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REMEMBERING ANGELA LANSBURY

By Peter Filichia Where’s that star with the bugle? In heaven, if there is such a place. This week, Angela Lansbury would have reached 97. The only way we can now wish her a happy birthday is posthumously. However, she’ll always live in every musical theater enthusiast’s consciousness, thanks to the cast albums of ANYONE […]

PORGY AND BESS: IT IS NECESSARILY SO By Peter Filichia

Fourscore and seven years ago – on October 10, 1935, to be precise – a musical theater work of monumental proportions opened. Not everyone knew that then. A mere 124 performances was the best that PORGY AND BESS could muster at the time. The world hasn’t needed 87 years to appreciate the masterwork that the […]

THANKS TO OUR MUSICAL THEATER TEACHERS By Peter Filichia

So, as I was stuck in utterly unmoving traffic in midtown Manhattan, I kept saying to myself, “Don’t get upset at the United Nations for having these meetings that make taxi meters come up with numbers that are as high as an elephant’s eye. “After all,” my brain told me, “remember what that UNESCO did.” […]

YES, RECORDS – AND THAT’S VINYL! By Peter Filichia

Did you miss National Vinyl Record Day? You probably did. It’s not a day on which mail is halted or when parades flood the streets. But August – a month that has been holiday-deprived, at least in these United States – now has, on the 12th of the month, National Vinyl Record Day. We have […]

HAIL TO THE CHIEFS! (5)

BACK TO THE FUTURE RIGHT NOW By Peter Filichia

Rumor has it that after THE MUSIC MAN vacates the Winter Garden on New Year’s Day, the London hit BACK TO THE FUTURE will soon fill the void. I couldn’t wait that long to see it, so off to London I went last week to savor the musical version of the wildly popular (and deservedly […]

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 www.mtishows.com and www.kritzerland.com.

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, Theater.com, 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.