Director George C. Wolfe has tapped Fatima Robinson to be the choreographer of the new Public Theater musical, Radiant Baby, about the life of artist Keith Haring.
Robinson has choreographed videos for such pop artists as Will Smith, Santana, the Backstreet Boys and Aaliyah. A spokesperson for the Public said Wolfe became aware of Robinson's work after seeing a video by soul singer Macy Gray on television. "He said, 'Whoever choreographed that video, I've got to have them," for Radiant Baby.
The score of the new show is said to incorporate hip hop, new wave and disco—the pop music styles that were dominant during Haring's lifetime. Radiant Baby takes its name from one of Haring's most famous drawings (of a shining, crawling tot). 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. The story follows the final years of the artist's evolution to acclaim and his death at the age of 31. It is composed by Jonathan Larson Award-winner Debra Barsha with a book by Stuart Ross (Forever Plaid) and lyrics by Ira Gasman (The Life), Barsha and Ross.
Radiant Baby will begin performances at the Public Theater on Jan. 31, 2003. No opening date has been set for the as-yet-uncast piece, but a tentative closing date is March 9.
George C. Wolfe had two successes during the 2001-02 season: Elaine Stritch at Liberty and Topdog/Underdog. Tickets are $55. For more information, call 212-260-2400.
—By Robert Simonson