The Official Site for the 2009 Revival on Broadway of
Finian's Rainbow


In 2009 Finian's Rainbow headed to Broadway after a very successful run at Gotham's City Center.
This was the official website for the Broadway revival of Finian's Rainbow.
Content is from the site's 2009 archived pages and other outside sources.

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WALL-TO-WALL EAR CANDY!”

Daily News

 

No Broadway score is as beguiling from beginning to end as Burton Lane’s savory stew of Celtic lilt, Southern gospel and bubbling pop.
—The New York Times

 

There are rainbows everywhere, if you just take time to look: from a soap bubble floating on the breeze to a brilliant sunset, a flower vendor's wares or the one that you “see in your own true love's eyes!” 

 



FINIAN'S RAINBOW: Highlights
Check out highlights from FINIAN'S RAINBOW! With a sparkling score and a whimsical story that dances between romance, satire and fairy tale, FINIAN'S RAINBOW is a musical theater treasure. Opening night is October 29, 2009!


With a sparkling score of beloved standards and a whimsical story that dances between romance, satire and fairy tale, FINIAN'S RAINBOW is a musical theater treasure.

Set in the mythical southern state of Missitucky, FINIAN'S RAINBOW pits a charming Irish dreamer and his headstrong daughter against the host of complications that await them in their newly adopted land: a bigoted southern Senator, a credit crisis, a pesky leprechaun and, of course, a complicated love affair that gives birth to some of the most witty, charming and heartfelt songs ever written for the stage. 


Tony Award® winner Jim Norton (The Seafarer) stars as the loveable Finian, with Kate Baldwin (Wonderful Town) as the plucky Sharon and Christopher Fitzgerald as Og the leprechaun.

 



 

LATEST NEWS

'Rainbow' heads to Broadway

Warren Carlyle will direct, choreograph revival
By GORDON COX / Variety

The Encores! production of "Finian's Rainbow," which just finished a well-reviewed run at Gotham's City Center, is headed for Broadway, opening at the St. James Theater in the fall.
Warren Carlyle ("A Tale of Two Cities") will reprise his duties as helmer and choreographer on the revival of the 1947 tuner, which has not been seen on Broadway since 1960.

No casting has been confirmed, although producers will try to retain as much of the ensemble as possible from the Encores! production, which starred Jim Norton, Kate Baldwin, Cheyenne Jackson, Philip Bosco and Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

David Richenthal and Jack Viertel, a.d. of the Encores! series, will produce the Rialto incarnation, which they said will be a beefed-up version of the pared-down template presented by Encores! Viertel also is creative director at Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns the St. James.
"Finian's Rainbow" has music by Burton Lane, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg and book by Harburg and Fred Saidy. Whimsical plot centers on an Irishman (played by Norton in the Encores! staging) and his daughter, who are pursued by a leprechaun in the American South.

Tunes from the show include "Old Devil Moon" and "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?"
"Finian's Rainbow" ran March 26-29 as the final offering of the 2008-09 season of Encores!, the City Center series that presents semi-staged concert revivals of overlooked musicals. Program has yielded past Broadway alums including "Chicago," "Wonderful Town" and "The Apple Tree," as well as last season's revival of "Gypsy," which originated as part of the Encores! summer series and went on to play the St. James.

"Finian's Rainbow" will move to Broadway after Labor Day. No exact dates have been set.

 



 

Baldwin, Norton, Fitzgerald and Cooper to Star in Broadway's Finian's Rainbow Revival

By Andrew Gans and Adam Hetrick
16 Jul 2009

Finian's Rainbow's Norton and Baldwin

Casting has been announced for the fall Broadway revival of Finian's Rainbow — the 1947 musical comedy satire by Burton Lane, Fred Saidy and E.Y. Harburg — which will play Broadway's St. James Theatre.

The production, an expanded version of the March City Center Encores! concert, will begin previews Oct. 8 with an official opening Oct. 29. Tickets are currently on sale through Jan. 3, 2010, by visiting Telecharge.com.

