Hal Prince, legendary Broadway director and producer, passed away at the age of 91 in Reykjavik, Iceland, according to broadwayworld.com. Here’s what you need to know: 1. Hal Was Born in New York City
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A colossus of the musical theater and a warm, funny, generous, and adorable man. RIP Hal Prince, glasses forever perched on your forehead. pic.twitter.com/lIXnKQISBs
— Adam Green (@Adam___Green) July 31, 2019
According to IMDb, Harold Smith Prince was born on January 30, 1928, in New York City, New York to stockbroker Milton Prince and Blanche Stern Prince.“We were privileged, upper-middle, lower-rich class, Jewish, both parents of German families which settled here soon after the Civil War,” Prince wrote in his memoir Contradictions.Prince reportedly went on to receive his education at University of Pennsylvania. He was enrolled in the liberal arts program and became very involved in the student theater group, Penn Players.After his graduating with a B.A. in English in 1948, Hal reportedly returned to New York, where he worked as an assistant stage manager to producer and director George Abbott. Prince went on to co-produce with Robert E. Griffith and Frederick Brisson, which resulted in the first two musicals that won Tony awards for Prince.2. Hal Helped Shape the Broadway Musical
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“The idea is to work and to experiment. Some things will be creatively successful, some will succeed at the box office, and some will only—which is the biggest only—teach you things that see the future. And they’re probably as valuable as any of your successes.” — Hal Prince #RIP pic.twitter.com/9HOh8uOWSv
— Tribeca (@Tribeca) July 31, 2019
“The idea is to work and to experiment. Some things will be creatively successful, some will succeed at the box office, and some will only—which is the biggest only—teach you things that see the future,” Prince was quoted by Tribeca. “And they’re probably as valuable as any of your successes.” According to the New York Times, Prince played an integral role in shaping the Broadway musical during the second half of the 20th century. Prince is widely known for his contributions to the theatrical stage, producing classics like Damn Yankees (1955), West Side Story (1960), and Cabaret (1966), among others. Hal was seen as a creative innovator in the industry. He received the Tony Award for lifetime achievement he received in 2006.3. Hal Leaves Behind a Wife, Two Children, and Several Grandchildren
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Hal will be dearly missed by his family. According to IMDb, Hal married Judith Chaplin on October 26, 1962, and the two were married for 56 years. Hal also had three grandchildren, Phoebe, Lucy, and Felix.Hal and Judy had two children, their daughter, Daisy, and their son, Charles. Daisy Prince went on to study at Brown University and became a theater director while Charles studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and became a conductor.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our legendary director, Hal Prince. Our condolences to his family at this time. With love, the entire Phamily pic.twitter.com/jQwcziCsS9
— The Phantom Of The Opera (@PhantomOpera) July 31, 2019
In addition to his biological family, Hal’s theater family is also in mourning. “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our legendary director, Hal Prince,” The Phantom of the Opera wrote on Twitter. “Our condolences to his family at this time. With love, the entire Phamily.”4. People Are Responding to the News on Social Media
RIP Hal Prince. Watching him lead a rehearsal at 88, eyeglasses pushed up on his forehead, was an education: pic.twitter.com/JDS6SFYpWp
— Michael Cooper (@coopnytimes) July 31, 2019
New York Times reporter Michael Cooper remembered watching Hal during a rehearsal when he was 88 years old. He said it was an education.
Hal Prince was absolutely one of those theater legends I thought would live forever.
— Louis Peitzman (@LouisPeitzman) July 31, 2019
Louis Peitzmann said, “Hal Prince was absolutely one of those theater legends I thought would live forever.”
Whether your consider yourself a Sondheim person, or an Andrew Lloyd Webber person, or a Kander and Ebb person, you’re a Hal Prince person.
He bestrode all of 20th-Century Broadway like a Colossus in a Dance Belt.
— Glen Weldon (@ghweldon) July 31, 2019
Author Glen Weldon said that Hal “bestrode all of 20th-Century Broadway like a Colossus in a Dance Belt.”
Hal Prince staged one of the most glorious moments in musical theatre history. Rainbow High showed some real genius. Rest Easy. pic.twitter.com/ygaAKLU0Oi
— Max Grossman (@GrossmanMax) July 31, 2019
Max Grossman shared a clip of what he considers the “most glorious moments in musical theatre history.”
Remembering a true Broadway legend…RIP Hal Prince pic.twitter.com/jXIlWuNy25
— Al Hirschfeld (@AlHirschfeld) July 31, 2019
Artist Al Hirschfeld posted an illustration of Hal with his iconic glasses perched atop his head. 5. There Will Be No Funeral Per Hal’s Request
Goodnight, sweet (Hal) Prince pic.twitter.com/NCRPTL2EhM
— Rebecca Goldstein (@becgo) July 31, 2019
According to broadwayworld.com, there will be no funeral for Hal, per his wishes. However, this fall, there will be a celebration of his life with the people he loved most, including the members of the theatrical community.