Famed artist/animation designer Al Hirschfeld, who created the NBC Peacock logo spot, consulted on Disney’s Fantasia 2000 and inspired the Genie in Aladdin, had a Broadway Theatre named after him over the weekend. This is the first time any type of artist has been so honored on Broadway.
Hirschfeld was commissioned by Warner Bros. stores to draw characters for limited edition prints. He was also one of the first serious animation critics. His articles on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio appeared in The New York Times in 1938 and 1940.
The song “Nina”, a long-time favorite of the artist (the lyrics have been tacked to the cork-board across from Hirschfeld’s drawing table for more than 10 years) was performed by Broadway star Victor Garber at the gala christening. The song was written by Will Ryan, who has written songs for several off-Broadway productions and performs “Nina” in the documentary The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story. Ryan is also the creator of the Annie Award-winning series Elmo Aardvark: Outer Space Detective!, which he is currently developing into a feature.