Richard Maltby Jr. (Lyricist)


Richard Eldridge Maltby Jr. is an American lyricist who was born on the 6th October 1937 in Ripon, Wisconsin. He is the son of bandleader Richard Maltby and Virginia (nee Hosegood). His father was a successful arranger during the 1940s into the 1950s and worked with the likes of Ethel Merman and Peggy Lee.

Richard Maltby Jr studied at Yale University where he first met and collaborated with his life-long somgwriting partner David Shire. They created two musicals whilst at Yale, and several more shows once they had left college. During the 1960s Barbara Streisand recorded 5 of their songs including 'Autumn' and 'Starting Here, Starting Now'. In 1970 David Shire moved to California to persue a career in music writing for film whilst Maltby stayed on the East Coast where he was wanting to persue a career in Theatre.

In 1976 Maltby received a call from Manhattan Theatre Club who asked if they could stage a revue of songs by Maltby and Shire. The show, later called Starting Here, Starting Now was a tremendous success and transferred to the Barbarann Theater Restaurant in early 1977 where it ran for 120 performances. The original cast album was even nominated for a Grammy Award.

In 1978 the Manhattan Theatre Club again came to Maltby and this time Maltby conceived and wrote additional lyrics for the review Ain't Misbehavin', a revue inspired by the life of Fats Waller. It is one of only two revues to win the Best Musical Tony award. Maltby also won the Best Director for it. After beginning at MTC's East-Side Cabaret it transferred into Broadway where it ran for 1604 performances and lasted until 1982.

Over the next few years Maltby created two musicals with David Shire, Baby in 1983, and Closer Than Ever in 1989 both enjoying tremendous success, he also during this time directed and co-lyricised Song And Dance with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

In 1989 Maltby also co-wrote the lyrics for Miss Saigon with Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil which ram for 10 years and landed three Tony Awards. He would go on to collaborate with Schonberg and Boublil in 2007 on The Pirate Queen as well.

1996 saw the partnership of Maltby and Shire release the musical Big based on the Tom Hanks movie from the 1980s. This was followed by Maltby's next idea, a show on the life of choreographer Bob Fosse, simply entitled Fosse. This was the second revue that Malby created that won Best Musical at the Tonys, the only two revues ever to win the Tony award for the year.

In recent years Maltby has also created the screenplay for the movie Miss Potter starring Ewan McGregor and Renee Zellweger.

Alongside all of the theatrical and screenplay work Maltby is also known for creating fiendish crossword puzzles for Harpers Magazine since 1976.

Richard Maltby Jr with composer David Shire

Selected list of Musicals and Movies for which Richard Maltby Jr. has contributed

  • Starting Here Starting Now (1976) [Musical] Lyricist (Composer : David Shire)
  • Ain't Misbehavin' (1978) [Musical] Director, Additional Lyrics
  • Baby (1982) [Musical] Lyricist (Composer : David Shire)
  • Song And Dance (1986) [Musical] Director, Co-Lyricist (Composer : Andrew Lloyd Webber)
  • Closer Than Ever (1989) [Musical] Lyricist (Composer : David Shire)
  • Miss Saigon (1989) [Musical] Co-Lyricist (Composer : Claude Michel Schonberg, Co-Lyricist : Alain Boublil)
  • Big (1996) [Musical] Lyricist (Composer : David Shire)
  • Fosse (1999) [Musical] Director
  • Miss Potter (2007) [Movie] Screenplay

Richard Maltby Jr. Musicals on The Accompanist

Closer Than Ever | Miss Saigon | The Pirate Queen

Richard Maltby Jr. Collaborators on The Accompanist

Alain Boublil | Claude Michel Schonberg | David Shire | John Dempsey