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Can You Say “Sempre Molto Rubato”? By Peter Filichia

Although directors aren’t supposed to give line readings to actors, composers and lyricists seem to be allowed to “direct” their singers and orchestras. Take a look at sheet music for various songs, and far more often than not, you’ll find a word or two at the top of Page One that says exactly what’s expected […]

ONE WAY TO CELEBRATE WORLD THEATRE DAY By Peter Filichia

Did you know that in 1961, March 27th was established as World Theatre Day? Sad to say, this year there was much less theater in the world. Until this situation rights itself, we’ll be armchair listeners to get our world theater fix. So start THE GRAND TOUR with Jerry Herman’s 1979 musical. Given the song […]

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STEPHEN SONDHEIM: AN APPRECIATION By Peter Filichia

What a metaphor, huh? Take a look at the history of the Tony Awards for Best Original Score. There have been fourteen years when the category wasn’t even offered, and fifty-eight when it was. Do the math, and you’ll see that makes for seventy-two of the Tonys’ seventy-three seasons. So what happened the other season? […]

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The Most Beautiful Girls in the World By Peter Filichia

“Who?” That’s the response I got last year when I made a passing reference to Elizabeth Taylor. There was a time when this could have never happened. Taylor, the recipient of three Oscars, was a world-famous movie star and the first one to get a $1 million salary for a film (CLEOPATRA). But the question-asker […]

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DOUGLAS WATT SAVED HIS RAVES — AND PANS By Peter Filichia

They’re scrapbooks, but they’re not full of scraps. On the contrary, the many volumes that Patricia Watt shared with me are full of letters that her father treasured and kept. He was Douglas Watt, the first-string theater critic for New York Daily News from 1971 through 1986 (although he did occasional pieces there through 1992). […]

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.