The Show Almost Called You're in Town

Urinetown Redux By Peter Filichia

Why have so many years passed since I played the cast album of Urinetown? Back in 2001, I had the disc on my CD player at a non-stop clip that threatened the claim that these silver slivers never wear out. T.S. (Cats) Eliot’s J. Alfred Prufrock measured out his life in coffee spoons; I was […]

The Lonny Price of Fame By Peter Filichia

Last week while I was attending the 29th annual Festival of New Musicals at New World Stages, a certain program bio caught my eye. The single white sheet for Prom Queen – which details Marc Hall’s struggles to take his boyfriend to The Big Dance at his Catholic School – provided information on its director […]



Last week we talked about lyricists who, when they needed a rhyme to fill out a line, might well have changed or invented a character’s name to match it. Really, were Drake and Mrs. Pugh the names of the butler and housekeeper that bookwriter Thomas Meehan had already written into Annie before Martin Charnin wrote, […]

An Ode to Annie's Lyricist


On October 3rd, I listened to Annie to celebrate a 41st anniversary. For on that date in 1976 I saw the closing performance of the tryout at the Goodspeed Opera House. I was 100% certain that I wasn’t seeing the last of this Meehan-Strouse-Charnin musical. A show that I’d expected to have no heart possessed […]

When Pigs Fly: We Can Hear It, Anyway By Peter Filichia

What a shame. So many of us were looking forward to the upcoming off-Broadway revival of When Pigs Fly at Stage 42. Last week we learned that it wasn’t going to happen. It was the victim of the reason most shows cancel their announced premieres: The Almighty Dollar. There weren’t nearly enough of them. The […]

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.