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Side by Side

Why You Should Hear a Waltz

I’ve often seen it happen, soon after Stephen Sondheim has taken the stage and is interviewed by a moderator. Eventually the moderator opens the floor to questions, and inevitably, someone asks, “Mr. Sondheim, of all your shows, what’s your favorite?” Just as inevitably, Sondheim answers, “I don’t have a favorite, but I have a least […]

What Cast Albums Give That Soundtracks Don’t, Part II

You may recall that last week I listed 25 of the best songs that cast albums offer that soundtracks do not – because, more often than not, the film versions dropped these musical gems. Although there are well more than a hundred that fit that category, I whittled my personal favorites list down to 50 […]

What Cast Albums Give That Soundtracks Don’t

So the film version of Nine didn’t do so well, did it? For many of us, the biggest problem was that so much of the score was cut. “Only with You, “The Grand Canal,” “Simple,” “Not since Chaplin,” “The Bells of St. Sebastian,” “Be on Your Own,” “The Germans at the Spa,” “Getting Tall” and […]

The Broadway Sports Quiz

The Broadway Sports Quiz

Spring training has just begun for all 30 major league’s baseball teams. And why does this concern a musical theater enthusiast? Because baseball – as well as many other sports – wend their way into our minds, thanks to many lines and lyrics. So even if you don’t know a balk from a walk, or […]

Happy Mardi Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras!

All right, you promised yourself last year that this year you’d finally go way down yonder to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. And now, this year and Mardi Gras are here, and once again, you didn’t make it. Well, as Cyril Ritchard sings in The Roar of the Greasepaint – the Smell of 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.