January 2008 - As part of the exciting events surrounding
its all new musical theatre production, Houdini, The Segal Centre for
Performing Arts in association with The Al Hirschfeld Foundation is proud to
present the Canadian premiere of Al Hirschfeld: The Magic of Performance
- a striking multi-media exhibition of the works by the twentieth century’s
This striking installation includes highlights of this celebrated artist’s
eighty-two year career, and includes over 100 images of his signature ink drawings
as well as full-size reproductions of historic New York Times pages
in which his art appeared.
His collection of pen-and-ink drawings, celebrated as much for their whimsy
as for their artistic merit, offers viewers a one of a kind overview of the
performing arts. “In the theatre, Al Hirschfeld said his contribution
was to take the character, created by the playwright and portrayed by the actor,
and reinvent it for the reader,” says David Leopold, archivist of the
Al Hirschfeld Foundation. “But he recorded more musicians than any compact
disk, preserved for posterity more stars of the silver screen than any movie
studio, and caught more dancers in the air than any ballet master.” A
self described “characteristic,” his signature work appeared in
virtually every major publication of the last nine decades, including a 75-year
relationship with The New York Times.
Many will fondly recall the visual game of “hide and seek” Hirschfeld
created as he indulged in what he referred to as a “harmless insanity”-
hiding his daughter Nina’s name in the fine penmanship of his works. Visitors
will have the opportunity to interact with the show by taking part in a ‘Find
Nina’ contest with the chance to win tickets to Houdini- The Musical.
The exhibition is also one of the many events included in the Montreal High
Lights Festival’s Nuit Blanche festivities, Saturday, March 1.
As such, on the night of the Nuit Blanche, it will be open until midnight.
Moreover, on that night, Festival goers will also have the opportunity to view
the Academy Award nominated film, The Line King; a 1996 documentary about Hirschfield’s
life, in the Centre’s all new CinemaSpace.
Exhibit: Monday - Thursday 9 am - 10pm, Friday 9am - 3pm and Sunday 10am -
5pm. Closed Saturday.
Film screenings: Sunday February 10 - 4:30pm, Saturday February 16 - 9:30pm,
Saturday March 1 - 9pm & 11pm
For more information or to request an interview please contact:
Director, Marketing and Communications & Executive Producer, Online and
(514) 739-2301 x 8326