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Wasn't She a Gas? A Farewell Toast to Broadway's Beloved Dame Elaine Stritch

Wasn't She a Gas? A Farewell Toast to Broadway's Beloved Dame Elaine Stritch
© Justin "Squigs" Robertson
The theater community mourns the loss of Broadway icon Elaine Stritch.

She was truly a Broadway baby. Elaine Stritch, who died at the age of 89 on July 17, was so much more than an "existential problem in tights." Her seven-decade career included numerous Broadway credits with her name “on some marquee, all twinkling lights.”  On July 18, the theater community will dim those lights to pay tribute to her remarkable life and career, and is toasting her with this tribute from our resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson.

It's all there: the white blouse, the round specs and (yes!) the hat. In the background are the darkened marquees of some of the theaters Stritch played, including the Biltmore (now the Samuel J. Friedman), where she made her debut in Loco, the Alvin (now the Neil Simon), where she put her unforgettable stamp on Stephen Sondheim's Company, and following the theater’s name change, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, where she told her own story and won a Tony for it. The illustration also shows the Walter Kerr Theatre, home of Stritch's final Broadway role, Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music. (“Long as it has a wheelchair in it, I’m game,” she said about being cast.)

As Stritch said in her Emmy-winning role on 30 Rock, "I'm going to leave this world exactly the way I came into it: Wearing a hat!"

Rest in peace, Elaine.

About the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home.

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