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Meet Producer Hal Prince, Anti-Stager, and His $21M House

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When a house hits the market, it's not uncommon to gussy the place up to appeal to the widest range of buyers in a process known as staging. That might mean removing family photos, reorganizing or replacing some of the furniture, and/or repainting wall colors deemed "too specific." Well wildly successful Broadway producer Hal Prince is having none of that. Prince—the man behind extravagantly staged musicals like Show Boat and West Side Story—has very unique taste. Take the case of his latest redoubt, a Georgian townhouse between Park and Madison Avenues on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The producer purchased the 20-foot-wide house for $12.5M in 2009, shortly after it was gut renovated by the previous owner. He then unleashed his eye-searing brand of personal style on the place, plastering over a fireplace, painting zig-zags on the banisters, obscuring a glorious wall of glass with heavy floor-to-ceiling draperies, and installing bright red rugs, even astroturf. Now, less than three years later, the 21-time Tony winner is trying to turn a profit on the pricey property, asking $21M. (It first came to market last July, but has since been reduced.) Listing photos from the 2009 listing are still online and they're a hell of a lot more enticing—or at least less off-putting. It's baffling that neither of the current listing brokers are using those instead.


Prince also pulled the same glitzy decorating moves on his former apartment, a trophy duplex at the storied billionaire building 834 Fifth. Originally listed for $33M, it took two years and nearly $10M in price chops to get the place sold for slightly more than $23M.

· 48 East 74th Street [Streeteasy]
· 48 East 74th Street [Prudential Elliman]
· Broadway Producer's Theatrical Townhouse on Sale for $22M [Curbed NY]
· Hal Prince Finally Unloads 834 Fifth Duplex for Just Over $23M [Curbed NY]