The picture projected on the back wall of the theater showed a smiling Thomas Meehan holding a very filled martini glass in each hand. Perhaps the one in his right hand was in celebration of ANNIE, his first Broadway smash-hit musical in 1977. Maybe the one in his left hand was to toast THE PRODUCERS, […]

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD: Music, Wizard, Please! By Peter Filichia

Suddenly I’m not so certain of the one Fact of Broadway Life that I’d been so sure of for decades. As I’ve often proclaimed over the years, “No play will ever — EVER — outrun LIFE WITH FATHER’s 3,224-performance, seven-years-and- seven-months run.” In the last forty years, the only non-musical that’s remotely approached that mark […]


There it was in a used bookstore, a fifty-cent paperback that had been released in 1960, now understandably tattered. But my eyebrows zoomed up as high as an elephant’s forehead when I saw this copy of MY STORY by Mary Astor. Whoa! I’d long heard that this was the great grandma of tell-all books. So I paid […]


Have you ever heard the score to PHANTOM? Your answer may well be “Who hasn’t heard Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biggest hit?” No, my question was meant literally. I wasn’t using THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA’s shortened name. I was asking “Have you ever heard the score to PHANTOM?” – the full title of the musical […]

HEAD OVER HEELS: A Vision of Nowness and Then-ness By Peter Filichia

You can’t say that HEAD OVER HEELS is your standard-issue jukebox musical. Broadway musicals that employ existing songs usually set them in the here-and-now: PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT; MAMMA MIA! Others revert to the era when the songs were actually written. Hence JERSEY BOYS, LENNON and MOVIN’ OUT all concentrated on the ‘60s. And […]

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.