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Nuyorican Poets Cafe to Stream Ishmael Reed's New Play About Basquiat

The Slave Who Loved Caviar readings will stream on March 20 and 21.

Nuyorican Poets Cafe to Stream Ishmael Reed's New Play About Basquiat

Renowned playwright, poet and satirist Ishmael Reed takes aim at the New York City art world with The Slave Who Loved Caviar, his new play about the life and career of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The Nuyorican Poets Cafe will host two online readings of this new work, at 7PM EST on March 20 and 21, 2021. The readings are directed by Rome Neal.

Reed's recent play The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda - an epic theatrical rebuttal to the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton - was a surprise hit that launched a national dialogue about the Founding Fathers' slaveholding and mistreatment of indigenous people.

In this new work, Reed examines the racism directed at Basquiat, and the ways that Andy Warhol, the art establishment and the fashion industry exploited and profited from Basquiat's artistry.

Reed's new play also questions why racism toward Basquiat was allowed to masquerade as "Art Criticism", and explores how Basquiat's treatment implicates the New York City art world.

A MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship winner, Ishmael Reed has premiered multiple plays at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, including Life Among the Aryans, The Final Version, Body Parts, Hubba City, The Preacher and The Rapper and C Above C Above High C, as well as the sold-out 2019 run of The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda (which extended three times and garnered coverage from The New Yorker, Time, Vice, The New York Times and NPR).

The online readings will be streamed live by the Nuyorican Poets Cafe via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook. Viewers can RSVP and access the Zoom link at (for the March 20th reading) or at (for the March 21 reading).

To stream the event on Facebook or YouTube, viewers can visit or For more information about the Nuyorican Poets Cafe's online programs, please visit

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