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Broadway Director Writes Letter to New York Times Panning Trump's Performance

Friday May 19, 2017

Better than just about anyone alive, legendary Broadway producer/director Hal Prince knows a flop from a hit. As the winner of a record 21 Tony Awards for his work on landmark musicals ranging from "West Side Story" to "Phantom of the Opera," Prince's expert eye as both director and producer is rarely questioned.

So, when the show biz legend takes to the pages of The New York Times in a brief letter to the editor blasting Donald Trump's performance as president, (to borrow a line from Arthur Miller) "Attention must be paid."

Using 113 words (none of which were "president" or "Trump") Prince panned the county's current leadership, writing:

To the Editor:

There's a saying in the theater that whoever occupies the star's dressing room creates the atmosphere backstage. If you have a leading lady or gentleman who is easy to get along with, undemanding, friendly and charming, the cast follows suit, and you have few if any problems. If you have a diva or a narcissistic star, the atmosphere turns viral.

I've been thinking about that recently in terms of our national trauma, and I believe that the star in our dressing room has brought about the epidemic of dangerous mood changes, random episodes of violence and a general malaise in the lives of most Americans.
I'm more than observing it; I'm living it.

The writer is the Broadway theater director and producer.

In addition to his seemingly endless list of industry awards, Prince is also one of the 1994 recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime contribution to the arts in America.


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