After a successful run earlier this year at the Young Vic Theatre in London, Anthony McCarten’s new play, “The Collaboration,” has landed on Broadway.
In the latest episode of “The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal,” Paul Wontorek sat down with stars Jeremy Pope and Paul Bettany to chat about taking on the roles of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, respectively.
“The Collaboration” — currently in previews at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre ahead of a Dec. 20 opening night — explores the relationship between the two famed American artists. The play occurs at a time when the art landscape is changing; Warhol is an established star and Basquiat is on the rise. The two agree to work together on an exhibition, but tensions rise and tempers flare.
Bettany admitted that he resisted the idea of portraying Warhol at first because “it’s very difficult to get out from underneath all of that carefully curated monosyllabic public persona that he had,” Bettany said. But after he read some of the artist’s diaries, containing Warhol’s circuitous and elaborate thoughts, and spoke with those who knew him well, Bettany had a change of heart.
“I think it’s beautiful to kind of see the world still unpacking the Andy and unpacking the Basquiat,” Pope said. “They found each other, and they found a friendship and companionship that outlived, I think, their art.”
Though the exhibition itself was a flop when it first debuted. Bettany believes it to be “an incredibly successful collaboration,” which is at the core of this drama. “[It’s] about two people with seemingly nothing in common finding common ground,” Bettany said. “I think you feel that in their works together. I found it very moving.”
This week’s episode of “The Broadway Show” features a “Five Things You Don’t Know About Me” segment with Krysta Rodriguez, who also appears in “The Collaboration.” Jesse Williams of “Take Me Out” also sits down with Tamsen Fadal to chat about his Broadway debut role and the differences between stage and screen acting. Paul Wontorek talks to Broadway best friends Bonnie Milligan, currently in “Kimberly Akimbo,” and Tony Award winner Matt Doyle. Viewers can also catch moments from the opening nights of “Some Like It Hot” and “Ohio State Murders,” as well as a tour of Radio City Music Hall with two Rockettes.
“The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal” airs on weekends. Check your local listings for air time and channel.