At the 52nd annual American Theatre Wing's "Tony" party May 31 at Sardi's Restaurant in New York, Wing president Isabelle Stevenson had a cake wheeled out saluting Broadway caricaturist Al Hirschfeld on his 97th birthday. Only trouble: it was two years too early.
On June 21 -- the longest day of the year -- the artist will mark his 95th birthday.
Since 1926, Hirschfeld has been capturing theatre offerings with clever caricatures. In three years, he will have been doing this for three-quarters of a century -- making his reign one of the longest among theatrical professionals. His art, for many, defines New York theatre.
Thus, appropriately, on June 7 -- the day of the Tony Awards -- Hirschfeld will be accorded two TV tributes: on CBS' "Sunday Morning" at 9 AM (ET) and CNN's "Pinnacle" at 4:30 PM (ET). Check local listings for times elsewhere.
In October, Applause Books plans to publish "Hirschfeld on Line," a book of new or never-before-collected drawings, complete with a commentary by the artist -- plus essays of appreciation by Kurt Vonnegut, Mel Gussow, Jean Kerr and Arthur Schlesinger. The following month, Margo Feiden will mark her 30th year as Hirschfeld's agent. Almost a thousand drawings, lithographs and etchings -- spanning his 72 years in the theatre -- line the three floors of The Margo Feiden Galleries, which is located at 699 Madison Avenue in New York.
-- By Harry Haun