The Daily Heller: The Performances of a Lifetime

Posted inThe Daily Heller

As I have never seen a Baltimore Theatre Project performance, from where I sit David Plunkert’s theater posters steal the show. As a record of the plays (and a catalog of enticing design), Plunkert’s collected works have earned the curtain call they receive in the stunning monograph Happy Sad Ugly Pretty, which also features a 12-page book of sketches and an interview of Plunkert and Paul Sahre conducted by Ellen Lupton.

There is a long history of boffo theater posters, so to be on the same stage as such masters of the genre as Paul Davis, Jim McMullan and Paula Scher is a considerable accomplishment, especially as clients routinely put as much weight on the quality of a promotion as they do the strength of their actors’ performances.

With over 90 works spanning 17 years, Plunkert’s posters are notable for their wide array of visual techniques, and a playfulness that lives on long after the cast has taken a final bow.

But don’t take it from this fan—ask Plunkert while he’s waiting in the wings and under the spotlight on Sept. 28 at New York’s Society of Illustrators. Broadway, here he comes.