This Week on Broadway for June 16, 2024: Titanic @ Encores


Peter Filichia, James Marino, and Michael Portantiere review Titanic @ Encores, Home @ Todd Haimes Theatre, and Little Shop of Horrors @ Westside Theatre. Discussions include the Theatre World Awards, Drama Desk, and outstanding performances and productions beyond Broadway over the past year.

Frederick Barrett (Ramin Karimloo) prepares to board Titanic. Photo by Joan Marcus

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Peter Filichia | [email protected] | Facebook
PETER FILICHIA is a playwright, journalist, and historian with a number of books. His new book, Brain Teasers for Broadway Geniuses, is now available wherever finer books are sold. Peter also has columns at 
Masterworks BroadwayBroadway Select, and many other places.

Theater World Awards honor… Peter Filichia!

Michael Portantiere | [email protected] | Facebook
MICHAEL PORTANTIERE is a theater reviewer and essayist. He is the founder and editor of He is also a theatrical photographer whose photos have appeared in The New York Times and other major publications. You can see his photography work at

James Marino | [email protected] | Twitter | Facebook

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MP: Titanic @ Encores, through June 23, 2024
Directed by Anne Kauffman (The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window) and featuring Tony winner Chuck Cooper (Trouble in Mind), Eddie Cooper (Parade), Andrew Durand (Shucked), Drew Gehling (Waitress), Ramin Karimloo (Funny Girl), Judy Kuhn (Fun Home), Jose Llana (Here Lies Love), Tony winner Bonnie Milligan (Kimberly Akimbo), Tony winner Brandon Uranowitz (Leopoldstadt), and Chip Zien (Harmony), Titanic is an epic musical theater event. This nearly sung-through show from creators Maury Yeston (Grand Hotel) and Peter Stone (1776) remains a musical theater revelation, painting a heartrending portrait of the individuals whose dreams of America were dashed in the Atlantic.

Operatic in its style, historical inspiration, and ambition, Titanic may have seemed unlikely material for musical drama when Yeston and Stone began work. But by the time the show premiered on Broadway in 1997, cultural fascination with the “ship of dreams” had reached a fever pitch, and Titanic received critical and audience acclaim, as well as five Tony Awards including Best Musical. Pared down to its essence and highlighting the majestic score, our Encores! production meditates on the nature of ambition and the human scale of this epic tragedy, focusing on the class divides both illuminated and transcended by the ship’s inexorable sinking.

PF + MP: Home @ Todd Haimes Theatre, through July 21, 2024

MP: Little Shop of Horrors (with James Carpinello, Sarah Hyland, and Andrew Barth Feldman!) @ Westside Theatre

Peter and Michael talk about performances and productions in the past year that were outstanding, but beyond the scope of Broadway and the Tony Awards.


Last Five Years

Adrienne Warren and Nick Jonas for Broadway’s The Last Five Years – Photo by Norman Jean Roy

Nick Jonas and Adrienne Warren will return to Broadway to star in the first ever Broadway production of Jason Robert Brown’s THE LAST FIVE YEARS. This bold, brand-new production, directed by 2024 Tony Award nominee Whitney White, will open on Broadway in Spring 2025.

An exclusive fan presale will begin on Monday, July 22 at 10am EST. Sign up for access at

Today is almost exactly 25 years to the date after Jason wrote the first song for THE LAST FIVE YEARS (June 15, 1999).

Next Week:

Peter’s Brainteaser:

From Rome to Venice – meaning Rome, New York, to Venice, California – many theatergoers look forward to the series known as Broadway across America.

That three-word phrase brings to mind a two-word phrase that could serve as a synonym for Broadway across America.

That two-word synonym was the name of one of Broadway’s shortest-running musicals that starred a future two-time Tony-winner.

What’s the title of the musical, and how is it a two-word synonym for Broadway across America? And may I add that two words I’ve provided in the question are outright hints?

Michael’s Musical Moments

Music Opener:

Norm Lewis at 54 Below – June 6, 2024
Norm Lewis appears at 54 Below with special guest appearance by Melba Moore.

Music Closer:

Encores! TITANIC Highlights | New York City Center
Sail on the “ship of dreams” with this star-studded cast and the magnificent 30-piece Encores! Orchestra.
Chuck Cooper, Lilli Cooper, Drew Gehling, Ramin Karimloo, Judy Kuhn, Jose Llana, Bonnie Milligan, Brandon Uranowitz, Chip Zien, and more fill the theater with their soaring vocals in Maury Yeston’s sweeping, Tony-winning score.

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