Filichia Features

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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If you were in college in the ‘60s and ‘70s, you were probably reading Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. even during the time you’d earmarked for physical science or calculus. The Baby Boomer generation was intoxicated with everything that maverick novelist Vonnegut (1922-2007) wrote. Campus quadrangles were filled with kids reading paperbacks of what was then his [...]

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So in 1970, when the nation was entranced with The Carpenters’ “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” Lonny Price was more interested in someone who didn’t necessarily want a girlfriend to be close to him: Bobby in COMPANY. “Believe it or not,” he said, “I was taken to it when I was 11 years [...]

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It was “The Road to the Final Four,” as CBS Sports trumpeted all month long. The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s College Basketball Tournament – more chummily known as “March Madness” — once again dominated the late winter sports news. Fine, and good luck to Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and Wisconsin. I saw none of their [...]

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Victor Hugo is very much in place, but Victor, Hugo and Laverne are gone. We’re talking about one of the fundamental changes between the 1996 animated THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and the new stage version that officially debuted at the Paper Mill Playhouse on March 15. If you saw the hit film, you may [...]

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Stephen Sondheim has always loved New York, and, for the most part, Gotham has returned the love. Broadway’s greatest composer-lyricist who turns 85 this week has been a New York presence since his lyrics for WEST SIDE STORY reached Broadway in 1957. There has never been a year that a Stephen Sondheim lyric hasn’t had [...]

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