CHARMED, I’M SURE By Peter Filichia

Only two people ever won a Tony Award for Best Conductor and Musical Director, and he was one of them. And yet, Lehman Engel, who left us thirty-four years ago next week isn’t most remembered for holding the baton in front of Streisand in Wholesale, Roz Russell in Wonderful Town or Elaine Stritch in Goldilocks. […]

Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd Added to Library of Congress Recordings Collection

Dropped but Not Forgotten By Peter Filichia

A trip to the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario yielded several terrific productions, but the crown jewel was Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd. Artistic director Jackie Maxwell did a superb job of staging, but her greatest achievement was a smart new idea for the show’s most controversial song: Judge Turpin’s “Johanna.” Traditionally it’s […]

The Broadway Sports Quiz

MY COLORING BOOK by Peter Filichia

  You’ve heard of The Secret Garden, of course, but have you encountered Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book? No, it has nothing to do with the 1991 hit by Marsha Norman, who won a Tony® for her book as well as a nomination that she shared with Lucy Simon, who put […]



Were you attending New York cabaret shows in the ‘80s? If you had been sitting at a table and seeing any chanteuse back then, chances are you would have heard a haunting song called “Old Friend.” Even now, decades later, “Old Friend” hasn’t dated. It describes a woman whose latest romance has come to a […]

The Roar Of The Greasepaint - The Smell Of The Crowd_1500x1500

IS “ROAR” READY TO RE-ROAR? By Peter Filichia

It’s the last traditional score from a Broadway musical to yield five hit songs that most everyone in the nation knew at the time. It was the precise middle of the ‘60s, and the musical was The Roar of the Greasepaint – the Smell of the Crowd. It had a book, music and lyrics by […]

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.