Monday, July 10, 2017

Gorey Stories Caricature

Over the years Edward Gorey adapted his books into "an entertainment with music" several times with mixed success. Gorey Stories was the short lived Broadway production which opened and closed on October 30, 1978. The show was later retooled as Tinned Lettuce (NYU student production 1983), Amphigorey (Off Broadway 1994), and The Gorey Details (Off Broadway 2000).

Some of the original artwork used for set and program designs from the later production has appeared at auction in recent years. Mr. Gorey's original artwork for the Playbill cover for Gorey Stories was sold at Swann Auction Galleries in January 2016. An interesting piece of original artwork by caricaturist Sam Norkin related to Gorey Stories recently surfaced.
Mr. Norkin (1917 - 2011) was a New York born cartoonist who spent his long career producing caricatures for newspaper theatrical reviews. Known as "The Other Hirshfeld", Mr. Norkin's drawings graced the pages of the New York Herald Tribune from 1940 - 1956, after which he worked primarily for the New York Daily News. Mr. Norkin also wrote for newspapers as a theatrical reviewer.

Mr. Norkin created artwork to illustrate reviews for shows playing on Broadway, Off-Broadway and for out of town try-outs. His body of work has recently been offered over the course of several auctions and the shows represent a full spectrum of New York plays and musicals. One piece that caught my eye was created for Gorey Stories. I have acquired the piece, but as yet have not been able to ascertain if it actually appeared alongside a newspaper review. Several reviews of the show did appear in various New York papers, but so far I have only seen photographic illustrations accompanying them.


mike zim said...

I searched (1978 "Gorey Stories) and got 134 matches, but didn't see the artwork anywhere.
Also searched in, but no luck there either.
Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if Al Hirschfeld ever did an illustration for "Gorey Stories"? I've never come across it in all my years as a Hirschfeld fan that I know of, though I've seen his drawings of Frank Langella and Jean Leclerc from "Dracula."
- Todd

Tobias Haller said...

What fun to see this image. I was a cast member in the production, and recall seeing the cartoon (and the accompanying review) neither of which survive in my collection. So it was a treat to see the original artwork!

Thanks for maintaining this blog, a wonderful tribute to Gorey, with whom it was a delight to work.


ampootozote said...

I do not know of a Hirshfeld for this show. This is the only drawing I have ever found for Gorey Stories, and I was quite surprised to find it.

Mr. Haller...What fun to have been in a Gorey production! Since you remember seeing this art in print, I remain hopeful of finding it somewhere, some day!