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AL HIRSCHFELD. "The Great MacDaddy." Illustration for the musical at St. Mark's Playhouse, New York, published in The New York Times, February 10, 1974. Pen and ink on board. 756x552 mm; 29 3/4x 21 3/4 inches. Signed "Hirschfeld 7" in lower right image, captioned by him along lower margin.
Exhibited: Al Hirschfeld Foundation, Digital Exhibition. Lost in the Stars: Black Theatre Makers Drawn By Hirschfeld, June, 2020.
The Great MacDaddy was an Off-Broadway sensation, hailed as "the birth of a new musical" by critic Clive Barnes upon its premiere on February 12, 1974. Its 72-performance run carried its audience from Prohibition to 1970s Los Angeles with a rich synthesis of African and African American motifs taken from myth, folklore, and hyperbolic tales. The actors portrayed here--David Downing, Hattie Winston, and Al Freeman--were major forces in defining the African American experience on film and stage during the last quarter of the 20th century.
For over nine decades Hirschfeld drew Black theater makers in all genres including comedies, musicals, dramas, and reviews. His first and last theater posters, covering more than fifty productions over sixty years, were of Black performers.