American musical theater has lost a legend. Harold “Hal” Prince, the director and producer behind mega-hits like Phantom of the Opera, Company, Fiddler On The Roof, Sweeney Todd, Cabaret and West Side Story, passed away on Wednesday at the age of ninety-one. During his lifetime he earned twenty-one Tony Awards, the most ever won by an individual. He was honored at the Kennedy Center in 1994 and a musical revue based on the many productions he was involved in, Prince Of Broadway, ran on Broadway in 2017. He died in Reykjavík, Iceland, per the New York Times.
He is survived by his wife Judy, children Daisy and Charles, and three grandchildren. According to The Wrap, there will be no funeral but instead “a celebration of his life this fall with the people he loved most, the members of the theatrical community.”
Within minutes of the news of his death, theater fans and luminaries took to social media to share kind words about Prince, his name trending on Twitter almost immediately. Alex Brightman, the musical theater actor who played Dewey in School of Rock and currently plays Beetlejuice on Broadway, tweeted, “Rest in enormous peace, Hal Prince. A true theatre titan,” and Lea Salonga, singing voice of Princess Jasmine and Mulan among other roles, wrote, “Rest In Peace, Hal Prince. Thank you for all the great work you gave us.”
Leading ladies like Bernadette Peters and Kristin Chenoweth posted condolences as well, as did sitcom and stage star Jason Alexander. Writer Glen Weldon nicely summed up Prince’s impact on the theater industry with his tweet: “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.”
See more tweets from prominent theater artists and fans, below:
Rest in peace, Mr. Prince.