The average aficionado of Broadway musicals may not be the same demographic as the average pay-per-viewer of pugilism, yet it is a noteworthy coincidence that I saw Prince of Broadway on the same night as a much-hyped boxing match took place between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. The latter spectacle pitted one of the best boxers in recent history against a mixed martial arts champ. Even... Read more
Prince of Broadway
No career on the Broadway stage can quite match up to Harold Prince's. With a record number of 21 Tony Awards under his belt, the acclaimed Broadway director and producer is celebrated in this Broadway premiere courtesy of the Manhattan Theatre Club. Hal truly is the Prince of Broadway!
The musical revue, which first premiered in Japan in 2015, brings together the crème de la crème of Broadway talent, re-imagining the classics that Mr. Prince brought to life over six decades of his illustrious career. It has been common practice in the music industry for decades for recording artists who have enjoyed enough longevity in the business to release “Greatest Hits” albums. After all, if you release enough studio albums, you’re bound to have enough beloved hits on there to justify the project. Well, now acclaimed Broadway director and producer Harold Prince is getting in on the act and has compiled a musical revue of theatrical gems from his unprecedented stage career.
With a cast of nine, comprised of musical theatre veterans and rising stars, each of them (whether male or female) takes a turn at breaking the fourth wall and speaking to us in Mr. Prince’s own words. They deliver insider anecdotes about his career choices as if they were channelling his spirit, signified all the while by them grasping Prince’s signature glasses in their hand or characteristically balancing them on top of their heads. These interludes sporadically appear between musical numbers that have become iconic and eternal in Broadway history.
Directed by Prince himself, with choreography and co-direction from fellow Broadway favorite Susan Stroman (a five-time Tony Award winner in her own right), the revue attempts to break away from the notion of being self-aggrandizing in that the cast members (as Prince) frequently remind us of the number of flops and negative reviews the director/producer has endured over the years. Indeed, at the beginning of the show an onslaught of show titles are projected onto the stage one after another as a kind of larger-than-life résumé and perhaps only the most ardent of Broadway aficionados would be comfortably familiar with every single title. But, of course, the household names are all there in all their shining glory and it is these that provide the musical content for this nostalgic evening of celebration.
The overture alone makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, beautifully arranged by Jason Robert Brown (who also provides the original song “Do the Work” for the curtain call). He has intricately woven together an exhilarating, musical patchwork quilt of all the standards we are about to experience (again), before we strap ourselves in for a rollercoaster ride through the decades. From West Side Story to She Loves Me, from Sondheim classics such as Follies, Company and Sweeney Todd to Lloyd Webber behemoths like Evita and The Phantom of the Opera, Hal has collaborated with them all... even Kander & Ebb are gloriously showcased here by Cabaret and Kiss of the Spiderwoman. The list goes on...
Highlights of the show include a heart-wrenching rendition of “Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music by Emily Skinner and Bryonha Marie Parham’s show-stopping take on the title song from Cabaret, whilst Chuck Cooper gives a joyously playful version of Fiddler on the Roof’s “If I Were a Rich Man” and Michael Xavier hits it out of the park with “Being Alive” from Company. And Tony Award nominee Tony Yazbeck, who once again proves he belongs to the tap-dancing elite during “The Right Girl” from Follies.
Prince of Broadway is unlike any other show currently on the Great White Way, showcasing a great ensemble of actors and delivering you the best of the best from Prince’s unparalleled career. We “can’t help lovin’ dat man”!
(Photos by Matthew Murphy)
This show has now closed. See our list of theatre tickets for shows currently on sale.
Prince of Broadway includes songs from many of the shows that earned Harold Prince a record 21 Tony Awards, and biographical material as well. Mr Prince is a legend in the American theatre - the acclaimed director and producer behind a long list of America's most iconic musicals. Now, he's bringing together six decades of magical moments in a new musical event, Prince of Broadway. This thrilling night of theatre includes hits from such celebrated musicals as West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Evita, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, The Phantom of the Opera and more, in an unforgettable tribute to an unmatched Broadway career.