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Theater District Street Renamed After Broadway Legends

The new sign on 53rd and Broadway in Manhattan (Rebecca Lewis)

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The creative minds behind "Fiddler on the Roof" are being honored with their own street name. 53rd and Broadway in Manhattan has been renamed "Harnick and Bock Way" after lyricist Sheldon Harnick and his late composing partner Jerry Bock.

Harnick and Bock, the latter of whom died in 2010, have collaborated on nine shows together since 1956, including the Tony Award winning "Fiddler on the Roof," "She Loves Me," and the Pulitzer winning "Fiorello!". The two are well known and respected in the theater community. In fact, Harnick will receive a Lifetime Tony Award at this year's ceremony in June.

But the duo didn't start out as the force they're considered today. Harnick said their first Broadway musical together, "The Body Beautiful," was panned by critics and flopped at the box office.

"After reading the reviews, nobody would have named an alley after us, let alone a street," Harnick said. "Need I say, this is enormously gratifying."

Nether Harnick nor Bock could have imagined the impact they would have on musical theater. A letter from Mayor de Blasio described the two as having "literally made music theater history."

Two of Harnick's and Bock's shows, "Fiddler" and "She Loves Me," have current Broadway revivals. The former is being performed at the Broadway Theatre, right on the newly renamed "Harnick and Bock Way." The latter is just around the corner at Studio 54.