Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Via Tokyo To Broadway

The American Theater Wing celebrated Hal Prince's 85th birthday in the Grand Ballroom at the Plaza Hotel New York. Hal received a lot of praise, but I bet he would have preferred some of his admirers to write some checks instead. Since about 27 years a project called the ‘Prince of Broadway’ is waiting for investors to believe in it. Several producers have tried in vain to raise the $13 million of the projected budget. The show is to include popular songs from shows that Mr. Prince has produced or directed over the last 60 years, a run that began with “The Pajama Game” and “Damn Yankees” in the 1950s, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (1962), “Sweeney Todd” (1979), and of course "Evita" and "Phantom Of The Opera". Now it looks like a Japanese producer will do it. Some of Mr. Prince’s friends regard this as an outright scandal, and argue that Broadway producers and theater owners should have stepped up to invest because they have made millions of dollars from his musicals. “Phantom” alone has grossed $925 million on Broadway. At the gala, Hal Prince expressed optimism about the project's future. He said to a reporter of the New York Times: “Everything’s going very well with developing the show, and we’ll have the financing, and we’ll do four weeks in Tokyo and then open on Broadway in early 2016.” I love Japan!

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