Filichia Features

How about doing AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ as a midnight show? Of course there’s nothing wrong with presenting the Tony-winning smash hit at your usual 8 p.m. start or by having matinees at 2 or 3 p.m. Thousands have done so and have seen felicitous results. But while I was watching original director Richard Maltby, Jr.’s sharp [...]

{ 0 comments }

Fifty years ago this week, a musical opened on Broadway. Fifty years ago next week, that same musical closed on Broadway. After nine performances, ANYONE CAN WHISTLE called it a life. And yet, a full half-century later, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ “wild new musical” (as it was billed) is still with us. In fact, [...]

{ 0 comments }

I didn’t care that there were 47 fewer actors on stage than there had been in 1957 – or that the orchestra was 75 trombones shy. Seeing THE MUSIC MAN in a modest concert version in Newark, New Jersey (a c0-production between the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Two River Theater Company) last [...]

{ 0 comments }

Filichia Features: Urinetown for Kidz

by Peter Filichia on March 21, 2014

in Filichia Features,Urinetown

At the turn of the new century, few Broadway insiders would have believed it. Yes, this musical called URINETOWN had been produced way off-off-Broadway in the Fringe, and quite a few people who’d attended had liked it. However, with such a scandalous title and such songs as “It’s a Privilege to Pee,” it would never [...]

{ 0 comments }

Yes, the opening song is called “Bless This Land,” but let’s also bless the York Theatre Company for reminding us that TENDERLOIN is a blessedly good musical. James Morgan’s troupe finished its Sheldon Harnick festival with a solidly staged reading of the 1960 show. Director Carl Andress demonstrated that TENDERLOIN is a viable title that [...]

{ 0 comments }

Have you ever seen a production of LES MISERABLES in which “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” had full chairs and no tables at all? Leave it to Aubrey Berg, the chair of the musical theater department at the University of Cincinnati-Conservatory of Music. In his two-decades plus at the school, he’s thought out of the [...]

{ 0 comments }

How long have I been attending community theater productions? Let’s put it this way: when I started, Betty White could have still given birth. And yet, here at the Bronx House, I’m seeing something that I’ve never witnessed before in hundreds of trips to basements, churches, auditoriums, cafetoriums, black boxes or genuine theaters. Derek Woods, [...]

{ 3 comments }

At the Junior Theater Festival ’14, Saturday night and all day Sunday are the best times to be in the MTI ShowSpace. After those many events in small breakout rooms, how nice to have all 4,000 of us together. I love walking up to the stage, turning around and seeing the sea of kids in [...]

{ 2 comments }

There can’t be many places in the world where an audience applauds after the speaker says, “It’s not a democracy; it’s a dictatorship.” But here at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, the teachers in a workshop agree with Linda Hartzell that when you’re producing and directing a show, you have to be the one [...]

{ 0 comments }

In a way, it’s the musical theater equivalent of speed dating. You do get to see as many as eight musicals in four hours – but only in a manner of speaking. The 93 schools and academies that have come to Atlanta to appear in the Junior Theater Festival perform 15-minute excerpts from the musicals [...]

{ 0 comments }