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An Ode to Annie's Lyricist

WHAT’S IN A NAME? WHAT’S IN A RHYME? By Peter Filichia

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 […]

October's Party

We Love You, Porgy By Peter Filichia

Boston was right. Eighty-two years ago this week – on Sept. 30, 1935 – Porgy and Bess opened to raves at the city’s Colonial Theatre. Eighty-two years ago next week – on Oct. 10, 1935 – Porgy and Bess opened to very mixed reviews at Broadway’s Alvin Theatre. The story of a man without the […]

Getting a Head Start on SpongeBob SquarePants By Peter Filichia

You enter the theater to see a musical without knowing the score – and then discover songs you Love at First Hear. With a revival, thanks to your previous spins of the original or studio cast album, you know the score inside out before you enter the theater. You can tell what songs are coming […]

Musicals and Miss America By Peter Filichia

I’ll offer half-hearted congratulations to Cara Mund, the first Miss North Dakota to become Miss America. My reservation? As part of the pageant’s Talent Competition, she didn’t sing a song from a Broadway musical. So with me, Mund’s name is Mud. To be fair, Mund was brave in defying the advice given by “Pageant Center,” […]

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.