Last weekend I attended Prince of Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club. I had very high hopes for the production until the New York Times review came out from Ben Brantley. I decided to ignore it and attended the show anyway.
When the lights dimmed, the cast members came out with the signature Hal Prince style of putting their glasses on their forehead. After explaining who Hal Prince was, they jumped into the overture. Ben Brantley described it perfectly in his review when he said “…before you can name who wrote one naggingly familiar splinter of a tune (Bernstein? Sondheim? John Kander? Andrew Lloyd Webber?), another jostles into the foreground.”
As the show went on, different shows came and went. Unfortunately, they had a missed opportunity of having a Hal Prince character narrate between scenes as they only explained his story every 5 – 6 numbers.
The sets were fairly complex as they tried to recreate when each of the shows looked like when they first opened on Broadway. They did a very nice job with that as well as the costumes making you feel like you were seeing that show on Broadway.
I will say that Act Two was slightly better than Act One and the song choices were better to represent the shows. I also have to wonder if I enjoyed it more, because they focused on many of the shows that I happen to know and love. The Prince of Broadway has failed this time and didn’t create a masterpiece like he did back in the day. The genius behind the direction of Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd, and many others failed to embody the good qualities of all those shows for this revue representing his career. For a man that has the most Tony Awards in history, I’ll be shocked if the story of his life is able to garner another.
A college student who sees many shows annually.