The cast will feature Wonderful Town's Kate Baldwin (Sharon) and The Seafarer Tony winner Jim Norton (Finian), who starred in the Encores! run, as well as Young Frankenstein Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald as the leprechaun Og and Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper (The Life) as Billboard. The role of Woody, played by Cheyenne Jackson at Encores!, has yet to be cast.

David Richenthal and Jack Viertel will produce the Broadway transfer. Warren Carlyle (A Tale of Two Cities), who helmed the Encores! staging, will again direct and choreograph. Rob Berman will also repeat his duties as musical director.

Finian's Rainbow, according to press notes, "tells the story of the Irishman Finian McLonergan and his daughter Sharon who travel to a small Southern town in the mythical state of Missitucky with plans to bury a stolen pot of gold in the shadows of Fort Knox, in the mistaken belief it will grow and multiply. They have been followed from Ireland by the owner of the gold, a leprechaun, who shows up determined to recover his treasure."

The score boasts such tunes as "Look to the Rainbow," "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?," "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love (I Love the Girl I'm Near)," "Old Devil Moon" and "If This Isn't Love."

The original production of Finian's Rainbow opened at the 46th Street Theatre on Jan. 10, 1947, and played 725 performances. Michael Kidd won a Tony Award for Best Choreography.

The St. James Theatre is located at 246 West 44th Street.

Tickets are $35-$75 in previews and $50-$120 post-opening. There are also special post-opening Wednesday evening prices as low as $25. Tickets may be purchased by visiting www.telecharge.com or by phoning (212) 239-6200.

 


 

Encores! Production of ‘Finian’s Rainbow’ Is Broadway-Bound

April 2, 2009, 3:53 PM By PATRICK HEALY

Finian's Rainbow

Sara Krulwich/The New York TimesCheyenne Jackson, center, as Woody Mahoney in an Encores! production of “Finian’s Rainbow” at City Center.

For those who wondered if theater producers would have the wherewithal to mount new shows on Broadway this fall, given the recession, here’s a pot o’gold o’ good news: The recent Encores! concert performance of the 1947 musical “Finian’s Rainbow” will transfer as a full production to the St. James Theater after Labor Day.

“Finian’s Rainbow” — which has not been seen on Broadway since 1960 — includes a memorable score of such standards as “Old Devil Moon” and “How Are Things in Glocca Morra.” The storyline dwells on an Irishman who plants a leprechaun’s gold in the shadows of Fort Knox, in hopes of enlarging the stolen fortune, and on a pair of romances that sprout instead. The music is by Burton Lane, the lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, and the book by Harburg and Fred Saidy.

The producers David Richenthal and Jack Viertel began negotiating for the rights to transfer “Finian’s Rainbow” to Broadway almost immediately after highly positive reviews of the Encores! production, which opened last Thursday, began to appear, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The producers said in a statement that they would expand upon the Encores! production, which closed on Sunday. (Encores! mounts concert performances of rarely revived shows and runs each production for only a handful of performances.) Warren Carlyle will again direct and choreograph, and Rob Berman will continue as musical director.

The Encores! show starred Jim Norton, Kate Baldwin, Cheyenne Jackson, Jeremy Bobb, Philip Bosco, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Mr. Richenthal said in a statement that the producers’ intention was to keep together as much of the cast and the creative team from Encores! as schedules allowed.

No casting has been determined, nor have dates for preview performances or an opening night.

“Broadway seems ready to embrace a show that radiates hope and humor, especially one with as many great songs as ‘Finian’s Rainbow,’” Mr. Viertel said.

 



 

REVIEWS

Charmed

The first-ever Broadway revival of Finian’s Rainbow is one hot plate of crazy. In a good way.

By Stephanie Zacharek Published Oct 29, 2009 / http://nymag.com


(Photo: Joan Marcus)

Finian’s Rainbow—the 1947 musical in which a horny leprechaun chases after anything in a skirt, a mute ballerina communicates via interpretive dance, and a racist white senator is turned black by a magic pot of gold—is one hot plate of crazy. And yet in a world where the Birthers are being taken semi-seriously, who couldn’t use a pot of magic gold or two? It turns out that, for all its charming loopiness, Yip Harbug, Fred Saidy, and Burton Lane’s show—essentially a dream vision of an America without racism—is still a provocative work. This marvelous, slightly unhinged revival, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, succeeds because it refuses to wink at the material or treat it as quaint.

