Broadway theatres will dim their lights to send off the late theatre titan Harold Prince, whose shows graced the stages of several houses along the Great White Way. Marquees will go dark for exactly one minute July 31 at 7:45 PM.
Mr. Prince died July 31 following a brief illness. He was 91.
The director and producer garnered a total of 21 Tony Awards for his work—the most of any individual in multiple categories. He is currently represented by Broadway’s longest-running musical, The Phantom of the Opera; the musical opened at New York City’s Majestic Theatre in 1988—a decade after Mr. Prince and Andrew Lloyd Webber presented another title, Evita. His credits marked collaborations with myriad additional composers, from John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman) to Jason Robert Brown (Parade) to Leonard Bernstein (Candide, West Side Story), and, most notably, Stephen Sondheim.
His string of Sondheim premieres in the 1970s—Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, and Sweeney Todd—were considered gamechangers in both form and presentation, defining an evolving landscape of modern American musical theatre. The two parted ways after 1981’s less successful Merrily We Roll Along, but reunited professionally with Sondheim’s Bounce (now Road Show).
Aptly, Mr. Prince’s final Main Stem credit was Prince of Broadway, a musical retrospective of his career celebrating his past accolades and “what comes next?” mentality, manifested in his consistent practice of taking meetings for upcoming projects the morning after each opening night.
“Harold Prince, a former chairman of the board of the Broadway League, was devoted to the theatre and cared deeply about all aspects of the business. His passion, creativity, and unparalleled standards gave life to so many of the shows we now consider Broadway classics,” said Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin in a statement. “He was famous for his remarkable artistic collaborations, but what some may not realize was his extraordinary commitment to mentoring the next generation of industry professionals and ensuring the future of Broadway.”
He is survived by his wife Judy Chaplin, daughter of Hollywood composer and producer Saul Chaplin, and daughter Daisy Prince and son Charles Prince, as well as grandchildren Phoebe, Lucy, and Felix. As per his wishes, there will be no funeral. A celebration of his life with the theatrical community will be held this fall.