Filichia Features

Filichia Features: Thousands of Thespians

by Peter Filichia on July 3, 2015

in Filichia Features

The late, great acerbic comic Phyllis Diller had plenty of memorable one-liners, but there’s one I remember most. With half-closed eyes that said she’d seen more fire than rain, Diller droned “I flew an airline so cheap that instead of showing a movie, it put on a high school play.” Hilarious, no? Well, yes and no, for [...]

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“The Mad Men Musical.” That’s a good way to advertise your upcoming production of HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING. No, the 1961-62 Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical isn’t a true adaptation of the acclaimed AMC series that entertained us for eight seasons. But there are similarities; both properties are set in the [...]

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As much as I consider MISS SAIGON a near-masterpiece, I’ve always felt it has one problem that the authors should rethink. Needless to say, MISS SAIGON has done extraordinary well without my butting in. After opening to much acclaim in the West End in 1989, it ran a bit over 10 years at Drury Lane. [...]

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If the audience at the Imperial Theater on May 19 seems younger than usual, there’s good reason. It’s 10:30 in the morn and students from 13 lucky New York City schools and academies will each perform a number on the same stage where the original LES MISÉRABLES played and the current one does, too. To [...]

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“The first thing I had to do,” says Marcy Heisler, “was to find a way to get rid of all the horses.” Yes, that is the problem for a bookwriter-lyricist when adapting a film in which equine beings literally run rampant. The era that Ever After depicts – 16th century France — didn’t even have [...]

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When Michael Presser was a wee student in junior high (which is what we used to call middle school), he opened up the newspaper and saw a full-page ad for the then-new musical HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING. Well, with a logo like that, who wouldn’t be intrigued? More enticing still was [...]

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On March 8, 1971, Stephen Schwartz – making all of $22.50 a week thanks to one of his songs — agreed to provide music and some additional lyrics for an upcoming off-Broadway show. Never mind that he had to have everything ready in thirty-four days. The composer-lyricist who’d just passed his twenty-third birthday was hungry [...]

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It may very well be the most valuable and enriching musical a school can possibly do. And although it’s been around for decades, you may not be familiar with it. What’s made FAME a too-well-kept secret is that it’s never played on Broadway. It did open off-Broadway in 2003, but at an out-of-the-way theater that’s [...]

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Go ahead. Name a star entrance that’s greater than Peter Pan’s. Try to name one that’s more certain to get applause. You can’t, can you? Of course, such PETER PAN stars as Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan and Cathy Rigby got immediate entrance applause in tribute of all their accomplishments long before they took their flights [...]

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Spencer Lau was quite proud of his pride of lions, his cackle of hyenas and every other group of animals he’d put on stage. For Lau — the music director at Woodruff School in Seabrook, New Jersey – is one of the first directors to bring DISNEY’S THE LION KING, JR. to a middle school. [...]

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