Two Irish émigrés, the mischievous, tippling Finian (Jim Norton, in a springy, adamantly untwinkly performance) and his plucky daughter, Sharon (Kate Baldwin), show up in Rainbow Valley, Missitucky, to execute a get-rich-eventually scheme. They’re welcomed by the locals, black and white alike, among them labor organizer and town hottie Woody (Cheyenne Jackson) and the sharecroppers who make their living in the valley’s tobacco fields (their de facto mother figure is the hip-rolling, straight-talking Dottie, played by ball-of-fire Terri White). Finian and Sharon end up on the very bad side of the bigoted Senator Rawkins (David Schramm), the fat cat who will soon become a hepcat (played by Chuck Cooper)—but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Carlyle and his cast run wild with the book’s fanciful, sweetly Utopian spirit, but they also hit the play’s satirical notes dead-on. (When one of the blustery white authority figures claims the now-black senator has been “demoted,” the line pierces like a lancet.) In a change from the original staging, the new, improved version of Rawkins is played by a black actor instead of a white actor in blackface. It’s a bold, necessary adjustment, just one way in which this show’s pleasures are doled out in go-for-broke splashes instead of tasteful dabs. The musical numbers are colorful though never garish—the dancers, in their whirling circle skirts and drapey trousers, make for a cheerful, retro spectacle. Admittedly, some of the magic dust wears off in the second act: There isn’t much of a plot, just a series of situations on which to hang songs. But what songs! Beyond the love-as-witchcraft sultriness of “Old Devil Moon,” there’s the wistful beauty of “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” a ballad that speaks of homesickness not for a specific geographical location but for an elusive state of being—a place we’d happily put on a map, if only we could.

 

Charmed

Finian’s Rainbow.

Blissful surrender is the only option

By DAVID ROONEY OCTOBER 29, 2009 / https://variety.com

'Finian's Rainbow'

With: Finian McLonergan - Jim Norton Sharon McLonergan - Kate Baldwin Woody Mahoney - Cheyenne Jackson Bill Rawkins - Chuck Cooper Og - Christopher Fitzgerald Sunny - Guy Davis Susan Mahoney - Alina Faye Sheriff - Brian Reddy Sen. Rawkins - David Schramm Dottie - Terri White Buzz Collins - William Youmans

What better time for a show that makes gentle mockery of that incurable habit of building the illusion of wealth on nothing more than a dream and a credit line, while also offering the rose-tinted consolation that such folly will turn out fine in the end? But it’s not so much the uncanny appropriateness of its pixified fairy tale as the enveloping warmth of Burton Lane’s melodies and the spry wit of Yip Harburg’s lyrics that make “Finian’s Rainbow” such an infectious charmer. Rather than try to get around the 1947 musical’s daffy story by hammering the social satire, director-choreographer Warren Carlyle and his winning cast simply embrace its quaint idiosyncrasies.

An expanded version of the Encores! concert staging from March, the production pretty much banishes concerns about the over-complicated plotting and reform-minded preachiness of Harburg and Fred Saidy’s book, skillfully adapted by Harburg archivist Arthur Perlman. From the moment music director Rob Berman raises his lighter-than-air baton on the show’s soaring overture, blissful surrender is the only option.

A patchwork scrim reveals John Lee Beatty’s Technicolor-hued picture-book set depicting a verdant valley in the mythical state of Missitucky, where rascally Irishman Finian McLonergan (Jim Norton) arrives with daughter Sharon (Kate Baldwin). Armed with a pot of gold “borrowed” from leprechaun Og (Christopher Fitzgerald), Finian’s plan is to bury the loot in the shadow of Fort Knox, then watch it multiply.

The McLonergans bail out a community of poor sharecroppers whose land is threatened by the filibustering machinations of bigoted Sen. Rawkins (David Schramm). Sharon falls instantly in love with local boy Woody () and inadvertently turns the white senator black (with Chuck Cooper stepping into the role) via one of the pot of gold’s three wishes. Meanwhile, deprived of his magic, Og attempts to locate the treasure and halt his gradual transformation to human form.

