Now through June 20, 2020
SOCIALLY DISTANT THEATER: The Solo Show As Seen By Hirschfeld, a collection of 25 drawings, paintings, collages, and prints by legendary artist Al Hirschfeld will be on line for six weeks. documenting a half century of one person shows.
"In the world of the theater, the one-person show is perhaps the best situation and the worst," writes David Leopold, Creative Director for the Al Hirschfeld Foundation (AHF) in the introduction to the exhibition. "It is a supreme test of assurance and ability; of magnetism and charisma. But the format is also frightening; there's no one to play against, to lean on, to share the criticism. For an actor, if there is no one else to take the blame, there is also no one to share the credit with as well. The applause at the end is for only one performer. In many ways these performers are all caricatures in the sense they have exaggerated elements of their subject to bring a whole life or simply a story to life. So in essence, Al Hirschfeld, the ultimate solo artist, is the ideal portraitist for this unique form of theater."
In addition to showing the artwork in detail, the exhibition links to videos of parts or the whole of some of these solo performances. You can see Henry Fonda as Clarence Darrow, Julie Harris as Emily Dickinson, or Robert Morse as Truman Capote. Or you can see Eric Bogosian, Whoopi Goldberg, and John Leguizamo channel a seemingly endless parade of characters from their solo shows.
Hirschfeld memorabilia is for sale online to support the foundation’s arts education program.
A special episode of "The Hirschfeld Century Podcast," dedicated to the works featured in "Socially Distant Theater" will be available starting May 20 from AlHirschfeldFoundation.org/podcasts, iTunes and other popular podcast sites.
Images courtesy of Al Hirschfeld Foundation