Filichia Features

At a recent dinner with like-minded Broadway enthusiasts, one told of a director whose vision hadn’t worked for what could have otherwise been a really good musical. Soon after, another spoke of a different director who had taken a musical that many had deemed worthless and had turned it into a success. And that’s when [...]

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Honor thy great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandmother. Not by visiting their graves, although that would be nice. Not by commissioning a plaque and attaching it to the wall of the still-standing building that was their first residence in America – although that would be lovely, too. No, honor thy forebears by staging TINTYPES, a musical tour of [...]

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So why would the new musical LOVING REPEATING – called “a play within a lecture” – make me think of the slam-bang, razz-ma-tazz musical Mame? Well, for one thing, in Jerry Herman’s 1966 smash-hit, he had Vera Charles tell Mame Dennis Burnside “I’ll always be Alice Toklas if you’ll be Gertrude Stein.” And LOVING REPEATING [...]

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Perhaps you’ve been debating whether or not to stage BILLY ELLIOT at your theater. After all, how will a British musical set almost a third of a century ago in Northeast England play in your neck of the woods? Can your average theatergoer whose home is probably comfortably heated with gas or oil possibly empathize [...]

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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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