Cabaret’s Sui Generis Cast Album

Three Fiftieth Anniversaries By Peter Filichia

Three wonderful scores and a trio of Tony-winning performances were first – or last – heard on Broadway a full fifty years ago. January 18, 1968 was the opening of The Happy Time, the first of two Kander and Ebb scores that would debut that year. Zorba would be the other. It may be Kander […]

A New "Twelve Days of Christmas"

Up in Smoke By Peter Filichia

“L&M to Lucky Strike.” So goes a lyric in “Here’s Love,” the title song from Meredith Willison’s 1963 musicalization of Miracle on 34th Street. I listen to it every holiday season, for it takes place during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas — and I’ve always adored its title song. “Here’s Love” is first and […]

Title (Song) Search

MAME: The End-of-the-Year Musical By Peter Filichia

Spent the last week of December listening to Mame. I always do, and not because of “We Need a Little Christmas,” fun though it is. But the final week of December is when Mame Dennis is most accurate when she sings in her opening song (“It’s Today”) “And though it’s far from the first of […]

Legs Diamond – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1988

The Rise and Rise of Legs Diamond By Peter Filichia

They couldn’t wait for the thirtieth anniversary so they made certain that they saw each just before the twenty-ninth. From the way that they performed the solid Legs Diamond score at two reunion concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, you would have never guessed that the musical that had debuted on Dec. 26, 1988 had been a […]

Make Some August Holidays


So does Hugh Jackman’s appearing as The Greatest Showman in the current movie musical remind you of a Broadway show? Yes, me too: Barnum, the 1980 hit musical that spent twenty-five months at the St. James Theatre. Both properties do indeed concern Phineas T. Barnum (1810-1891) who was famous for saying “There Is a Sucker […]

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.