Prodigy, USC, FNAM, musical, performance

Prodigy — First Reading

USC Campus — Ramo Recital Hall
May 28th & 29th
820 West 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90089

Book, Lyrics and Direction by Ken Cazan
Music and Additional Lyrics by Billy Pace

PRODIGY is the story of the fast paced, live hard and die young professional life of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the only superstar African-American artist in history. Basquiat rose to notoriety while living in a cardboard box on the grounds of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He was initially known as SAMO, the philosopher/graffiti artist whose work was seen on the walls of buildings in Chelsea, Soho, and Greenwich Village. Haunted by the paranoid schizophrenia of his Puerto Rican mother and his aggressive, domineering, disapproving father, Basquiat was infamous for the volume of drugs he could consume, his vast self-taught intellect, and his associations with Andy Warhol and The Factory, Madonna, and the international arts' elite of the hedonistic, self-serving 1980s. His work was half- cartoon and half a primitive study of the journey of the urban black man. A superstar at the age of 20 in 1980 and dead from a heroine overdose in 1988, this fast moving evening set to rock and roll, latino, and alternative rock music is a moving, wild ride that will keep you talking long after the final blackout.