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THE SECRET GARDEN TELLS QUITE A STORY By Peter Filichia

I’ve heard him say it more than once. Thomas Z. Shepard, who’s won more Grammys for producing recordings than there are players on a football team, has often talked about his ideal cast album: “It’s one that makes the story so clear that you don’t even need to read the liner notes.” Perhaps the best […]

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND: A Revinylization By Peter Filichia

Back in 1990, it missed its chance by a matter of months. ONCE ON THIS ISLAND opened in October of that year. By then, original Broadway cast albums were no longer issued as long-playing records (or LPs, as they were more commonly known). The Tony-winning CITY OF ANGELS, which had released its original cast album […]

TWO BY TWO IN HAPPIER TIMES By Peter Filichia

Frankly, I’m glad that I saw it in its New Haven tryout and not in New York when it became a disgrace. Saturday night September 26, 1970 was the last performance of TWO BY TWO at New Haven’s Shubert Theatre. My house seat was next to Arthur Miller’s. He was undoubtedly there because Joan Copeland, […]

REMEMBERING THOMAS MEEHAN By Peter Filichia

The picture projected on the back wall of the theater showed a smiling Thomas Meehan holding a very filled martini glass in each hand. Perhaps the one in his right hand was in celebration of ANNIE, his first Broadway smash-hit musical in 1977. Maybe the one in his left hand was to toast THE PRODUCERS, […]

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD: Music, Wizard, Please! By Peter Filichia

Suddenly I’m not so certain of the one Fact of Broadway Life that I’d been so sure of for decades. As I’ve often proclaimed over the years, “No play will ever — EVER — outrun LIFE WITH FATHER’s 3,224-performance, seven-years-and- seven-months run.” In the last forty years, the only non-musical that’s remotely approached that mark […]

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.