Hal Prince had helmed some of Broadway’s most beloved musicals: West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Follies, A Little Night Music, and the incredible long-runningist show ever, The Phantom of the Opera. At 85, he’s spent decades in the theatre: he’s lived and breathed greasepaint and footlights. So it’s not to surprising that there’s now a musical in the works about him called The Prince of Broadway.
But what is surprising, amazing, and surely inspiring is the fact that it’s taken the force behind the show, William Ivey Long quite some time to see the show come to fruition. “I have been working on The Prince of Broadway for 27 years” he once joked (no wonder his name is Long!)
Well, however much time it’s taken, the original creative team, including Long and the director Susan Stroman, has nursed the project along with tender loving care and a hearty dose of stick-to-it-iveness. It hasn’t been an easy road. The show’s first producer dropped out of the picture and then two co-producers bowed out as well.
One of the problems has been financing — but that’s been solved: The show is going to debut in Japan where The Phantom of the Opera has been a huge hit and then make its way to Broadway. A debut 7,000 miles from the Great White Way — that’s quite an out-of-town tryout, isn’t it?
Yet however many miles and minutes it’s taken this show to get off the ground, I hope it flies. Not just because Hal Prince has given so many audiences hours of pleasure, but because of the dedication of the team that’s bringing his story to life. It takes so much stamina and faith to keep creative endeavors alive! Every time a project stumbles and falls and then rises again and finds its legs, I believe we should applaud and wish it well — and the same for ours. So bravo, and write on!