Legendary Broadway director/producer Harold “Hal” Prince will receive the fourth annual Sondheim Award from the Arlington, VA-based Signature Theatre, the company announced yesterday.
Prince has directed or produced eighteen Tony®-winning shows and has won three special Tonys in his own name as well. He is a celebrated Sondheim collaborator, their work together including West Side Story, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along and 2003’s Bounce (now called Road Show).
“After nine major collaborations over a period of 55 years and a friendship that is even longer, it seems somewhat redundant, not to say bizarre, that I should be giving an award in my name to Harold Prince,” Sondheim said. “But any award that acknowledges Hal’s skills, inventions, and generosity is an award worth giving. His achievements range well beyond his contributions as a director and a producer.”
Signature will bestow the award on Prince in a black-tie ceremony at the Italian Embassy on April 15. Tickets are $1,000 and sponsorships are available for donations from a thousand to a hundred thousand dollars. Proceeds from the gala will go to benefit Signature Theatre’s artistic, educational and community programs.
“It’s a great personal honor to award this year’s Sondheim Award to Stephen Sondheim’s longtime collaborator Hal Prince,” said Signature Theatre’s Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer. “We look forward to saluting this giant of the American musical this spring for all of his contributions to the American theatre and for being an inspiration to us all.”
In addition to his work with Sondheim, Prince is particularly well known for his co-production (with George Abbott) of the Tony-winning The Pajama Game and his direction of the original Broadway production of Cabaret. Prince is currently in rehearsal for a retrospective called Prince of Broadway, which he is co-directing with director and choreographer Susan Stroman.
Prince is also well regarded for his work in opera, including the direction of Ashmedai, Willie Stark, Madame Butterfly, Turandot, and a revival of Candide.
Prince follows Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters and last year’s Patti LuPone as Sondheim Award winners.