If all this sounds like a crock of pure escapist whimsy, well, it is. But the humor is surprisingly durable, while the jokes about race relations, suspect banking practices, corrupt politics and rampant consumer lust still hit the target. Intermission is bookended by matching anthems to our acquisitive culture, with “That Great ‘Come-and-Get-It’ Day” exhorting the  Valley residents to buy now, pay later, while “When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich” illustrates the boost in status a little shopping can bring.

Much of the credit for the revival’s appeal goes to astute casting. Norton made a memorably sly and sozzled Dubliner in “The Seafarer” two seasons back, and he delivers a more benign version of that twinkly stereotype here, dignifying it with soulfulness, nimble physicality and a gentle comic touch.

Jackson’s supple voice and relaxed leading-man confidence are a smooth fit for Woody, while Baldwin, mostly seen on Broadway up to now in secondary roles or replacement casts, is a revelation. A Maureen O’Hara-type beauty with an agreeably feisty manner and a crystal-clear soprano, she makes gorgeous work of her wistful solo “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” and sings gloriously with Jackson and other cast members on such standards as “Old Devil Moon” and “Look to the Rainbow.”

Fitzgerald’s vaudevillian musical comedy skills are put to excellent use as the Cole Porter-quoting Og, his kelly-green suit steadily shrinking as his mortality takes hold. He also socks across the hilarious “When I’m Not Near the Girl I Love,” an unapologetic confession of romantic opportunism that exemplifies Harburg’s facility for clever rhymes: “Ev’ry femme that flutters by me/Is a flame that must be fanned/When I can’t fondle the hand I’m fond of/I fondle the hand at hand.”

Terri White scores big in the showstopper “Necessity,” a fired-up spiritual about the burdens of work. Schramm makes Rawkins an amusing blowhard (“The festering tides of radicalism are upon us!”), while Cooper is a fine physical match as his black doppelganger, turning on some Cab Calloway showmanship in the rousing quartet number, “The Begat.” Guy Davis blows sweet harmonica on “Dance of the Golden Crock,” while Alina Faye, as Woody’s mute sister, Susan, responds in lissome ballet to his every phrase.

With a nod to the exhilarating moves of original choreographer Michael Kidd, Carlyle blends classical with Celtic with hoedown to buoyant effect. That eclecticism perfectly complements the textural richness of the music, which folds together gospel, blues, traditional folk strains, mellow jazz and show tunes into one of Broadway’s most consistently melodious scores, heard here in Robert Russell Bennett and Don Walker’s lush original orchestrations.

Scott Lehrer’s crisp sound design, Toni-Leslie James’ characterful costumes and Ken Billington’s sugar-kissed lighting complete the enchanting package.

Finian's Rainbow

St. James Theater; 1,701 seats; $120 top

PRODUCTION: A David Richenthal, Jack Viertel, Alan D. Marks, Michael Speyer, Bernard Abrams, David M. Milch, Stephen Moore, Debbie Bisno/Myla Lerner, Jujamcyn Theaters presentation, in association with Melly Garcia, Jamie Deroy, Jon Bierman, Richard Driehaus, Kevin Spirtas, Jay Binder, Stage Ventures 2009 Limited Partnership, of a musical in two acts with music by Burton Lane, lyrics by Yip Harburg, book by Harburg and Fred Saidy. Book adaptation, Arthur Perlman; based on the New York City Center Encores! presentation, adapted by David Ives. Directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle. Music supervision and vocal arrangements, Rob Berman.

CREATIVE: Sets, John Lee Beatty; costumes, Toni-Leslie James; lighting, Ken Billington; sound, Scott Lehrer; hair, wigs and makeup, Wendy Parson; original orchestrations, Robert Russell Bennett, Don Walker; music coordination, Seymour Red Press; technical supervision, Hudson Theatrical Associates; associate choreographer, Parker Esse; associate producers, Andrew Hartman, Gail Lawrence; executive producer, Nicole Kastrinos; production stage manager, Tripp Phillips. Opened Oct. 29, 2009. Reviewed Oct. 27. Running time: 2 HOURS, 15 MIN.

