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Kern, Gershwin, Rodgers or Sondheim? By Peter Filichia

Back in September, there was a nifty new play that posed a question which you’ll find a real head-scratcher. New York didn’t see the show, although it should. Dan McCabe’s THE PURISTS is great fun when it needs to be and deadly serious when the situation warrants it. The show, given a dazzling production by […]



There are plenty of surprises in Albert Poland’s memoir STAGES, but one stands out among all the rest. Although Poland was a general manager for nearly five dozen off-Broadway productions, his first foray into downtown theater was as a co-producer of a 1967 musical. You can see his name atop the original cast album of […]

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Get OVER HERE! By Peter Filichia

The exclamation point has always been part of the 1974 musical OVER HERE!  But even if it hadn’t been, it should be there now.  Aren’t we all excited that this musical — which hasn’t been seen in New York since the original production closed in the early days of 1975 — will return? (Well, in […]

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The eighty-sixth anniversary of LET ‘EM EAT CAKE is a good enough reason to celebrate George and Ira Gershwin. No, their sequel to OF THEE I SING that opened on Oct. 21, 1933 didn’t do nearly as well as the original. But when you consider the four-performance fate of BRING BACK BIRDIE and the out-of-town […]


How HOW TO SUCCEED Succeeded By Peter Filichia

Fifty-eight years ago this week, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING opened to raves from all seven (!) New York newspapers. A Best Musical Tony and even the Pulitzer Prize were in its future, as well as the distinction of becoming the fifth-longest-running musical in Broadway history. HOW TO SUCCEED’s road to success […]

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.