After 36 Years, Hal Prince's Name Can No Longer Be Found in a Broadway Playbill | Playbill

Special Features After 36 Years, Hal Prince's Name Can No Longer Be Found in a Broadway Playbill

Prince's momentous Broadway credit streak came to a close July 7 with the closing of Merrily We Roll Along.

Harold Prince Marc J. Franklin

July 9, 2024, marks the end of an era. 

After nearly 37 years of continual distribution (minus the shutdown year), the name of the iconic director-producer Hal Prince can no longer be found within printed Playbills.

Prince's streak came to a close July 7, when Playbills were distributed at the final performance of the hit Broadway revival of Merrily We Roll Along. With the majority of Broadway theatres dark on Mondays, it is today, July 9, that closes this particular chapter in Broadway history.

While Prince passed away in 2019, his name remained in printed Playbills for an additional five years through his directorial credit on The Phantom of the Opera, as well as his "originally directed" and "co-conceived" credits for the recent revivals of Parade, Company, and Sweeney Todd—plus a dedication credit on the musical How to Dance in Ohio.

Prince's Broadway streak began on September 14, 1987, when the musical Roza began previews at the Jacobs Theatre. While Prince had been working extensively on Broadway long before Roza (with 47 various Broadway credits to his name preceding it), the short-lived community drama directly preceded the 1987 Cabaret revival. The 1988 Broadway transfer of The Phantom of the Opera then made the director a Broadway mainstay for decades.

In fact, Prince has one of the longest creative streaks in Playbill history! While theatre owners and others involved in the administrative side of the industry have naturally had longer runs in print Playbills (the Shubert Organization is going on 122 years of continual producing!), Prince is now one of the few artists to cross the legendary milestone of having his name appear in a Broadway Playbill for more than 30 years. 

One of the only artists to surpass Prince's streak is Andrew Lloyd Webber, who just so happened to be one of Prince's frequent collaborators. Lloyd Webber maintained his streak of continually appearing in Playbills for an eye-popping 44 years, from the first previews of Evita in 1979, all the way through to 2023 when The Phantom of the Opera closed on Broadway and Bad Cinderella played a short run.

Still, Prince's impact continues to be felt across the industry. While Prince is not officially credited, a new revival of Cabaret is now running at the August Wilson Theatre, and later this season, selections from many of the Sondheim shows Prince shepherded to the stage will be presented as a part of Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends. Additionally, a multitude of theatre icons, led by Carol Burnett, have called for a Broadway theatre to be renamed in Prince's honor; should that campaign go through, Hal Prince would be emblazoned across Playbills for generations to come.

41 Playbills Hal Prince Brought to Broadway

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