Legit legends drew a glowing oral portrait of Gotham’s late great caricaturist Monday night, when the Broadway house named for impresario Martin Beck was rechristened the Al Hirschfeld Theater.
Hirschfeld “found a wit in your miserable features” that could “lend you a style and dash you were never aware of,” said playwright Arthur Miller, who called the drawings better than the theater they mirrored.
Jujamcyn Theaters and The New York Times hosted the event, which came two days after what would have been the artist’s 100th birthday. His Jan. 20 death ended a 75-year run of sketching for the Gray Lady.
Legit helmer Jerry Zaks supervised the production, which included remarks by Times critic Frank Rich, Hal Prince, Whoopi Goldberg, Jules Feiffer, Andy Rooney and Frank Langella, plus songs by Barbara Cook, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kitty Carlisle Hart and Carol Channing, who declared, “I was his favorite.”
Victor Garber danced with Hirschfeld’s daughter Nina West, whose name is famously hidden throughout her father’s drawings.