For more than six decades, producer and director Hal Prince’s work may have contributed more than anyone else to the rich heritage of Broadway. He started out working for the legendary producer and director George Abbot, and won acclaim with his first show, the labor-themed musical The Pajama Game, in 1954. He continued to produce one classic after another: from West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof to Cabaret, Damn Yankees, She Loves Me, Evita, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Show Boat, Sweeney Todd, Company, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Follies, and the longest running musical ever, The Phantom of the Opera. Prince has won 21 Tony awards, far eclipsing any other producer and director
Prince of Broadway, a Manhattan Theatre Club production at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, is an entertaining and extremely pleasing show that pays homage to this living legend. Prince was co-directed this production with Susan Stroman, who also was the choreographer. The music arrangements and new tunes were provided by Jason Robert Brown.
The musical numbers include some of Broadway’s greatest hits, among them “Tonight” from West Side Story, “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof, “Cabaret” from Cabaret, and “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from Evita. The 16-piece orchestra supports an amazing cast. Emily Skinner’s golden voice, Tony Yazbeck’s wonderful solo tap dance, and Chuck Cooper’s wonderful performance enthrall the audience, as do show-stopping numbers by Bryonha Marie Parham, Janet Dacai, Brandon Uranowitz, and Karen Ziemba. Sets and projections by Beowulf Boritt and the wonderful costumes by William Ivey Long enhance the production.
The timeless tunes and the work of the performers are sure to please the entire family. I strongly urge folks to see this exhilarating show.