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Anyone with a more than casual interest in theater needs no reminding that Harold Prince directed the original Broadway productions of “She Loves Me,” “Cabaret,” “Follies,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Evita,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” That’s a staggering track record by any conceivable standard. Nevertheless, he isn’t exactly a household name west of the Hudson and hasn’t had a hit since the 1994 revival of “Show Boat,” so you can’t help but wonder how savvy a commercial proposition it was for the 89-year-old legend to put together a tribute to himself and call it “Prince of Broadway.”
On the other hand, “Prince of Broadway” is not a budget-pulverizing extravaganza à la “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” but a nine-singer revue at the 650-seat Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, which is a thousand seats smaller than the nearby house where “Phantom” has been minting money for the past 29 years. That Mr. Prince tried and failed to raise the money to put on a bigger, starrier show is no secret. Instead, he and Susan Stroman, his choreographer and co-director, have settled for a modestly scaled, slickly staged two-and-a-half-hour greatest-hits medley of numbers from 16 of the shows that Mr. Prince has directed and/or produced since 1955. Modest though it is, “Prince of Broadway” looks and sounds fabulous….
“Prince of Broadway” adds up to a pleasingly intimate musical revue full of shining moments, albeit one that feels rather more like a pledge-week TV special than a full-fledged Broadway show….
One of the first musicals that Mr. Prince directed was, of course, Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” and Barrington Stage Company, which has emerged in recent seasons as one of America’s top regional musical-comedy producers, is currently mounting a stirring revival of Mr. Sondheim’s now-classic study of the problems of postmodern marriage. Directed by Julianne Boyd, it stars Aaron Tveit as Robert, the commitment-phobic New York bachelor whose role was created by Dean Jones in the original 1970 production. I doubt there’s been a better Robert since Mr. Jones left the show. A true tenor with brilliantly gleaming high notes, Mr. Tveit is also a superior actor…
Role for role, this is the best-sung “Company” I’ve ever heard—not just in regional theater, but anywhere….
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Read the whole thing here.
Highlights from the original 2015 Japanese production of Prince of Broadway:
A video of a rehearsal for Barrington Stage’s revival of Company: