- By KEN WERTHER
Like standing ovations, the use of the word legend to describe someone has become quite commonplace. On July 31, however, we lost a true legend — theatrical titan Harold Prince. A revered Broadway producer and director, he was associated with a head-spinning number of the best known and loved musicals of the 20thcentury. A Little Night Music, Cabaret, Candide, Evita, Fiddler on the Roof, Follies … Over the span of his stunning career he garnered 21 Tony Awards (more than anybody else in history) — eight for directing, 10 for producing, and three special awards (including lifetime achievement in the theatre). According to Masterworks Broadway, “Besides his achievements as a producer and director, Prince is also known for bringing innovation to the theatrical arts. He was a pioneer in the development of the ‘concept musical,’ using an idea or theme rather than a traditional story.”
Kiss of the Spider Woman, Merrily We Roll Along, On the Twentieth Century, Pacific Overtures … In 2000 he was awarded the National Medal of the Arts. Composer Jason Robert Brown said, “Hal believed in theatre; he believed in what it could do.” Parade, She Loves Me, Show Boat, The Phantom of the Opera …Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “There isn’t anybody working in musical theatre on either side of the Atlantic who doesn’t owe an enormous debt to this extraordinary man.” What more is there to say?
Hal Prince (1928-2019).