There are three levels of Cast Album Nirvana. The first occurs when you hear the score and love it so much that you immediately replay the recording again and again. The second comes after many listens. Now you only need hear the vamp of any song to make you immediately recognize it, smile and say […]

Yes, Sirreee, SpongeBob By Peter Filichia

There’s a possibility that SpongeBob SquarePants may force the Tonys Awards to move from Radio City Musical Hall this year to a grammar school auditorium next year. If “The Broadway Musical for Everyone,” as it calls itself, wins the Best Score Tony, the American Theatre Wing will have to dispense no fewer than sixteen trophies […]

George M!: The Musical That NBC Sabotaged By Peter Filichia

Fifty years ago last month The Twenty-Second Annual Tony Awards were dispensed. Hallelujah, Baby! beat out The Happy Time, Illya Darling and How Now, Dow Jones for Best Musical. It might not have won if George M! had opened just a little bit sooner – or if NBC hadn’t made a demand that the Tonys […]

Bells Are Ringing – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1956

STAR VEHICLES By Peter Filichia

So what musicals were specifically tailored for certain performers? We know that from the outset Judy Holliday and no one else would be considered for Ella Peterson in Bells Are Ringing. Betty Comden and Adolph Green purposely wrote it for their old pal whom they first knew as Judith Tuvim; they all had performed together […]

The Oh-So-Complete Lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner By Peter Filichia

You know the expression “to dot the i’s and cross the t’s” – the one that describes utter thoroughness? With the publication of The Complete Lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner from Oxford University Press, editors Dominic McHugh and Amy Asch have done such a meticulous job that the expression must be expanded. These two have […]

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.