Interviewing Hal Prince….
As I was driving a little while ago, I heard a series of interviews with Hal Prince. THE PRINCE OF BROADWAY (this is the title of the biopic of Hal Prince that was playing on Broadway) and the man with twenty-one Tony Awards (more than anyone else for directing, producing and special awards) was reflecting on his six-decade career.
THE PAJAMA GAME, CABARET, FOLLIES, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF are just a few of the huge hits this master has been involved with. Starting as a producer, then pivoting to directing, perhaps his biggest claims to fame is the infamous relationship he developed with Stephen Sondheim. Their string of hits, including A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC and SWEENEY TODD, changed Broadway forever.
Some of the things just made my jaw drop and I just had to share them with my readers.
- He does not believe in “workshopping” a new musical. He said that he was able to work with the composer team inside his office to work out the bugs in a new musical. He felt that any other problems that came up could be taken care of during the out of town try out.
- He said one of the easiest shows he has had to work on was PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. He staged the entire show in four weeks – and rehearsals ran only four hours a day! (Of course, PHANTOM is the longest running show on Broadway and has really not changed!)
- Nobody thought WEST SIDE STORY was going to be a huge hit, but it has returned over 1500 percent to its original investors!
Although THE PRINCE OF BROADWAY has closed in New York, Hal Prince is still considered Broadway Royalty.