Dec 15, 2022 - Sale 2625

Sale 2625 - Lot 115

Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000

AL HIRSCHFELD (1903-2003)

"A Little Night Music."

Illustration for the 1973 Broadway production at the Shubert Theatre, produced and directed by Hal Prince, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, published in The New York Times, February 25,1973. Ink on Saunders watercolor board, 1973, 590x532 mm; 23 1/4x21 inches, board. Signed "Hirschfeld 5 / Boston" in lower right corner and captioned by him along bottom. Archivally float-mounted in 25 1/2x23-inch frame showing verso through window on back.
Provenance: Stephen Sondheim; Hugh Wheeler, presented to him by Sondheim; gifted by Wheeler to the current owner.

A fabulous drawing of the Tony Award winning musical, presented and inscribed to Hugh Wheeler and signed by Stephen Sondheim, Hal Prince, and the original cast and production crew. Based upon Wheeler's book, the musical A Little Night Music opened on Broadway February 25, 1973. It ran for 601 performances, closing on August 3, 1974 at the Majestic Theatre. Directed and produced by Hal Prince, the popular Sondheim musical earned 12 Tony Award nominations, winning six, including Best Musical (Prince), Best Book of a Musical (Wheeler), Best Original Score (Sondheim), Best Actress (Glynis Johns), Best Featured Actress (Patricia Elliot), and Best Costume Design (Florence Klotz). A host of Drama Desk awards followed.

Drawn by Hirschfeld during the tryout in Boston, some of the cast members who did not make it to New York City with the show are in the image, such as Garn Stephens, who was replaced by D. Jamin-Bartlett as "Petra" the maid. The cast and their signatures appear near their rendering by the great caricaturist. Shown left to right: Victoria Mallory, Garn Stephens, George Lee Andrews (in his Broadway debut), Laurence Guittard, Patricia Elliott, Len Cariou, Glynis Johns, and Hermione Gingold. Prince's signature is a bold red, Sondheim's is close beneath it, along with that of co-producer Ruth Mitchell, the three surrounded by those of the other contributors including manager Howard Haines. Within all those lines, Hirschfeld still managed to hide five instances of his daughter Nina's name, his famous, characteristic trope. A marvelous association work and piece of Broadway history.