Aug 4, 2014
Hirschfeld At The Hirschfeld
Hirschfeld At The Hirschfeld

Al Hirschfeld may be gone eleven years, but thanks to Louise Hirschfeld, Arthur Gelb, Rocco Landesman, and Jujamcyn Theatres, he remains part of Broadway today. The Al Hirschfeld Theater, on 45th Street and Ninth Avenue, currently houses the 2013 Best Musical, Kinky Boots, a show we think Al would have enjoyed. He had been drawing drag queens since 1927, and he loved good songs and story.

The theater was renamed in 2003 on what would have been Al’s 100th birthday. Although he died five months earlier, he had learned of the greatest of Broadway honors in April 2002 and was genuinely moved by it. In October 2012, selections from the theater dedication evening were shown as part of the New York Public lIbrary for the Performing Art’s exhibition, The Line King’s Library and included Whoopi Goldberg telling the story of her first drawing; Arthur Miller telling why no one can ever be tired looked at a Hirschfeld drawing; and Frank Langella’s poignant story of visiting Al in his studio late in the game.

When you visit the theater, no matter where your tickets are, you should visit the mezzanine lobby at intermission or before the show to see reproductions of Hirschfeld drawings of plays presented at the theater. Built in 1924 by Martin Beck, a vaudeville impresario responsible for the first successes of performers such as Houdini and W. C. Fields, the theater has been home to many of the most important plays and musicals of the 20th century.

While you can learn more about the theater at Spotlight on Broadway “a multimedia project of the City of New York's Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment to celebrate the unique, indelible legacy of Broadway and its forty theaters”, we wanted to share even more of the shows that have played at the theater than can be seen in the Hirschfeld Gallery there. Beginning in 1927, soon after Al began drawing theatrical productions, he drew his first show at the Martin Beck Theatre. Over 75 years he drew 76 different productions, virtually one from every season. There are plays by Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, Eugene O’Neill and musicals by Kander and Ebb, Sondheim, Bernstein, Loesser, Cy Coleman, and Comden and Green. Actors include the Lunts, Katharine Cornell, Marlon Brando, Vanessa Redgrave, Ethel Waters, Nathan Lane, Helen Hayes, Meryl Streep, Brian Stokes Mitchell, John Lithgow, to name a few. There are plenty of Tony winners, and few Pulitzers. 

1927
A La Carte

1928
Wings Over Europe
Dynamo
The Camel Through the Needle’s Eye

1929
Porgy

1929- 1930
Red Rust
The Apple Cart
Hotel Universe

1934
Yellow Jack

1935
Winterset

1936
Saint Joan
D'Oyly Carte Opera Company season of Gilbert and Sullivan

1937
High Tor

1939
D'Oyly Carte Opera Company season of Gilbert and Sullivan

1940
Lady in Waiting

1941
Watch on the Rhine

1942
The Moon is Down
The Pirate

1944
Jacobowsky and the Colonel

1945
Foolish Notion
O
n The Town rehearsal
On The Town

1946
St. Louis Woman
The Iceman Cometh

1947
Antony and Cleopatra

1948
You Never Can Tell
Edward My Son

1949
Goodbye My Fancy
That Lady

1950
The Wisteria Tree
Curious Savage

1951
The Rose Tattoo
Barefoot in Athens

1952
Mrs. McThing
The Grass Harp

1953
The Teahouse of the August Moon

1956
Mister Johnson
Candide

1957
Orpheus Descending
Copper and Brass
The Tunnel of Love

1958
Who Was That Lady I Saw You With?
Say Darling

1959
Sweet Bird of Youth

1960
Bye Bye Birdie

1961
Midgie Purvis
The Happiest Girl In The World 
Milk and Honey

1963
Mother Courage And Her Children
The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

1964
I Had A Ball

1965
Oliver!
Baker Street

1966
A Delicate Balance

1967
Hallelujah, Baby!

1968
Man of La Mancha

1971
All Over

1975
Habeas Corpus

1977
Ladies at the Alamo
Happy End
Dracula

1980
Harold and Maude
It's So Nice to Be Civilized 
Onward Victoria

1981
The Little Foxes

1982
Come Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

1984
The Rink

1985
Requiem for a Heavyweight

1987
Into the Woods

1989
Grand Hotel

1992
Guys and Dolls

1995
Moon Over Buffalo

1996
David Copperfield

1997
Annie

1998
The Sound of Music

1999
Kiss Me, Kate

2002
Sweet Smell of Success

Jul 30, 2014
LOVERS
In 1927, Hirschfeld made a handshake agreement with the MGM publicity and advertising department to supply at $15,000 worth of drawings over the year.
Jun 25, 2014
ELI  WALLACH: A LIFE TIME OF ACTING
RHINOCEROS
In the legendary production of Ionesco’s absurdist play, Rhinoceros, Eli Wallach looked like an eagle in flight on the stage of the Longacre Theatre in 19
Jun 13, 2014
BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE
The Straw Hat Circuit, a series of summer theaters up and down the East Coast, was a regular part of the theatergoer's season in the 1930s and 1940s.
May 21, 2014
Louise Hirschfeld Remembers Arthur Gelb
Remembering Arthur Gelb
Apr 28, 2014
rain
In 1941, Hirschfeld visited the three year old Woodstock Playhouse to create a memorable work.