My Funny Valentine’s Day Song

The Mothers and Fathers of Musical Theater Invention By Peter Filichia

You’re pardoned if you’ve never known it, but since 1983, February 11th has been celebrated as National Inventors’ Day. Those who have been aware of the mini-holiday have honored such geniuses as Charles Babbage (who invented the computer), Karl Benz (the automobile), Willis Carrier (air-conditioner) and Hyman Kirsch (diet soda). Most honor Thomas Edison for […]

Darling Of The Day – 1968


I couldn’t believe my good fortune. In a used bookstore, I found The Great Adventure for a mere seven dollars. Don’t recognize the title? It’s Arnold Bennett’s 1913 play which inspired the 1968 Broadway musical Darling of the Day. Last Friday, Jan. 27th marked the forty-ninth anniversary of its opening. Two Broadway blue-chippers wrote the […]

This Is the Man of Milk and Honey

This is the Show of Milk and Honey By Peter Filichia

I take issue with something Jerry Herman once told me. “Until I wrote ‘If He Walked into My Life’ for Mame,” he said, “I had never written a ballad that I would call ‘classy.’” But what about “Let’s Not Waste a Moment” from Milk and Honey? I’d say that one’s pretty classy. The Tony committee […]

The Big Bajour

It’s Thomas with a Z., Not Thomas with a 2 By Peter Filichia

So did you know that when the original cast album of Bajour was recorded that one singer didn’t finish her song? At the end of the show’s big romantic ballad “Must It Be Love?” Nancy Dussault gave way on the final phrase to another singer. No, I didn’t know it, either. But that’s the type […]

Irene: A Musical Comedy – Broadway Revival 1973

Irene, Debbie, Carrie and George By Peter Filichia

If you’re anything like me – and mind you, I’m not suggesting you should be – two weeks ago you may very well have played the 1973 revival cast album of Irene. Those who did were undoubtedly paying tribute to three of its cast members who, in one unfortunate fell swoop, died in a three-day […]

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.