Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope star as iconic 20th-century artists in this new play.
The Collaboration on Broadway Tickets
The Collaboration on Broadway Information
Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope star in the Broadway premiere of The Collaboration after performing in the play's world premiere in London. Get The Collaboration tickets on New York Theatre Guide now.
The Collaboration is a play about the professional partnership and personal friendship between two renowned artists: Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The two were brought together in the 1980s by their shared art dealer, who saw a joint exhibit between the two as a way to rekindle Warhol's career (he hadn't made a painting in 20+ years) and kickstart the young Basquiat's. The artists couldn't have been more different: Warhol was 30 years Basquiat's senior. Warhol was a pop artist; Basquiat, a Neo-Expressionist. As playwright Anthony McCarten explores, both were cynical for different reasons — Warhol disliked the art world's quickness to move on to the next new artists and forget older ones, and Basquiat knew that the odds were stacked against him as a Black man in a white-dominated industry.
As such, they were reluctant to collaborate. But they did anyway, and The Collaboration details how their relationship developed. It didn't go smoothly, as the play shows; the men debate about art and each other's place in the art world, and they frequently look down on each other's age, race, and artistic style. And ultimately, their joint exhibit wasn't as acclaimed as their art dealer had hoped. But they find common ground, too — namely, a shared wish for art to be more about expression, and less about money. They would ultimately create many works together, including Ten Punching Bags (Last Supper) and Zenith.
Ironically, after they died (only a year apart — Warhol in 1987 and Basquiat in 1988), both artists' works would become some of the most commodified art in recent years, appearing on everything from shirts to skateboards. But through their partnership while they were alive, The Collaboration explores what art-making means, its value, and what different generations of artists can learn from each other.
The setting of The Collaboration is New York in the 1980s, so it's fitting that the show is playing here. McCarten's play had its world premiere at the Young Vic theatre in London, where The Collaboration director Kwame Kwei-Armah is artistic director. After the show wraps its New York run, it will be turned into a film, once again with Bettany and Pope as the central artists. A London Theatre review of their performances reads, "Together, the pair are the pinnacle of yin and yang, true opposites who seem to fit together effortlessly."
Paul Bettany is best known for playing J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most recently in the Disney+ series WandaVision. The Collaboration marks his Broadway debut. Jeremy Pope, in contrast, is a New York theatre veteran. Before starring in The Collaboration on Broadway, he led Choir Boy as Pharus and Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations as Eddie Kendricks. Both those roles earned him Tony Award nominations in 2019, making him only the sixth actor ever to get nominated twice in the same year.
Tickets to The Collaboration are available now.
Cast and creative
By: Anthony McCarten
Director: Kwame Kwei-Armah
Producer: Manhattan Theatre Club
Cast list: Paul Bettany (as Andy Warhol), Jeremy Pope (as John-Michel Basquiat)