Hal Prince, the royal and amazing Tony winner on Broadway, the producer or director (or both) of many of the theater's most enduring musicals, including "Damn Yankees," "West Side Story," "Fiddler on the Roof." Cabaret, "Sweeney Todd" and "The Phantom of the Opera," the longest-running show in the history of Broadway, died Wednesday in Reykjavik, Iceland. He was 91 years old.
The death was confirmed by a spokesman.
Mr. Prince started working in the theater in the days of Broadway, when Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein were their songwriters. The stage musical was a robust American art form (not to mention an affordable entertainment option) and theater songs were a staple of the USA airwaves.
Mr. Prince's outstanding role in shaping the Broadway musical in the second half of the 20th century was recognized by the Tony Lifetime Achievement Award he received in 2006.
This was his 21st Tony, a number that far surpasses that of many other categories. The count began with the best musical of 1955, "The Pajama Game," which Mr. Prince produced with Frederick Brisson and Robert E. Griffith. In 1995, the total number 20 for his direction reached an extravagant revival of "Show Boat," the groundbreaking musical of 1927 by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein 2d from Edna Ferber's novel about life on a Mississippi steamship "Show Boat" was for a man who expanded the possibilities of storytelling in the form of music theater, a fitting valedictorian – though not quite his last show – for the development of his character and the fusion of score and story.
Mr. Prince was known as a devilish workaholic, especially in the first decades of his theatrical life; In 1960, three shows produced by him appeared on Broadway at the same time.
And he has been known throughout his career for working with a series of creative talents from a murderer, including choreographer Bob Fosse. Jerome Robbins, Michael Bennett and Susan Stroman, the designers Eugene Lee, Patricia Zipprodt and Florence Klotz, as well as the composers Leonard Bernstein, John Kander, Stephen Sondheim, who was his most frequent confederate, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Mr. Lloyd Webber was his most profitable collaborator in his joint work on "Evita" about the opportunistic Argentine populist Eva Peron and "The Phantom of the Opera," directed by Mr. Prince in London and on Broadway. 19659006] A full version of this obituary will be published shortly.