The Little Prince and the Aviator
|The Little Prince and the Aviator|
|Basis||Novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince
never officially opened
Based on the classic book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the musical deviates from the original in that aviator Toni, whose plane crashes in the Sahara Desert, explicitly is real-life author Saint-Exupéry, and the plot alternates flashbacks to actual events in his life with his interaction with the fictional Little Prince, a refugee from Asteroid B-612.
Undaunted by the critical and commercial failure of the 1974 musical screen adaptation by Lerner and Loewe, A. Joseph Tandent, a co-producer of the movie who owned the rights to the story, proceeded with his plans for a Broadway production. To save money, he decided to forgo an out-of-town tryout.
Previews began on December 26, 1981 at the Alvin Theatre. Directed by Jerry Adler and choreographed by Billy Wilson, it starred Michael York as the Aviator and Anthony Rapp as the Little Prince, with Ellen Greene in a supporting role.
The show closed after sixteen previews. Producer Tandent sued the Nederlander Organization, claiming they had forced him to shut down the production with their demands for more money during its final week. He eventually was awarded $1,000,000, representing two-thirds of his investment.