Death of Broadway giant Hal Prince
The American producer and director Harold “Hal” Prince died Wednesday at the age of 91, told AFP spokesman for this legendary Broadway, which has staged in particular The Ghost of the opera and Cabaret.
A uring his long career, Hal Prince received 21 Tony Awards, awards Theater on Broadway, by far the record on the matter. He died in Reykjavik, Iceland, following a “brief illness,” said the spokesman.
Born in 1928 in New York to a Jewish family of German origin, he is one of the very few Broadway directors to have gone through many different epochs and survived the modernization of the world of musicals.
Hal Prince, who claimed to have been tainted by the theater after seeing Orson Welles in Caesar at the age of eight, began his career during the golden age of the musical, spotted by another sacred theater monster, George Abbott. .
Engaged at 20 as a handyman by the man who would become his mentor, Hal Prince rose through the ranks to the point of finally being associated with the production, even if the function displeased him.
In 1955, at only 27, he won the Tony Award for Best Producer, his first award, for The Pajama Game in 1955.
An impressive series of successes followed, including West Side Story (1957), before he finally turned to staging, his true passion.
“I wanted to write,” he explained in an interview on Broadway.com. “But I was not good enough. So the next step was the staging. ”
He debuted as Broadway director with She Loves Me in 1963, before tackling, in 1966, what would become one of the most famous musicals of the theater, Cabaret .
His style was full of economy, with minimalist decorations. He has often boasted of producing his first shows for budgets well below average.
Hal Prince went through the ’70s with the same success as in the previous two decades, thanks in part to Sweeney Todd (1979), and then managed to negotiate the turn of the’ 80s and ’90s, a period in which Broadway changed dramatically.
In particular, he directed The Ghost of the Opera, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who holds the record for longevity on Broadway.