Henry Krieger
Henry Krieger is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...


Krieger wrote the music for the Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 shows Dreamgirls (1981, with lyrics and book by Tom Eyen
Tom Eyen
Tom Eyen was an American playwright, lyricist, television writer and theatre director.Eyen is best known for works at opposite ends of the theatrical spectrum...

), The Tap Dance Kid
The Tap Dance Kid
The Tap Dance Kid is a musical based on the novel Nobody's Family is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh. It was written by Charles Blackwell with music by Henry Krieger and lyrics by Robert Lorick.-Productions:...

(1983), and Side Show
Side Show
Side Show is a musical about Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins who make a change from being a circus act to becoming famous stage performers in the 1930s. The show was written by Bill Russell and Henry Krieger . The show starred Alice Ripley as Violet and Emily Skinner as Daisy...

(1997), as well as other works of musical theatre
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...


He was nominated for the Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

s for Best Score for both Dreamgirls and Side Show, won a Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 for the cast album of Dreamgirls and received three Academy Award nominations for the songs he wrote for the 2006 film.

Life and career

Born in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Krieger grew up in Westchester County, New York
Westchester County, New York
Westchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. Westchester covers an area of and has a population of 949,113 according to the 2010 Census, residing in 45 municipalities...

 and attended school in Scarborough, New York, which had a theatre that was a replica of the Helen Hayes Theatre
Helen Hayes Theatre
Helen Hayes Theatre with 597 seats is the smallest Broadway theatre and is located at 240 West 44th Street in midtown-Manhattan....

. There he played in Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the librettist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan . The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S...

's Iolanthe
Iolanthe; or, The Peer and the Peri is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It is one of the Savoy operas and is the seventh collaboration of the fourteen between Gilbert and Sullivan....

and Ruddigore
Ruddigore; or, The Witch's Curse, originally called Ruddygore, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It is one of the Savoy Operas and the tenth of fourteen comic operas written together by Gilbert and Sullivan...

. He became interested in theatre and the dramatic arts, and he later studied creative and liberal arts at the American University
American University
American University is a private, Methodist, liberal arts, and research university in Washington, D.C. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 as "The American University", which was approved by President Benjamin Harrison on February 24, 1893...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 in New York.

While still in his twenties, Krieger began composing for Off-Off-Broadway
Off-Off-Broadway theatrical productions in New York City are those in theatres that are smaller than Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres. Off-Off-Broadway theaters are often defined as theaters that have fewer than 100 seats, though the term can be used for any show in the New York City area that...

. Eyen and Krieger first worked together on the 1975 musical version of Eyen's revue The Dirtiest Show in Town
The Dirtiest Show in Town
The Dirtiest Show in Town is a musical revue with a book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Jeff Barry.An attack on both air pollution, the Vietnam War, urban blight and computerized conformity, it is filled with sex, nudity, and strong lesbian and gay male characters, and culminates in a massive...

, called The Dirtiest Musical in Town. Nell Carter
Nell Carter
Nell Carter was an American singer, and film, stage, and television actress. She won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin, as well as an Emmy Award for her reprisal of the role on television...

's performance in that musical inspired Krieger and Eyen to craft a musical about Black back-up singers, which they workshopped for Joe Papp but shelved when Carter dropped out in 1978 to appear in Ryan's Hope
Ryan's Hope
Ryan's Hope is an American soap opera, revolving around 13 years of trials and tribulations within a large Irish American family in the Riverside district of New York City. It aired from July 7, 1975 to January 13, 1989 on ABC...

. A year later, the project caught the interest of Broadway director/producer/choreograher Michael Bennett
Michael Bennett
Michael Bennett was an American musical theater director, writer, choreographer, and dancer. He won seven Tony Awards for his choreography and direction of Broadway shows and was nominated for an additional eleven....

, who sponsored a workshop production of Big Dreams, as the musical was then known, with Devine
Loretta Devine
Loretta Devine is an American stage, film and television actress known for her roles on Boston Public, Grey's Anatomy, and Eli Stone. She also provided her voice for the stop motion animated television series The PJs. Devine is a NAACP Image Award and Emmy award winning actress.-Early life:Devine...

 and twenty-year-old gospel singer Jennifer Holliday
Jennifer Holliday
Jennifer-Yvette Holliday is an African-American singer and Tony Award-winning actress. She started her career on Broadway in musicals such as Dreamgirls, and later became a successful recording artist...

 as Carter's replacement. After several workshops, numerous rewrites and various roadblocks, Dreamgirls came to Broadway in 1981 and was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards (including Best Score), winning six. One of its songs, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going
And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is a torch song from the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, with lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Henry Krieger...

