The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival announced casting for the world premiere, directed by George C. Wolfe, which begins previews Jan. 31 at The Public's Newman Theater.
The troupe includes Gabriel Enrique Alvarez, Tracee Beazer, Celina Carvajal, Julee Cruise, Rhett G. George, Curtis Holbrook, Kate Jennings Grant (Proof, Summer of '42), Anny Jules, Adam Michael Kaokept, Christopher Livsey, Aaron Lohr, Christopher Martinez, Jermaine Montell, Sarah Jane Nelson, Billy Porter (Smokey Joe's Cafe, Grease!, Miss Saigon), Angela Robinson, Keong Sim, Christian Vincent, Michael Winther (Broadway's recent The Crucible, 1776 an Damn Yankees) and Remy Zakin.
Radiant Baby has a book by Stuart Ross (Forever Plaid), music by Debra Barsha and lyrics by Ira Gasman (The Life), Debra Barsha, Stuart Ross. Choreography is by Fatima Robinson, known for choreographing videos for such artists as Will Smith, Santana, the Backstreet Boys and Aaliyah.
The Public bills the show this way: the "musical about the life of Keith Haring captures the mad frantic energy of New York in the '80s with an original score influenced by hip hop, new wave and disco. Urban hieroglyphics begin to appear on the subway walls and overnight Keith Haring becomes a pop culture icon."
Radiant Baby takes its name from one of Haring's most famous drawings (of a crawling tot surrounded by pen strokes suggesting rays of light). The piece is based on the 1993 biography of the artist — who rose out of the subway and into fame before dying of AIDS in 1990 — by John Gruen. Composer and co-lyricist Barsha won a Jonathan Larson Foundation Award for Radiant Baby. Designers are Riccardo Hernández (scenic), Emilio Sosa (costumes), Howell Binkley (lighting), Dan Moses Schreier (sound) and Batwin & Robin Productions (projections).
Director Wolfe's most recent credits include Broadway's Topdog/Underdog and Elaine Stritch at Liberty, both of which began at The Public, where he is producer.
Tickets to Radiant Baby are $55. Performances play 8 PM Tuesday-Saturday, 2 PM Saturday and Sunday and 7 PM Sunday. There will be no matinee performances Feb. 1-2. Beginning the week of Feb. 18, the schedule will be 8 PM Tuesday through Saturday, 2 PM Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets go on sale Jan. 10 at The Public Theater box office, 425 Lafayette Street; on-line at www.publictheater.org; and via Tele-charge, (212) 239 6200.