best known for his onscreen roles in Marvel projects like WandaVision and The Avengers: Infinity War, as well as The Da Vinci Code and Master and Commander. Pope is primarily a stage actor, who in 2019 became one of only six actors to be Tony-nominated for two separate performances in the same year. He starred in Ain't Too Proud and Choir Boy, and he's also appeared in Hollywood, Pose, and The Inspection on screen.

McCarten, a playwright and screenwriter, has made a successful career of semi-fictional works inspired by the lives of icons. His films The Two Popes, about Popes Benedict XVI and Pope Francis; The Theory of Everything, about Stephen Hawking; and Bohemian Rhapsody, about Freddie Mercury, all received Oscar nominations. The Collaboration is not his first work to originate on stage (The Two Popes was adapted from his play The Pope), but it is McCarten's first Broadway play.

McCarten has two Broadway shows in the 2022-23 season. He wrote the book for A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical, which also begins performances in November.

Get tickets to The Collaboration in New York on TodayTix.

What to Watch For

  • The Collaboration's Broadway premiere is a kind of homecoming. Much of the play is set in New York: The artists work in a studio there, and their joint exhibit, Paintings, was displayed at a gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood.
  • Bruno Bischofberger, the art dealer who brought Warhol and Basquiat together, likened their exhibit to a boxing match: He wanted to create public buzz about which artist was better. Bischofberger is a minor character in The Collaboration.
  • Warhol was also an indie filmmaker who created more than 60 movies. This part of his career is left out of the plot of The Collaboration, but the stage design includes projections as a nod to his film work.
  • Bettany has performed in multiple London stage productions, but The Collaboration is his Broadway debut.
  • A film adaptation of The Collaboration with Pope and Bettany is in the works.
Start date

November 29th, 2022

Genre

Broadway, Plays

Venue

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

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