“Something Wonderful” Indeed! By Peter Filichia

Just when you think you’ve heard each and every story about Rodgers and Hammerstein, here comes a book to show you what you don’t know. Yes, Todd S. Purdum’s Something Wonderful does include the standard tales we’ve all heard since the Year One — or should we say Year 1943? Once again we read Mary […]


We talked last week about the renaissance of some original cast albums on vinyl — twelve-inch vinyl, that is. Will there be a rebirth of seven-inch vinyl records, too? SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical is at least giving such a format a chance to make a comeback (or, as Norma Desmond would insist, “a return”). […]


A thread on Facebook’s All Things Broadway recently asked for The Best Reprise of a Musical Theater Song. Easy: “Staying Young” from the 1959 musical Take Me Along. Two years before that, Bob Merrill showed us his score for New Girl in Town, a musicalization of Eugene O’Neill’s 1922 Pulitzer Prize- winner Anna Christie. Adapting […]


There are three levels of Cast Album Nirvana. The first occurs when you hear the score and love it so much that you immediately replay the recording again and again. The second comes after many listens. Now you only need hear the vamp of any song to make you immediately recognize it, smile and say […]

Yes, Sirreee, SpongeBob By Peter Filichia

There’s a possibility that SpongeBob SquarePants may force the Tonys Awards to move from Radio City Musical Hall this year to a grammar school auditorium next year. If “The Broadway Musical for Everyone,” as it calls itself, wins the Best Score Tony, the American Theatre Wing will have to dispense no fewer than sixteen trophies […]

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.