"Theater Talk," the New York City PBS talk show that offers interviews with top theatre celebrities and writers, will rebroadcast its conversation with the renowned artist on June 20, the eve of his 100th birthday. Entitled "Drawing the Essence," the program was taped at Hirschfeld's New York studio in Nov. 2001 and featured an interview with Hirschfeld conducted by Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Art Spiegelman. Best known for his theatrical caricatures for The New York Times, Hirschfeld's drawings have also appeared in The New Yorker, TV Guide, Town & Country, Playboy, Mirabella, People Magazine, New Masses, Reader's Digest, Collier's, Life, Time, Look, The Washingtonian, The Los Angeles Times, Business Week, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and dozens of other publications. When his daughter Nina was born, he began embedding her name in his works; the small number next to his signature reveals how many Ninas can be found in each particular drawing. A 1996 documentary about his work, "The Line King," was nominated for an Academy Award, and his most recent tome, "Hirschfeld On Line," was published in 1999.
In related news, a host of celebrities will turn out June 23 when the Martin Beck Theatre is renamed The Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Entitled 100 Years of Al Hirschfeld – A Celebration, the 7 PM performance will be directed by Jerry Zaks. The Tony-nominated revival of Man of La Mancha — starring Brian Stokes Mitchell — currently plays the theatre on West 45th Street.
Hosted by New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel and producer Susan Haskins, "Theatre Talk" airs late Friday nights at midnight on WNET/Thirteen. This encore presentation will also air Sunday, June 22 at 3 PM on Boston's WGBH.