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The Sound of Lyric-Less Music

The Sound of Lyric-Less Music

By Peter Filichia The upcoming revival cast album of Promises PromisesSee it here will include the marvelous instrumental known as “The Grapes of Roth.” Its title could be confusing to Promises neophytes, for there’s nothing in the music to suggest grapes. As it turns out, The Grapes of Roth is the name of Eddie Roth’s […]

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Charles Strouse!

by Peter Filichia Musical theater enthusiasts were saddened to hear that composer Charles Strouse was hospitalized a few weeks ago. But the worst seems to be over, and we all can celebrate the 82nd birthday he marked on Monday, June 7. Few people have done as much to get kids interested in musicals as Strouse. […]

Guest Blog: 1956: IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR

Guest Blog: 1956: IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR

By David Foil In the history of Broadway musicals, there are great years, vintage years, golden years. And then there is 1956. Fans may argue this – 1959 was a pretty amazing year, as well – but was there ever such a brief time in which so many expertly crafted, entertaining and unforgettable musicals made […]

That Toddlin' Town -- and Terrific Musical

That Toddlin’ Town — and Terrific Musical

by Peter Filichia Thirty-five years ago this week, Chicago opened in the era when the New York Times was still the be-all and end-all. If the Times daily critic Clive Barnes could like it, it was almost assured to be a hit. If Walter Kerr, its Sunday critic, approved as well, it would be virtually […]

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.