“How about an a photo for the Forward?” I asked Harold Prince during our chat at the September 16 American Theatre Wing’s “Hail the Prince of Broadway” Gala at the Plaza.
Prince — winner of 21 Tony Awards for, among others, “Show Boat,” “Evita,” “Sweeney Todd”. “Candide,” “Cabaret” and “Fiddler on the Roof” (more than any other individual) — and a career spanning more than 40 years who has transformed the American musical— beamed for the camera.
“What a wonderful outpouring of support from our community, Heather Hitchens, American Theatre Wing’s Executive Director, told the black tie crowd, which raised a record $700,000 “ to benefit the organization’s educational and outreach programs.” Co-chaired by Carol Burnett, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Jackman, the award presenter was Angela Lansbury.
Among the 450 guests were Harold Prince-affiliated show celebrities Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley, producers of [2005 revival] “Fiddler on the Roof;” Alan Cumming, Tyne Daly, Judy Kaye, Patrick Stewart, Star Jones, Oliver Platt, and Pia Lindstrom.
My first contact with Hal Prince was following the 1967 opening night of “Cabaret.” A nasty couple next to us guffawed whenever Joel Grey, — in his landmark role the painted master of ceremonies at a Berlin nightclub — came on stage. When Grey sang “If you could see her through my eyes, she wouldn’t look Jewish at all”— apropos a gorilla — the pair’s guffawing made everyone in our row uncomfortable. I wrote Mr. Prince how this disrupted our enjoyment of the evening. A week later, I received a set of prime tickets to see the show again!
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