" became a top hit, and others became popular songs. The original cast album
Dreamgirls: Original Broadway Cast Album
Dreamgirls: Original Broadway Cast Album is the cast album for the original Broadway production of the musical Dreamgirls, which debuted at the Imperial Theatre on December 20, 1981. The album was issued by David Geffen, a co-financier of the musical and later producer of its 2006 film adaptation,...

 won Krieger a Grammy Award. When the film version of
Dreamgirls (film)
Dreamgirls is a 2006 musical drama film, directed by Bill Condon and jointly produced and released by DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures. The film debuted in three special road show engagements beginning December 15, 2006 before its nationwide release on December 25, 2006...

 was released in 2006, the soundtrack became a number one album, and Krieger's songs from the soundtrack became hits again. Krieger also has the distinction of being nominated
79th Academy Awards
The 79th Academy Awards ceremony , honored the best films of 2006 and took place on February 25, 2007 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on ABC. Ellen DeGeneres hosted the ceremony for the first time. The producer was Laura Ziskin. The announcers were Don LaFontaine and Gina Tuttle.The nominees were...

 for the Academy Award for Best Original Song three times in one year, when three of his compositions for the film version of
Dreamgirls received nominations: "Listen", "Love You I Do
Love You I Do
"Love You I Do" is a song performed by American R&B singer Jennifer Hudson in the 2006 film Dreamgirls. The music for the song was written by Henry Krieger, composer of the original Broadway play, with lyrics by Siedah Garrett. It is one of the four songs featured in the film that are not present...

", and "Patience
Patience (Dreamgirls song)
"Patience" is a 2006 song written by Henry Krieger and Willie Reale for the motion picture adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls...


Two years later, in 1983, Krieger's musical
The Tap Dance Kid, with lyrics by Robert Lorick
Robert Lorick
Robert Lorick is an actor and lyricist, best known as a Broadway lyricist and for his work portraying Jack Flanders, a character in an ongoing series of ZBS Foundation audio adventures. In 1972, he made his debut as a lyricist with the Off-Broadway musical Hark! at the Mercer-O'Casey Theatre...

, opened at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre
Broadhurst Theatre
The Broadhurst Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 235 West 44th Street in midtown Manhattan.It was designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp, a well-known theatre designer who had been working directly with the Shubert brothers; the Broadhurst opened 27 September 1917...

 and went on to win two Tony Awards. It would be well over a decade before his next Broadway musical,
Side Show, with book and lyrics by Bill Russell
Bill Russell (lyricist)
Bill Russell is an American librettist and lyricist. Russell's works include Side Show Playbill Critics Circle , Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens , and Pageant .Russell received a Tony...

, opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre
Richard Rodgers Theatre
The Richard Rodgers Theatre, is a Broadway theater in New York City, built by Irwin Chanin in 1925. When it was first opened, it was called Chanin's 46th Street Theatre. Chanin almost immediately leased it to the Shuberts, who bought the building outright in 1931 and renamed it the 46th Street...

 in 1997.
Side Show received four Tony nominations, including Best Score.

In 2000, Krieger's musical
Everything's Ducky, again with Russell, opened at TheatreWorks (Silicon Valley)
TheatreWorks (Silicon Valley)
TheatreWorks is a non-profit, professional theater company based in Menlo Park, California and founded in July, 1970. The company is a member of the League of Resident Theatres and employs some 300 artists annually, including Equity and non-Equity actors, directors, designers and specialty artists...

 of Palo Alto, California
Palo Alto, California
Palo Alto is a California charter city located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, United States. The city shares its borders with East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Stanford, Portola Valley, and Menlo Park. It is...

. The show won the 2000 Backstage West Garland Award for Best Score as well as the Will Glickman Award for Best New Bay Area Play of 2000. The musical has since had productions in St. Louis, Cincinnati, La Mirada, and Chicago. The revised musical now known as
Lucky Duck recently debuted in a production at the Boston Conservatory
Boston Conservatory
The Boston Conservatory is a performing arts conservatory located in the Fenway-Kenmore region of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, dance and musical theater...

. Krieger collaborated with Russell again on
Kept, based on Alexandre Dumas, fils
Alexandre Dumas, fils
Alexandre Dumas, fils was a French author and dramatist. He was the son of Alexandre Dumas, père, also a writer and playwright.-Biography:...

