WOMAN OF THE YEAR – 1981 AND 2017 by Peter Filichia

In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor became first female justice on the Supreme Court. As a result, many news organizations named her “Woman of the Year.” With apologies to Justice O’Connor, those of us who follow Broadway will always insist that 1981’s Woman of the Year was Lauren Bacall – especially after she’d won a Tony […]

How Now

How’s How Now, Dow Jones Now? By Peter Filichia

There have been many Broadway musicals that had state-of-the-art topicality when they were originally written. Call Me Madam in 1950 offered a thinly veiled Ambassador Perle Mesta. Happy Hunting told of goings-on around Grace Kelly’s 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco. In 1960, Bye Bye Birdie dealt with the military’s drafting of a rock […]

Labor Day Songs Spotify Playlist #MusicalMonday


So would the man manning the information desk at the Art Institute of Chicago know what I meant? He could be pardoned if he didn’t, for I would be asking my question in a purposely oblique way. I did smile nicely to show I really wasn’t out for trouble. Then I posed the question: “Where […]


Let’s Immerse Ourselves in the Verse By Peter Filichia

“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,  Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free. Let us all be grateful for a land so fair As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.”  Can you identify the song from which these words come? Believe me, you’ve heard the song hundreds of […]

The Genesis of Chicago

Chicago Reaches Its Majority By Peter Filichia

If a musical were a person, the revival of Chicago would now be old enough to drink in all fifty states. Precisely twenty-one years have passed since the revival of the Kander-Ebb-Fosse 1975 masterpiece opened its second Broadway run: three months at the Richard Rodgers, six years at the Shubert and then to the Ambassador […]

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.