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TEVYE AND TEVYA by Peter Filichia

Fifty years ago this week, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF played performance 2,845, thus besting HELLO, DOLLY! to become the longest-running musical in Broadway history. FIDDLER would run nearly a year longer to become Broadway’s longest-running production period, beating out LIFE WITH FATHER. Now 2,845 just allows FIDDLER to be in seventeenth place. Still, that doesn’t […]

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The Musical Theater 700 Club By Peter Filichia

While switching channels in the Hyatt in Madison, Wisconsin (after seeing Forward Theater Company produce my playlet OLD COMISKEY PARK), I ran into a promo for THE 700 CLUB. Wow! It’s still on! In fact, an Internet check showed me it’s now in its fifty-sixth year. I decided that we musical theater enthusiasts should have […]

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A Historical Novelist’s Look at 1776 

Like so many of us, I spent The Fourth of July watching the film of 1776 – the first laserdisc version, of course, which restores much material that had been cut. True, “Cool, Cool, Considerate Men” looks a little weird with the conservatives looking as if they don’t quite know how to dance. But Sherman […]

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For those of us who were around then, the wait seemed interminable. Fifty-three years ago this month, all nineteen Broadway productions and ten road shows closed because of an Actors Equity Association strike. On that dark June 17th day, we wondered if Broadway would ever return. It did, on June 20. Needless to say, considering […]



Now that we’re approaching Pride Week, let’s listen to the musical theater songs that will keep it gay. Including, of course, “Keep It Gay” from THE PRODUCERS, where we meet flamboyant Roger De Bris and Carmen Ghia. That was in 2001, by which point full out-of-the-closet gays were routinely seen on the Broadway stage. But […]

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.