Joe DiPietro

Joe DiPietro (born 1961[1]) is an American playwright, lyricist and author.[2]

Born in Teaneck, New Jersey,[3] DiPietro grew up in nearby Oradell,[4][5] the son of Lou and Jean DiPietro. He attended Oradell Public School and River Dell Regional High School,[6] before graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in English.[7]

DiPietro is best known for the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis, as well as for writing the book and lyrics for the long-running off-Broadway show I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.[6]

He is openly gay.[8]


DiPietro's first produced work was I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, written with composer Jimmy Roberts, which ran for twelve years (5,003 performances) off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre.[9] He followed that up with 1998's comedy Over the River and Through the Woods, which played the John Houseman Theatre for 800 performances over two years.[10]

DiPietro's work made its Broadway debut in 2005 with the Elvis Presley jukebox musical All Shook Up.[11] The Toxic Avenger, written with Bon Jovi's David Bryan, debuted off-Broadway on April 6, 2009, and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical.[12]

DiPietro and Bryan's Memphis won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical. It ran at the Shubert Theatre for three years (1,165 performances) and continues in touring production all over the country. DiPietro won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score, and the show also received the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical.[13]

Nice Work If You Can Get It, a re-imagining of a Gershwin musical, starring Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara, opened at Broadway's Imperial Theatre in 2012. The show, and DiPietro's book, were nominated for Tony Awards in 2012, and DiPietro won the Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical.[14]

Clever Little Lies ran in late 2013 at George Street Playhouse and debuted in New York's Westside Theatre in 2015 with Marlo Thomas and Greg Mullavey.[15]

The musical Chasing the Song, which reunited DiPietro with Bryan, was workshopped at La Jolla Playhouse in the summer of 2014. 2014 also saw DiPietro reworking the Garson Kanin play Peccadillo into Living on Love, which starred the opera star Renée Fleming and was a highlight of the 2014 Williamstown Theatre Festival.[16]

Other recent plays include Creating Claire, which debuted at George Street Playhouse in 2010,[17] and The Last Romance, which played the Old Globe in 2010[18] after debuting at Kansas City's New Theatre in 2008.[19] and Ernest Shackleton Loves Me (with the score written by Val Vigoda and Brendan Milburn of GrooveLily fame.) Shackleton was shown as part of the PBS series Broadway on HD, on November 26, 2018.


Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2009 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book of a Musical The Toxic Avenger Nominated
2010 Tony Award Best Book of a Musical Memphis Won
Best Original Score Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book of a Musical Nominated
2012 Tony Award Best Book of a Musical Nice Work If You Can Get It Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Book of a Musical Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Book of a Musical Nominated
2015 Laurence Olivier Award Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Nominated


  1. Tallmer, Jerry (July 4–10, 1998). "Eleven years running, just perfect, why change?". The Villager. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  2. "Giving Allegro a heart transplant", The Washington Times
  3. Ouzounian, Richard, Richard. "Toxic Avenger found his bard in Bon Jovi: Band's David Bryan just wants people to sing the songs he writes", Toronto Star, December 6, 2009. Accessed December 6, 2009. "He got a crash course in how to do it when he met up with Joe DiPietro, another Jersey boy (this one from Teaneck)."
  4. Theater; New Musical Headed For American Stage, The New York Times
  5. "Playbill News: A Perfect Love". Archived from the original on 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  6. Klein, Alvin (October 11, 1998). "In Person; Family, Faith, Food and Fun". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  7. Doubling Down With Joe DiPietro; 2 of his shows open in area, Daily News
  8. "Memphis belle". Dallas Voice, May 10, 2012.
  9. Gans, Andrew (July 27, 2008). "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change Ends NYC Run After More Than a Decade". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2013-06-14. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2017-02-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2013-03-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. "Marlo Thomas Stars in Off-Broadway Marriage Comedy Clever Little Lies by Harry Haun, The New York Observer, 1 October 2015
  17. Gates, Anita (May 28, 2010). "Old Battle, New Play: Religion vs. Science". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  18. Propst, Andy (August 11, 2010). "Review Roundup: Joe DiPietro's The Last Romance, With Marion Ross, Paul Michael, Opens at the Old Globe". TheaterMania. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  19. Koehler, Marieann (September 23, 2008). "The New Theatre Restaurant: Last Romance Review". Entertainment Spectrum. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  20. Joe DiPietro To Open Newest Play In UK 5/16, Broadwayworld, May 15, 2008
  21. Theater; A Not-So-New Gershwin Musical, The New York Times
  22. The Playwrights Database
  23. Playbill Biography: JOE DiPIETRO Archived 2008-03-18 at the Wayback Machine
  24. "Lortel Archives, provides a catalogue of shows produced Off-Broadway". Archived from the original on 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
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