Mr. Klein reviewed productions at such theatres as Hartford Stage; the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ; the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey; the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival; Long Wharf in New Haven, CT; McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ; the White Plains Performing Arts Center; and other theatres in the tri-state area.
Very often, he was the first New York Times critic to review a production, with the first- or second-string critics of the daily paper sometimes writing up the show later in its run. Thus, his reviews could be important and influential, particularly when he appraised the New Haven tryout of a Broadway-bound show, or a regional premiere that producers hoped to move to New York.
He joined the Times sometime in the late 1970s, and continued to write for the paper until a few a few years ago. He was formerly the drama critic for WNYC radio, and was for a time president of the Drama Desk, an association of theatre critics, editors and reporters, ending his service in 1982.
Alvin Klein was born in Brooklyn. He went to undergrad at Brooklyn College, and took a masters degree in psychology at Columbia University.
He was predeceased by his wife, Janet Ginsberg Klein, in 2001. He is survived by a daughter, Alexandra, and a son, Gideon, and two grandchildren.