Hal Prince Chats Reworking PRINCE OF BROADWAY for Japan, Broadway
The Umeda Arts Theater world premiere production of PRINCE OF BROADWAY began rehearsals on September 3 in New York City. Hal Prince just talked to Deadline about the once-stalled show's upcoming premiere in Japan, taking the production to Broadway next year, his flops and his successes throughout his career, and more.
The original American producing team couldn't raise the money for PRINCE OF BROADWAY, so Umeda, a Japanese conglomerate in Tokyo that was among the original investors, stepped up and took over.
Prince told Deadline that he asked the Japanese team, "Well, what's your audience going to make of any of this?" They responded, "They'll make everything of it, don't worry about it. They love musicals, and what they don't understand they'll figure out."
Talking about how to structure PRICE OF BROADWAY, Prince told Deadline, "...I use [Jerome Robbins' Broadway] as a warning. When I saw it, I thought, It's good, but it isn't fresh, there isn't the sense of Jerry's creative mind, which I know so well, and which was unequalled."
He added, "The first thing was, I can't remember anything I've done yesterday, much less 60 years ago. So I thought, I don't want to see the archives, I don't want to see any footage, I want to approach the material as if I hadn't staged it. I know I once staged it and it worked, but I have to do it again. So that's what's happened. Nothing is staged exactly as it was, because I can't remember -- and I consider that an advantage...I have a terrible memory because I'm not interested in the past. It's done, it's done." Read the full interview here.
PRINCE OF BROADWAY, a new musical celebrating the extraordinary six-decade Broadway career of producer-director Harold Prince, plays from October 23-November 22, 2015 at Tokyu Theatre Orb in Tokyo, Japan and November 28-December 10, 2015 at Umeda Arts Theatre, Main Hall, in Osaka, Japan.
PRINCE OF BROADWAY, which features words and music from many of the shows that have earned Hal Prince a record 21 Tony Awards, has a book by two-time Tony Award nominee David Thompson (The Scottsboro Boys, Steel Pier), co-direction and choreography by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, Contact, Crazy for You) and direction by Mr. Prince.
The cast includes Josh Grisetti (It Shoulda Been You), Shuler Hensley (Tony Award winner for Oklahoma!), Ramin Karimloo (Phantom of the Opera, Tony Award nominee for Les Miserables), Nancy Opel (Honeymoon in Vegas, Tony Award nominee for Urinetown), Bryonha Marie Parham (After Midnight, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess), Emily Skinner (Billy Elliot, Tony Award nominee for Side Show), Mariand Torres (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, Wicked), Kaley Ann Voorhees (Phantom of the Opera), Tony Yazbeck (Tony Award nominee for On the Town) and Reon Yuzuki (former Top Star of the Takarazuka Revue Company's Star Troupe).
PRINCE OF BROADWAY features set design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt, costume design by six-time Tony Award-winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Sonoyo Nishikawa and sound design by Koichi Yamamoto. Wig design is by Paul Huntley. Musical supervisor and arrangements are by three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown. Musical director is Fred Lassen. Casting is by Tara Rubin.
Celebrating one of the most influential and successful careers in the American theatre of the past 60 years, PRINCE OF BROADWAY will look at the circumstances and fortune, both good and bad, that led to Hal Prince creating some of the most enduring and beloved theatre of all time, including The Pajama Game, West Side Story, Fiorello!, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Evita, and The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running show in Broadway history.
Below, see the songlist* for Act 1 and part of Act 2!
"ALL I NEED IS ONE GOOD BREAK" from Flora, the Red Menace
"HEART" from Damn Yankees
"WHATEVER LOLA WANTS" from Damn Yankees
"SOMETHING'S COMING" from West Side Story
"TONIGHT" from West Side Story
"TONIGHT AT EIGHT" from She Loves Me
"WILL HE LIKE ME?" from She Loves Me
"YOU'VE GOT POSSIBILITIES" from It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman
"BEAUTIFUL GIRLS" from Follies
"WAITING FOR THE GIRLS UPSTAIRS" from Follies
"THE RIGHT GIRL" from Follies
"SEND IN THE CLOWNS" from A Little Night Music
"IF I WERE A RICH MAN" from Fiddler on the Roof
"FAR FROM THE HOME I LOVE" from Fiddler on the Roof
"WILLKOMMEN" (Segue) "IF YOU COULD SEE HER" from Cabaret
"SO WHAT?" from Cabaret
"CABARET" from Cabaret
"THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA" from The Phantom of the Opera
"WISHING YOU WERE SOMEHOW HERE AGAIN" from The Phantom of the Opera
"THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT" from The Phantom of the Opera
"COMPANY" from Company
"DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA" from Evita
"BROADWAY BABY" from Follies
"KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN" from Kiss of the Spider Woman
"THE BALLAD OF SWEENEY TODD" from Sweeney Todd
"CAN'T HELP LOVIN' THAT MAN" from Show Boat
*Note: Not included in this list are the original songs that Jason Robert Brown is writing for the show, which have yet to be revealed.
Harold Prince directed the original productions of She Loves Me, It's a Bird...Superman, Cabaret, Zorba, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, On the Twentieth Century, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Merrily We Roll Along, The Phantom of the Opera, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Parade and LoveMusik. He has also directed acclaimed revivals of Candide and Show Boat. Before becoming a director, Mr. Prince produced the original productions of The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, New Girl in Town, West Side Story, Fiorello!, Tenderloin, Flora the Red Menace, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Fiddler on the Roof. Among the plays he has directed are Hollywood Arms, The Visit, The Great God Brown, End of the World, Play Memory and his own play, Grandchild of Kings. His opera productions have been seen at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Vienna Staatsoper and the Theater Colon in Buenos Aires. In 2006, he prepared a new version of Phantom which ran in Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel for six years. His next musical, The Band's Visit, will open at the Atlantic Theatre Company in 2016. Mr. Prince is a trustee for the New York Public Library and previously served on the National Council on the Arts for the NEA. He is the recipient of 21 Tony Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's Monte Cristo Award and a National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton for a career in which "he changed the nature of the American musical."