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By Peter Filichia There have been 1,025 recordings of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” 1,604 renditions of Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish’s “Star Dust” and over 2,200 covers of Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday.” But there have been precious few recordings of “Good Times Are Here to Stay,” the marvelous cheer-up song that’s the Act One closer […]

Hello, Hazel Flagg!

By Peter Filichia If you didn’t get to the Lion Theatre last month, then you missed your chance. Musicals Tonight! did an excellent staged reading of Hazel Flagg. At least there’s that 1953 original cast album of the Jule Styne-Bob Hilliard score. The first of those two names you undoubtedly know. Jule Styne was the […]

Stephen Sondheim on Anyone Can Whistle: New Legends of Broadway Video

When A Lyric Picks Up A New Relevance

By Peter Filichia Every now and then, a lyric written long ago assumes a new and suddenly relevant meaning. That happened with the 1962 TV-special Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall. It contained a hellishly clever parody of The Sound of Music. Julie Andrews played Mrs. Pratt, a happy-go-lucky Maria von Trapp stand-in who supervised […]


Nuns And The Nazis And Whiskers On Kittens

By Peter Filichia She was one of the most esteemed film critics of all time, but her enviable reputation didn’t stop her from getting fired. Pauline Kael started writing for McCall’s in early 1965 and didn’t even last through all of 1966. She was canned for giving her honest opinions, and the first nail in […]

Forgive Me, Stephen Sondheim

By Peter Filichia So I celebrated Stephen Sondheim’s eighty-fifth birthday on March 22 in a way in which he wouldn’t have approved. I played the original cast album of Do I Hear a Waltz? Once again, for the hundredth or so time that I listened, I was struck with the 1965 musical’s beauty, tunefulness and […]

Peter Filichia is the theater critic emeritus for the Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey and News 12 New Jersey.

He is a columnist each Friday for and

Filichia is the author of Let’s Put on a Musical, now in its third printing; Broadway Musicals: The Biggest Hit of the Season / The Biggest Flop of the Season and Broadway Musical MVPs 1960-2010: The Most Valuable Players of the Last 50 Seasons. His new book, Strippers, Showgirls, and Sharks will be published in May, 2013 by St. Martin’s Press.

He has been a columnist for Playbill,, Theatermania and Theater Week.

Before joining the Theatre World Awards in 1996 as host and head of the selection committee, Filichia served four terms as president of the Drama Desk. He has served on an assessment panel for the National Endowment for the Arts, and is currently critic-in-residence for the University of Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music and the musical theater judge for the ASCAP Awards program.