“The Music Man – what else?” So says Jeffrey Sheldrake in the 1960 Oscar-winning Best Picture The Apartment. The quip comes after he’s just handed over his theater tickets to Chuck Baxter, who then asked what Broadway show he’d be seeing. In 1959, fifty-eight years ago this week, on September 12th right here in front […]

Wildcat – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1960

Looking over a Possible “Hey, Look Me Over!” By Peter Filichia

Will Encores! ever do Wildcat? The 1960 musical is most famous for bringing Lucille Ball to Broadway, but it should also be remembered for its marvelous score. This was the initial collaboration for composer Cy Coleman and lyricist Carolyn Leigh – and the first time that each had a show in which every song was […]

Musical Theater's M.V.C.

Living Here Is Very Much Like Chop Suey By Peter Filichia

Given that August 29th is “National Chop Suey Day,” whom do we thank for inventing this succulent dish that has graced many a Column A and Column B? Should it be Qing Dynasty premier Li Hongzhang’s chef, who whipped it up during their visit to America in the late 1800s? A 19th century Chinese chef […]


We knew this day was coming for a while. On March 28, 2016, Barbara Cook announced – only sixteen days before she was to start performances of Barbara Cook: Then and Now at New World Stages – that she was “postponing indefinitely.” The official explanation was that finishing her memoir had taken a lot out […]

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.