top of page

Joel Paley

Drama Desk Award Winner

Joel Paley is the author, lyricist and director of Ruthless!” the Musical now enjoying a revival at St. Luke’s theatre in New York City.  Joel directed the first production of Ruthless! at The Players Theater which won the 1993 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, and for which Joel won the Drama Desk Award as Best Lyricist. He has directed many highly acclaimed productions including New York (Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk nominee for Best Director), South Beach, Florida (Carbonelle Award winner for Best Director and Best Musical Production), the original Los Angeles production, as well as the record-breaking Concert Production starring Bernadette Peters.


Additional highlights of a diversified career include: appearing on Broadway, National Tour and on television with Shirley MacLaine in “Where Do We Go From Here?” as an original member of the infamous Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo; directing the ABC comedy/variety series “SHE-TV” (Carsey/Werner Productions); conceiving and staging and all-singing, all-dancing showroom parody for Bob Newhart in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Atlantic City; creating dances for “The Maude Show” starring Bea Arthur; and writing (with Laird) and staging the opening production sequence of the Academy Award-nominated life action short film, A Different Approach, featuring physically challenged performers dancing in wheelchairs. Joel directed the all-female National Tour of Woody Allen’s “Play It Again, Sam” starring the late great Frank Gorshin, and Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” starring Barbara Eden, Rita McKenzie and Georgia Engel. As a director for the Theatre Guild’s Theatre at Sea series, Joel has worked with Dana Ivey, Donna Mckechnie, Richard Kiley, Eileen Brennan, Carole Kane, Patricia Neal, and Gena Rowlands among others.

bottom of page