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FOLLIES: Sketch #3
1970

This is the “Girl at the Top of the Stairs” concept that was first presented to Hal Prince and which he preferred over the work of the other artists. All of my preliminary sketches were inspired by a photograph that the agency had given me of Gloria Swanson in black gown & gloves with arms raised triumphantly amidst the ruins of the Roxy Theatre. Though Hal Prince chose the sketch, there “needed to be some changes.” I was told the girl was too “Dykey,” she should have “big tits and big blond hair like Dolly Parton.” I reluctantly made the changes, but I was so angry at their theatrical & historical ignorance that I created a second sketch that is now the official art (which I always called Shanghai Lil). When I did the second sketch, I knew it would triumph.

Follies Sketch 3