I have to tell someone: I met Hal Prince today. (For those not in the know; Hal Prince is probably the most important director of musicals in the 20th century, and certainly the most important producer of them: Short list of his credits (in chronological order): The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, West Side Story, Fiorello!, Tenderloin, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Zroba, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, On the Twentieth Century, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Evita, The Phantom of the Opera, and Show Boat.)
Pidge and I had a weekend in NY (four shows: Grey Gardens [good, not great]; Heartbreak House [brilliant]; The Drowsy Chaperone [3rd time; I love that show]; and Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia: Part One [epic; amazing direction (Jack O'Brien) and deep, deep script]; not to mention two cabaret shows [saw Stritch at the Carlyle -- cost an arm and a leg, but worth it]).
Anyway, we were in the airport this morning, waiting for our flight from JFK to SFO (via Las Vegas). I looked over to my left and saw an old guy sitting by himself. I turned to Pidge and said (jokingly), "That guy looks like Hal Prince." I looked again, and realized it was actually him. He was making phone calls and texting messages, and impatiently waiting to get on the plane. Finally, when I saw my chance, I went up to him and said, "Mr. Prince. I'm a director and just want to thank you for your work. You're an inspiration for all of us." He shook my hand, thanked me, and said, "Well, that's a nice thing to hear first thing in the morning." He asked if I lived in New York. I told him, "No, San Francisco." "Ah, that's where you live -- and work?" I said yes. He asked my name: I told him, and said, "I hope to meet you again." I told him "likewise," shook hands again, and went back to Pidge, shaking from the adrenaline rush.
When we got on the plane (I assume he was going to Vegas to check up on Phantom), he was in the right aisle seat in the front row. I smiled at him, he winked, and I just had to crack up.
I was so stoked; still am.