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CHICAGO’S STERLING SILVER ANNIVERSARY By Peter Filichia                                                                     

Was the person projecting the lights onto the Ambassador Theatre show curtain making a prediction? The word CHICAGO has been seen in red sequins on that scrim since this revival began in 1996. At this year’s Nov. 16th performance, however, the lights that shone on it made the seven letters appear to be not red […]

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WHAT?!? ON THE TOWN only ran fifty-three performances?!? Impossible! And FINIAN’S RAINBOW, a mere fifty-five? Can’t be! As staggering as those numbers are, how about thirty-eight for ONCE UPON A MATTRESS? And wouldn’t you expect that YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, that mainstay of high school and community theater, would have done better than […]

November Songs

November Songs By Peter Filichia

SUGAR – the musical version of SOME LIKE IT HOT – has Osgood Fielding III sing “November Song.” The month that’s late in the year represents a man’s getting older and aging out of romantic contention with the younger set. Many musicals that opened in November just so happen to deal with love that comes […]

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I was on a telephone call last week when the news flashed on my computer screen. “Oh!” I suddenly said. “Leslie Bricusse died.” “Who?” Not all my friends know such things as The 54th Street Theatre didn’t have loges or even that Richard Rodgers once collaborated with Stephen Sondheim (which is probably the way Sondheim […]

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Whenever I encountered her, I couldn’t be sure if she’d greet me with a warm kiss or give me a look that said she’d like to cut my throat. That was Elaine Stritch, mercurial enough to suggest that Mercury was always in retrograde. My feelings for the late star weren’t quite love-hate, but like-dislike. So […]

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.