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The Second Time Around

The Second Time Around

By Peter Filichia — It’s one of the worst-kept secrets of musical theater. Many a song that was written for one musical wound up dropped – but some time later wound up in another show. I’m not counting interpolated songs that went into already existing properties; for example, when 42nd Street came to the stage […]

This Is the Man of Milk and Honey

This Is the Man of Milk and Honey

By Peter Filichia — Nice tribute to Jerry Herman at the Kennedy Center Awards last week. While the composer-lyricist sat in a box above the action, an all-star cast performed three songs from La Cage aux Folles and three from Hello, Dolly! There were also two from Mame and one each from Mack & Mabel […]

It's Out of This World!

It’s Out of This World!

By Peter Filichia — Many a musical theater writer has found that following a smash hit with another is difficult if not impossible. So after Cole Porter had the biggest success of his career — Kiss Me, Kate on New Year’s Eve, 1948 — critics and audiences may have just been expecting that his next […]

Additions That Really Added Up

Additions That Really Added Up

By Peter Filichia — Fifty years ago this week, Wildcat opened with one of the most beloved stars of the era: Lucille Ball. Composer Cy Coleman and lyricist Carolyn Leigh certainly gave her a honey of a number to tell just what her character Wildcat Jackson was made of: “Hey, Look Me Over!” The irony […]

Can You Say The Zulu and the Zayda?

Can You Say The Zulu and the Zayda?

By Peter Filichia – Might you indulge me in a personal story? It’s Tuesday, Nov. 9, 1965 around 5 p.m., and I’m returning home from school — but not before I stop at Harvard University’s “Coop” in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For some time now, I’ve been treating myself to an original cast album every payday, and […]

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.