The producer and director american Harold “Hal” Prince, died Wednesday at the age of 91 years, indicated to the AFP the spokesperson of this legend of Broadway, which has staged “the phantom of The opera” and “Cabaret”.
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during his long career, Hal Prince has received 21 Tony Awards, the rewards of the theatre, on Broadway, very far the record in the matter. He died in Reykjavik (Iceland) as a result of a “brief illness,” said the spokesperson.
Born in 1928 in New York city in a jewish family of German origin, it is part of the very few directors of Broadway to have gone through several different eras and survived the modernisation of the universe of musicals. Hal Prince, who was said to have been contaminated by the theatre after seeing Orson Welles in “Caesar” at 8 years old, began his career during the golden age of musical comedy, marked by another sacred monster of the theater, George Abbott.
Committed to 20 years as a man to do everything for the man who would become his mentor, Hal Prince has climbed the ranks and was close to the scene, to the point of see finally associated with the production, even if the function of favor. As early as 1955, at the age of 27 only, he won the Tony Award for best producer, his first award, for “The Pajama Game” in 1955.
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Follow an impressive series of successes, including “West Side Story” (1957), before it goes finally to the stage, his true passion. “I wanted to write,” he explained during an interview at the site Broadway.com. “But I wasn’t good enough. So the next step was the staging.”
He made his directorial debut on Broadway with “She Loves Me” in 1963, before tackling, in 1966, in what was to become one of the musicals most famous theatre, “Cabaret”. His style was marked by economy, and the decor quite minimalist. It is often touted to have produced its first shows for budgets are well below the average.
Hal Prince has crossed the 70 years with the same success as in the previous two decades, in particular thanks to “Sweeney Todd” (1979), and then managed to negotiate the turn of the 80s and 90s, a period during which Broadway was transformed. He notably staged “the phantom of The opera”, written by the British Andrew Lloyd Webber, who holds the record for longevity on Broadway. The musical is the poster for 31 years and has more than 13,000 representations.
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