ARTS PREVIEWS: Cartoons; Drawing on a Life in the Theatre ; HIRSCHFELD'S BRITS ON BROADWAY Theatre Museum LONDON WC2
Cripps, Charlotte, The Independent (London, England)
The American caricaturist Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003) spent much of his time sitting in the front row of theatres, scribbling away. Best known for the caricatures that appeared in The New York Times for more than 70 years, Hirschfeld recorded thousands of actors and productions. 'He caught the essence of the production,' says the producer Cameron Mackintosh, who has a few Hirschfeld originals " Les Miserables (1987) and Cats (1982) - hanging in his offices in London and New York.
The lithograph of Phantom of the Opera (1988) shows an out-size phantom (played definitively by Michael Crawford) with arms outstretched, towering over a terrified Sarah Brightman. 'He did not just capture the personality of the actors, but the whole production " always with humour,' says Mackintosh.
Hirschfeld's Brits on Broadway features over 40 caricatures, from stars such as Mary Ellis in the 1920s (The Taming of The Shrew) to Vanessa Redgrave in the 1990s (Antony and Cleopatra, 1997). …