File Size: 9830 KB
Print Length: 343 pages
Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books (August 1, 2017)
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
" Sense of Occasion" is in a sense two books, and neither one is an autobiography, at minimum in the typical sense: the first twenty-six chapters, each covering an individual show, are reworked from his earlier book. " Contradictions, " published in 1974, while the remaining nineteen are new, covering the productions from 1974 to the present. Regardless, they are all tied together by Prince's brisk, simple, unpretentious, and energetic writing style, which keeps the book moving at a good pace. As his long career attests, Royal prince, who professes himself to be a future-oriented optimist and something of a workaholic, evidently loves what he does, and his passion shows in his writing. While his personal findings, insights, and opinions are certainly not lacking, Prince focuses far more on his shows than himself, and acknowledges his flops and failures as candidly as his visits, both refreshing changes from most memoirs/autobiographies. Self-centered this individual evidently is not. Exactly what I found most interesting about this approach has been able to see how well balanced Prince's professionalism and understanding of the pragmatic side of developing and directing a Broadway show coexists alongside the greater artistic and creative, a rarity among theatrical people, but undoubtedly the key to his success and well-deserved stature in the theatrical community.
While Royal prince is worthy of reward for so many reasons, in my opinion, it is his desire to tell musical stories that are " about" something and in a means that encourages his audiences to use their imagination that puts him head-and-shoulders above the rest, and makes his shows genuine occasions, as great theatre ought to be. For anyone aspiring to a directorial career, this guide should be required reading. For everyone who is enjoys great facture, this is a treat. As a subscriber to both camps, My answer is without reserve that this is also a of Mr. Prince's unquestionable triumphs. Bravo!, Full disclosure: I'm a Broadway manufacturer and investor, but have not worked with the author and don't know him. I'm sure however consider me to be some of those annoying people who want credit for financing current shows, not like the days where this individual and alone took home the awards and his 175 investors got a check (or didn't in many cases).
The publication is an interesting look back at the author's career - lots of highs, lots of levels, lots of 20/20 hindsight, and lots of axes to grind (some of them more evident than others - I'm estimating as more Broadway reporters read this book, we will find out more - like Arthur Laurent's autobios). Unfortunately, this book probably should have been written two decades back, as the author's career has had very few highs in the last 2 years, which makes the previous 1/3 of the publication kind of a downer and thinly covered.
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