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Sammy's Back and Running

Sammy’s Back and Running

By Peter Filichia — Sept. 21, 1998. The pilot episode of Will & Grace airs on NBC. Will Truman and his friends – including Jack McFarland – are playing poker. Jack is stalling, wondering if he should hold or discard. And while he wonders, he starts singing to himself. “A room without windows,” he drones. […]

October's Party

October’s Party

By Peter Filichia — Quite often during the month of October, I start thinking of George Cooper’s poem “October’s Party.” You’re pardoned if you don’t know it. It was the poem I chose to memorize in seventh grade when Sister Monicella (doncha love those old nuns’ pseudonyms?) demanded that we memorize one. With “only” twenty-four […]

To Us

To Us, Drake Means Alfred Drake

By Peter Filichia — This week, let’s celebrate what would have been the 96th birthday of the Broadway musical’s quintessential leading man: Alfred Drake, who was born on Oct. 7, 1914. When Robert Viagas wrote his book I’m the Greatest Star – subtitled Broadway’s Top Musical Legends from 1900 to Today — he chose twenty […]

Before There Was Sweet Charity

Before There Was Sweet Charity, There Was Sweet Irma

By Peter Filichia — Who’d expect that Irma La Douce could still be bought 50 years after she reached New York? True, Irma, who arrived here on Sept. 29, 1960, isn’t seen very often anymore. Says Mel Miller, who produced Irma La Douce at his Musicals Tonight! in 2008, “It took me 10 years to […]

The Show Almost Called You're in Town

The Show Almost Called You’re in Town

By Peter Filichia — This week, all of us wish that we wouldn’t have to mark the ninth anniversary of Urinetown’s Sept. 20th opening. How much better the world would be if we could have celebrated it nine days earlier. Alas, Urinetown had originally been set to open on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 at the […]

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.