Harold Prince C’48 Hon’71, 1928–2019

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Harold Prince C’48 Hon’71 at the 2015 Creative Spirit Award presentation, where he was honored by the University.
Photo credit: Eddy Marenco/Penn Alumni.

The first time Harold Prince appeared on the cover of the Gazette, in 1969, author (and future Gazette editor) Anthony A. Lyle C’61 called him “the most distinguished son the University of Pennsylvania has ever given to the theater” [“Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof,” June 1969]. At the time, Prince’s production of Fiddler on the Roof was in its fifth year on Broadway, Cabaret in its third, and Zorba had recently opened “to rave critical notices.”

What was already clear in 1969 only became more so in the years that followed, as Prince would receive a record-setting 21 Tony Awards over the course of his career.

November/December 2000 cover image, titled "The Musical Theater's High Flying Prince."
Nov|Dec 2000. Illustration by Chris Sharp.

He would be featured on the cover again five years later in connection with “The Best of All Possible ‘Candides’” [October 1974], a memoir excerpt that offered a behind the scenes look at his successful revival of “the musical that originally fell flat on its face,” and again in 2000, when senior editor Samuel Hughes profiled him in a story called “Putting on a Show” [Nov|Dec 2000], when he was in the process of putting the finishing touches on a Philadelphia premiere of Three, a trio of one-act musicals showcasing young composers and performers.

In honor of Prince’s death on July 31, we are posting PDFs of those stories at the links above. Below are links to two other stories by Sam Hughes—reporting on a campus visit by Prince in 2010 and on his being honored with Penn Alumni’s Creative Spirit Award in 2015—along with an essay adapted from Prince’s autobiography that we ran in 2018.

“Musical Man” [Mar|Apr 2010]

The legendary Prince of Broadway talks about the golden age of musical theater—and his next show.

“At Last, Our Prince Has Come” [Jul|Aug 2015]

Hal Prince receives Penn Alumni’s Creative Spirit Award in 2015—finally.

“Three Cod Operas and a Plunging Chandelier”[Mar|Apr 2018]

The director shares how he adapted Phantom of the Opera to the stage, three decades ago.

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