With 21 Tony Awards, director and producer Harold Prince holds more statues than any other individual in history. But more impressive than the number are the pieces of art attached to them. Prince has given audiences such influential and historic title as The Phantom of the Opera, Company, Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Follies, A Little Night Music… The list goes on.
Previously seen in Japan, the musical celebration of Prince’s career, Prince of Broadway, will begin previews on Broadway August 3 prior to an August 24 opening night at the Samuel J. Friedman theatre, where it will star Chuck Cooper, Janet Dacal, Bryonha Marie Parham, Emily Skinner, Brandon Uranowitz, Kaley Ann Voorhees, Michael Xavier, Tony Yazbeck, and Karen Ziemba.
Even before they began rehearsals, Playbill spoke to some of the stars about what they expect. “In Japan they had a voiceover, but I believe the idea [for Broadway] is that the actors will put on the glasses and play Hal to introduce each section,” says Xavier.
Earlier this season, British transplant Xavier broke out as Norma Desmond’s younger lover Joe Gillis in the revival of Sunset Boulevard. He’s thrilled to stay in the States and offer his take on Prince classics. “I’m probably most excited about doing ‘Being Alive’ because I think it’s one of the greatest musical theatre songs ever written,” he says of Company’s 11 o’clock number.
His co-star Uranowitz revealed what he’ll be singing, as well. “I’m gonna do a little ‘Dressing Them Up’ from Kiss of the Spider Woman, I’m doing the Emcee from Cabaret, She Loves Me…,” says Uranowitz.
With a book by Tony nominee David Thompson (The Scottsboro Boys) and direction and choreography by Prince and Tony winner Susan Stroman (Contact, The Producers)—plus new songs by Tony winner Jason Robert Brown (Bridges of Madison County, Parade)—the show is sure to be not only a Prince extravaganza but a celebration of musical theatre history.
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