Producer, Writer, Source Material
( b. May 30, 1912 New York, New York, USA - d. Oct 24, 2010 New York, New York, USA ) Male
Joseph Stein was a veteran musical librettist who penned the books to such shows as Fiddler on the Roof and Zorba. Mr. Stein was born to Jewish parents in New York City, and grew up in the Bronx. Taking a masters degree in social work from Columbia University in 1937, he spent the next decade as a psychiatric social worker, writing comedy on the side.
Mr. Stein was best known for the folksy, heartfelt text for Fiddler on the Roof, which was replete with one-liners tailored to the talents of star Zero Mostel's comic style, many spoken directly to the Almighty. He also wrote the books to the shows Mr. Wonderful, Take Me Along, Juno, Irene and Plain and Fancy, and scored a solid comedy hit in 1963 with Enter Laughing.
His steadiest collaborator was Fiddler composer Jerry Bock, but he seemed to have worked at least once with nearly every composer of note of Broadway's Golden Age, including Charles Strouse, Sheldon Harnick, Stephen Schwartz, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Bob Merrill, Alan Jay Lerner, Burton Lane, Marc Blitzstein, Jule Styne, and Albert Hague.