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HOORAY FOR IRVING BERLIN! — AND HERSHEY FELDER By Peter Filichia

It comes late in YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN. Lucy Van Pelt simply sneaks up behind the Beethoven-obsessed Schroeder and taps him on the shoulder. Once he turns around, she says “Hooray for Irving Berlin!” and runs off before he can say anything (or stone her). Hooray for Hershey Felder, the pianist-actor who wrote […]

NOEL COWARD’S SWEET POTATO – Sort Of By Peter Filichia

Fifty years ago this week, it began previews without a record company having signed on to do the original Broadway cast album. And considering that NOEL COWARD’S SWEET POTATO lasted all of forty-four performances, no company was willing to step up to the plate after the fact. Clive Barnes, then the powerful critic of the […]

SALLY, IRENE AND MARY By Peter Filichia

Shall we spend our September 4th celebrating the ninety-sixth anniversary of SALLY, IRENE AND MARY? The 1922 musical by Eddie Dowling – who’d have his biggest success twenty-two years later with THE GLASS MENAGERIE – was inspired by three recent smash-hits: SALLY (1920; 561 performances) IRENE (1919; 675 performances) and MARY (1920; 220 performances). IRENE, […]

THEY WERE MAID FOR MUSICALS By Peter Filichia

“Hell, I’d even play the maid to be in a show.” So sings Hattie Walker in FOLLIES on the last night of the Weissman Theatre’s existence, reprising the number that she had sung many years before. Playing a maid does seem to be the lowest of all theatrical assignments. ALLEGRO, BELLS ARE RINGING, CALL ME […]

Here Are the Answers! By Peter Filichia

Last week I gave you some trivia questions and brainteasers from the podcast I do most every Sunday on www.broadwayradio.com . Every question I detailed involved a musical whose cast album, be it an original and/or a revival, can be found here at Masterworks Broadway. Just in case you were flummoxed by the questions or […]

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 www.mtishows.com and www.kritzerland.com.

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, Theater.com, 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.