' classic,
Camille. Kept premiered at TheatreWorks in 2002. Krieger and Russell also wrote "Santa's Gonna Rock and Roll," the opening number of the Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in New York City's Rockefeller Center. Its nickname is the Showplace of the Nation, and it was for a time the leading tourist destination in the city...

 Christmas Spectacular, for over a decade, and also "Take the Flame," for the opening and closing ceremonies of Gay Games
Gay Games
The Gay Games is the world's largest sporting and cultural event organized by and specifically for LGBT athletes, artists, musicians, and others. It welcomes participants of every sexual orientation and every skill level...


In 2002, Krieger also wrote the score for
The Wonderful World of Disneys television version of Sleeping Beauty, with lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Susan Birkenhead
Susan Birkenhead is an American lyricist.Birkenhead made her Broadway debut as one of a team of songwriters contributing to Working , for which she received her first Tony Award nomination. Her second was earned for Jelly's Last Jam , which won her the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics and a...

 and starring Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
Whitney Elizabeth Houston is an American singer, actress, producer and a former model. Houston is the most awarded female act of all time, according to Guinness World Records, and her list of awards include 1 Emmy Award, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among...

. With Birkenhead, he recently contributed two songs to Hats!, the new musical revue
A revue is a type of multi-act popular theatrical entertainment that combines music, dance and sketches. The revue has its roots in 19th century American popular entertainment and melodrama but grew into a substantial cultural presence of its own during its golden years from 1916 to 1932...

 of the Red Hat Society
Red Hat Society
The Red Hat Society is a social organization originally founded in 1998 for women age 50 and beyond, but now open to women of all ages. As of August 2010, there are over 40,000 chapters in the United States and 29 other countries.-History:...


In 2008, Henry wrote the music for the new musical Romantic Poetry, which features a book and lyrics by John Patrick Shanley
John Patrick Shanley
John Patrick Shanley is an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. He also contributed articles on the performing arts to The New York Times among other publications.-Life and career:...

. The musical premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club
Manhattan Theatre Club
Manhattan Theatre Club is a theater company located in New York City. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, Manhattan Theatre Club has grown since its founding in 1970 from an Off-Off Broadway showcase into one of the country’s most acclaimed...

 at New York City Center in October 2008 and featured a cast that includes Jeb Brown, Jerry Dixon, Ivan Hernandez, Mark Linn Baker, Patina Miller
Patina Miller
Patina Miller is an American actress and singer.Miller is best known for originating the role of disco diva wannabe Deloris Van Cartier in the 2009 West End and 2011 Broadway productions of Sister Act the Musical.-Early life:...

, and Emily Swallow. According to press notes, "Connie of Woodmere has just married Fred of Newark, but her exes are back in the picture and not sure they approve of the union. Mary of Greenpoint climbs Frankie of Little Italy’s fire escape with amorous erotic intent - but things go awry as she reaches for her dream."

Among other projects, Krieger and Birkenhead are working on the score for a musical based on the 1984 film The Flamingo Kid
The Flamingo Kid
The Flamingo Kid is a 1984 comedy film directed by Garry Marshall, written by Marshall, Neal Marshall and Bo Goldman. It stars Matt Dillon, Richard Crenna, Hector Elizondo, and Janet Jones...


Krieger teamed up once again with Bill Russell to write the song “We Have to Change” for a Spare Some Change: NYC Artists for Barack Obama on August 11, 2008 in New York City, according to political activist Jon-Marc McDonald
Jon-Marc McDonald
Jon-Marc McDonald is an American born blogger, publicist, political activist and baker. McDonald gained national attention when, at the age of 21, he simultaneously came out of the closet as a gay man and resigned as campaign manager from the 1998 United States congressional campaign of...

. The song was performed by Michael-Leon Wooley
Michael-Leon Wooley
Michael-Leon Wooley is an American television, film and theatre actor and singer. Wooley lends his voice to Louis the Alligator in Disney's Oscar nominated animated feature film, The Princess and the Frog. Wooley has also done a small role in Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV.- Early life :Wooley was...


Krieger lives in New York City's Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village, , , , .in New York often simply called "the Village", is a largely residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City. A large majority of the district is home to upper middle class families...



  • Grammy Award
    Grammy Award
    A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

     2007 Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media - "Love You I Do" from Dreamgirls
    Dreamgirls (film)
    Dreamgirls is a 2006 musical drama film, directed by Bill Condon and jointly produced and released by DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures. The film debuted in three special road show engagements beginning December 15, 2006 before its nationwide release on December 25, 2006...


Grammy Award 1982 Best Show Album

External links

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