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Strippers, Showgirls, and Sharks: A Very Opinionated History of the Broadway Musicals That Did Not Win the Tony Award Hardcover – May 28, 2013
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"Full of information and attitude―will appeal more to aficionados than to casual fans." - Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
PETER FILICHIA is the theater critic emeritus for both the Newark Star-Ledger and its television station, News 12 New Jersey. He writes a weekly column for Musical Theatre International. He has served four terms as president of the Drama Desk, the New York Association of Drama Critics and is now head of the voting committee and the emcee of the Theatre World Awards. A frequent contributor to theater publications and the writer of many cast-album CD liner notes, he lives in New York City.
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The tone of the text is very informal, almost gossipy in nature. I did not mind that aspect as much as other readers apparently have. What I did mind was that the author, Peter Filichia, assumes a familiarity with everything he is talking about, giving almost no background information. Ironically he then goes on to give entire plot synopses of every show he talks about. And it is dull. Adding to the irritation is that Mr. Filichia seems to have never heard of the concept of the ‘transition’ in witting. One device that Mr. Filichia overuses is allusion. He drops lyrics form countless musicals into his text. It is cute and clever at first, and then just really annoying.
A praise I have for the book is chapter four of the text. It focuses on shows that lost the Best Musical Tony but had long profitable runs on the Great White Way. There are some interesting points made in this chapter.
Another issue I had was that the author insisted on inserting his ideas on how to make each show he talks about better. Especially since his ideas are mainly juvenile and mostly bad. However, the subtitle does say ‘opinionated’ so it is to be expected.
“Strippers, Showgirls, and Sharks” ends abruptly, with no conclusion to speak of. And by the time I got there…I did not care.