CAST: Finian McLonergan - Jim Norton Sharon McLonergan - Kate Baldwin Woody Mahoney - Cheyenne Jackson Bill Rawkins - Chuck Cooper Og - Christopher Fitzgerald Sunny - Guy Davis Susan Mahoney - Alina Faye Sheriff - Brian Reddy Sen. Rawkins - David Schramm Dottie - Terri White Buzz Collins - William YoumansWith: Aaron Bantum, Tanya Birl, Christopher Borger, Meggie Cansler, Bernard Dotson, Leslie Donna Flesner, Sara Jean Ford, Taylor Frey, Lisa Gajda, Kearran Giovanni, Tim Hartman, Laren Lim Jackson, Tyrick Wiltez Jones, Grasan Kingsberry, Kevin Ligon, Monica L. Patton, Joe Aaron Reid, Devin Richards, Steve Schepis, Rashidra Scott, Brian Sears, Paige Simunovich, James Stovall, Elisa Van Duyne

 

 

A Pot of Sunny Gold in Those Green Hills

FINIAN'S RAINBOW NYT Critic’s Pick

Closing Date: January 17, 2010
St. James Theater, 246 W. 44th St. 866-870-2717
By CHARLES ISHERWOOD OCT. 29, 2009 / NYTimes

Under the nimble direction of Warren Carlyle, who also supplies the buoyant choreography, this bounteous score is being sung with lively conviction by a cast of Broadway regulars and veterans, and one confident newcomer. The morning after seeing “Finian’s Rainbow,” you may well find yourself shaking your head at the absurdities of the book by Mr. Harburg and Fred Saidy, a tipsy jumble of romance, fantasy and satire. (Topics of surprising renewed relevance: the seductions of living on easy credit, the perils of foreclosure, the “misbegotten G.O.P.”) But you will remember, above all, the soaring lift of the music.

To call Kate Baldwin a newcomer is perhaps an overstatement. Ms. Baldwin has appeared on Broadway before and has a solid list of regional and Off Broadway credits. But never has she made the bewitching impression she does here. The show’s first moment of magic arrives shortly after Ms. Baldwin’s Sharon McLonergan descends the green hills of Missitucky with her enterprising father, the rainbow-chaser of the title, played by the reliably delightful Jim Norton (a Tony winner for “The Seafarer”).

Finian has noted the resemblance to their Irish hometown, where the skylarks sing the same tunes. Sharon senses it too. Feeling a twinge of homesickness, she pauses to sing one of the score’s most famous numbers, “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” Ms. Baldwin’s cool, pure soprano gently rides the crests of the undulant melody, tugging at each question in the lyric with a sensitivity that perfectly expresses the song’s tender, yearning essence.

The tune is folk-simple, the words drenched in stock ideas of Irishness, but as performed with both sophistication and sincerity by Ms. Baldwin, it has the distilled beauty of an art song. The crinkling blue eyes of Mr. Norton’s Finian, the classic sentimental Irishman, are soon misted over with longing, but he may not be the only one in the house in need of a handkerchief.

Such magic occurs whenever Ms. Baldwin has a chance to sing; happily, this is often. She is well paired with the easygoing charmer Cheyenne Jackson as the local boy Woody, who is snared almost as soon as he sets eyes on Sharon — or as soon as Finian sets eyes on this promising prospect for his daughter. Their gleaming voices blend smoothly on the show’s other well-known song, “Old Devil Moon,” a softly swinging duet about the strange magic that turns the boy or girl next door into an object of celestial attraction.

The notion is reprised in a more impish spirit in “Something Sort of Grandish,” Sharon’s tongue-twisting duet with her other admirer, a leprechaun-on-the-lam named Og, played with zesty, bug-eyed brio by the talented comic actor Christopher Fitzgerald. Og is also drawn to Woody’s sister, Susan (Alina Faye), the aforementioned dancing mute. Ms. Faye performs Mr. Carlyle’s choreography, which deftly blends the brisk rhythms of Irish step dancing with the vocabulary of classical ballet, with a clean, bright attack.

