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‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE LISTENING TO A CHRISTMAS CAROL By Peter Filichia

They’ve arguably done more than anyone else to get kids interested in musicals. We’re talking about lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Alan Menken who for decades have delighted children (and, when you come to think of it, plenty of adults, too). Ahrens is a Tony-winner lyricist whose credits include the child-centric Seussical, Anastasia and many […]

Hairspray

REMEMBER VINYL? FOUR RECENT MUSICALS DO By Peter Filichia

The more things change, the more – well, you know the rest of the quotation coined by one Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in 1849. And here we are seeing a nostalgia for vinyl records in the digital and download era. In the acclaimed musical The Drowsy Chaperone, its hero, simply known as Man in Chair, tells […]

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OL’ SPOON RIVER, THAT OL’ SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY By Peter Filichia

So this week, Masterworks Broadway finally gives you the opportunity to hear a 1963 Broadway hit on a CD or download. Spoon River Anthology. Yes, hit – although it could only manage 111 Broadway performances. That’s not a long run, but in the 1963-64 season, it was enough to outdistance Mary Martin’s new musical Jennie […]

Finian's Rainbow – 1960 Broadway Cast Recording

FINIAN’S IS SOMETHING VERY GRANDISH By Peter Filichia

En route to Finian’s Rainbow at The Irish Repertory Theatre, a song from Darling of the Day popped into my head. Not so surprising, you say, given that both musicals have lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, although their fates were markedly different: Finian’s closed as the sixth-longest book musical in Broadway history while Darling (at thirty-two […]

“Hello

Another Milestone for A CHORUS LINE By Peter Filichia

Last week A Chorus Line celebrated a twenty-fifth anniversary. Not of its opening, which happened more than forty-one years ago. But a quarter-century ago on October 30, 1991, a plaque was installed in the lobby of the Shubert Theatre. It states that here was “Home of A Chorus Line, the longest-running show in Broadway history.” […]

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.