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Love is simply heavenly but sex means you’re going to hell. So thinks Joyce in Simply Heavenly, the 1957 Broadway musical for which the illustrious Langston Hughes wrote book and lyrics to David Martin’s music. As was the case with so many women in the Eisenhower and pre-birth control pill era, Joyce (Marilyn Berry) believes […]


Broadway’s Three B’s By Peter Filichia

As I went to meet my friend Donald Tesione for lunch, I didn’t realize that he was just a few steps behind me and ready to catch up just before I entered the restaurant. As a result, he’d overheard me whistling “The Three Bs’,” because just before I left my apartment, I’d been listening to […]


70, GIRLS, 70 HAS REACHED MIDDLE AGE By Peter Filichia

No, the recent production of 70, Girls, 70 at HB Studios will never be the definitive one. A group of well-meaning seniors who take class at the famed acting school did their best in conveying John Kander’s music, Fred Ebb’s lyrics, and the book that Ebb and Norman L. Martin fashioned after Joe (Cabaret) Masteroff […]


Meet Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical By Peter Filichia

If your taste in show music runs to Rodgers and Hammerstein as well as Stephen Sondheim, you’ll find that Polkadots is a good cast album for your young children, nieces and nephews. If your taste in show music runs to Rodgers and Hammerstein as well as Stephen Sondheim, you’ll find that Polkadots is a good […]


My Apologies to Wright and Forrest By Peter Filichia

In 1999 — literally the 70th anniversary of Robert Wright’s meeting George “Chet” Forrest — I interviewed the gentlemen at their impressive apartment at 100 West 57th Street. I loved that the place was a veritable Wright-and Forrest Museum. The walls were covered to the square inch with memorabilia from their Hollywood films, Copacabana days […]

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.