When the characters in “Finian’s Rainbow” are not swooning beneath a heart-smiting moon, they are caught up in a complicated plot pitting the good ol’ boy Senator Rawkins (a boisterously oily David Schramm) and his minions against the poor sharecroppers looking to Woody for leadership. From this, the more comic side of the score, come the gospel-inflected showstoppers “Necessity,” sung with burly gusto and wry flair by Terri White, and the rhythmic quartet “The Begat,” led with equal charisma and vocal command by Chuck Cooper, who plays the senator miraculously transformed into a black man.

How’s that, exactly? Never mind. The charms of “Finian’s Rainbow” do not reside in the delicacies of its plotting. And Mr. Carlyle and the show’s producers seem to have concluded that trying to upgrade the bare-bones scenery from the Encores! production was not really necessary either. Although the orchestra, under the attentive baton of the musical supervisor Rob Berman, has been moved into the pit (not the case with other Broadway transfers from the series), the set designs by John Lee Beatty have been only modestly upgraded. By the standards of today’s hyper-glossy Broadway musicals, the show looks cheap, performed as it is amid a sea of green cheesecloth.

Still, it’s the songs and the singers that matter here — even the less musically adept cast members. I cannot think of an actor I cherish more than Mr. Norton, whose performances in the plays of Conor McPherson (“The Weir,” “Dublin Carol” and “Port Authority,” in addition to “Seafarer”) compose a body of work unsurpassed in its artistry, humanity and truth by that of any actor in New York in the past decade. But I freely admit I never expected — or for that matter wanted — to see him singing and dancing in a Broadway musical.

Well, here he is, carrying a tune a little gingerly, as if it were a newborn kitten he’s in danger of dropping, and leaping skyward with an enthusiasm to match anyone’s onstage. Better yet, Mr. Norton brings to his potentially stereotypical role, that of the wily-lovable Irishman with a fondness for drink, the very qualities I mentioned before, which can be scarce in confectionary Broadway musicals new or old: namely, artistry, humanity and truth.

FINIAN’S RAINBOW

Music by Burton Lane; lyrics by E. Y. Harburg; book by Mr. Harburg and Fred Saidy; directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle; music supervision and vocal arrangement by Rob Berman; sets by John Lee Beatty; costumes by Toni-Leslie James; lighting by Ken Billington; sound by Scott Lehrer; hair, wig and makeup design by Wendy Parson; book adaptation by Arthur Perlman; associate choreographer, Parker Esse; production stage manager, Tripp Phillips; original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and Don Walker; music coordinator, Seymour Red Press; associate producers, Andrew Hartman and Gail Lawrence; executive producer, Nicole Kastrinos. Presented by David Richenthal, Jack Viertel, Alan D. Marks, Michael Speyer, Bernard Abrams, David M. Milch, Stephen Moore, Debbie Bisno/Myla Lerner and Jujamcyn Theaters, in association with Melly Garcia, Jamie DeRoy, Jon Bierman, Richard Driehaus, Kevin Spirtas, Jay Binder and StageVentures 2009 Limited Partnership. At the St. James Theater, 246 West 44th Street, Manhattan; (212) 239-6200. Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes.

WITH: Jim Norton (Finian McLonergan), Kate Baldwin (Sharon McLonergan), Cheyenne Jackson (Woody Mahoney), Guy Davis (Sunny), Alina Faye (Susan Mahoney), Brian Reddy (Sheriff), David Schramm (Senator Rawkins), Terri White (Dottie), William Youmans (Buzz Collins), Chuck Cooper (Bill Rawkins), Paige Simunovich (Diana), Christopher Borger (Henry) and Christopher Fitzgerald (Og).

 



Full Cast and Creative bios coming soon

JIM NORTON (Finian McLonergan) won a 2007 Olivier Award and a 2008 Tony Award for his performance in The Seafarer. In New York he has appeared in The WeirJunoand the PaycockDublin Carol (Obie Award) and Port Authority. His National Theatre credits include The PillowmanHamletBedroom FarceComedians and St. Joan. Films: Straw DogsHidden AgendaMemoirs of an Invisible ManDriving LessonsThe Boy in the Striped PajamasOyster Farmer and Eclipse (Tribeca Film Festival 2009). He has recorded the complete works of James Joyce for Naxos Audio Books.

