Filichia Features

I’ve never been a Smokey Joe’s Café fan. When the show opened, I used the word “putrid” in my review, which prompted the producer to write and complain. And yet, while I was in Lincoln, Nebraska between mainstage shows at The Thespian Festival, I had enough free time to mosey over to the Howell Theatre [...]

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When the term “family show” is used, it’s usually a euphemism. What it more often means is a show that little kids will like or love. Mom and Dad, however, won’t be as enthralled, but will get their enjoyment from seeing their tykes’ beaming smiles and hearing their enthusiastic remarks. And yet, THE LITTLE MERMAID [...]

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It happens at many a performance attended by critics. An actor says a line that resonates with the aisle-sitters, and suddenly these men and women are reaching for their notebooks to precisely take down what they’d just heard. The line they’re citing might well be brilliant, a pearl from the playwright’s incisive mind. On the [...]

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The response to Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska was good but not great. The kids watching the Lincoln Southwest High production seemed more impressed with the many dance numbers choreographed by Courtney Piccoli than the show itself. Perhaps the seven songs Berlin wrote for the 1954 film were just [...]

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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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