Jeremy Gerard, Frank Rich and Jesse Green published valuable reminiscences of Hal Prince, the prolific and hugely successful and influential producer and director who died yesterday, at 91.
Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, 89, wrote of their collaboration in his 2011 book, Look, I Made a Hat:
“Hal, with whom I have worked on eight shows, is sharp and brilliant, heartily warm but inwardly removed. His work tends to be distancing; he is drawn to Brechtian presentations in which the audience is constantly reminded that they are in a theater. He likes epic scope in the tradition of [Vsevolod] Meyerhold and [Max] Reinhardt, which is one reason he directs operas whenever he gets the chance; they offer him the possibility of spectacle. Hal is mercurial in mood, given to large swings from high to low although, being a gent, he doesn’t spread the lows to his colleagues; he is constantly, even aggressively encouraging. His energy is dynamic and contagious — I have seldom left a meeting with Hal without wanting to rush home and write songs.”
Composer-lyricist Jason Robert Brown, who collaborated with Prince on Parade and Prince of Broadway, and has worked with Prince’s daughter, Daisy, a director, offered this on Twitter:
— Jason Robert Brown (@MrJasonRBrown) July 31, 2019