KATE BALDWIN (Sharon McLonergan) Broadway: Wonderful TownThoroughly Modern MillieThe Full Monty, Sondheim’s Opening Doors (Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall), three shows for Encores!. Regional: She Loves Me at the Huntington and Williamstown (IRNE Award nominee), Irving Berlin’s White ChristmasSouth Pacific (Arena Stage, Helen Hayes nominee), A Little Night Music at Baltimore Center Stage, Henry V at Shakespeare Theatre of NJ and most recently The Women at the Old Globe, American Songbook at Lincoln Center and concerts with Stephen Sondheim. TV: Law & Order: SVU.

CHUCK COOPER (Bill) won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor for his portrayal of Memphis in The Life. FINIAN'S RAINBOW marks his tenth Broadway show. Other Broadway credits include Original Bus/Dryer in Caroline, or ChangeChicagoLennonPassionSomeone Who’ll Watch Over MeRumorsAmen CornerGetting Away With Murder. National tours include The Tap Dance KidEubie, and Whistle Down the Wind. Off-Broadway includes Caroline, or ChangeAvenue XPolice Boys; and Colored People’s Time. Regionally he has appeared in the premiere of Dance of the Holy GhostsTwo Trains RunningPutting it TogetherOthelloHamletJulius CaesarCoriolanusThe TempestSt. Heaven and Being Alive. On television he has appeared in Gossip GirlNurse JackieThree PoundsWithout a TraceHackLaw & Order100 Centre StreetLaw & Order: SVUPaul Reiser TV ProjectThird WatchOzStrangers with CandyNYPD BlueThe Cosby MysteriesNew York Undercover and I’ll Fly Away. He has appeared in the films American GangsterFind Me GuiltyDowntownRequiem for a DreamOur SongThe HurricaneThe OpportunistsGloriaThe PeacemakerThe Juror, and many independents.

CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD (Og) Broadway credits include Young Frankenstein (Tony, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Wicked, and Amour (Drama Desk nomination). Off-Broadway he has appeared in Gutenberg! The Musical! (Actors’ Playhouse), Stairway to Paradise, Babes In Arms, and Broadway Bash (New York City Center Encores!), Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (Lincoln Center), Fully Committed(Cherry Lane Theatre), Saturday Night (Second Stage, Drama Desk nomination), Wise Guys (New York Theatre Workshop), Corpus Christi (Manhattan Theatre Club) and The Cripple of Inishmaan (Public Theater). Regional credits include The Beauty Queen of Lennane (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Joseph Jefferson nomination), Springtime for Henry (Huntington Theatre, IRNE Award), Ahmanson Theater, Portland Stage Company, American Conservatory Theater, and ten seasons with the Williamstown Theatre Festival (where favorite productions include BillingsThe Trojan Women 2.0A Midsummer’s Nights DreamWhere’s Charley?, and Dead End). Mr. Fitzgerald’s television credits include Twins (series regular, WB) and The Electric Company (PBS), and film credits include Personal Velocity (dir. Rebecca Miller), Dedication (dir. Justin Theroux), Revolutionary Road (dir. Sam Mendes), and the upcoming untitled James L. Brooks project.

BURTON LANE (Music) (1912-1997) began his career in the late 1920s as a song plugger in Tin Pan Alley and, over the years, collaborated with a notable collection of lyricists (including E.Y. Harburg, Alan Jay Lerner, Ira Gershwin, and Frank Loesser) to become one of America's most distinguished composers of popular music. A good deal of his career was spent in Hollywood where he composed songs for over 45 films, including Royal Wedding, in which Fred Astaire famously danced on the ceiling to his “You're All the World to Me.” He is also credited with discovering the 11-year-old Frances Gumm, later better known as Judy Garland. In addition to FINIANS RAINBOW, his Broadway scores include Three's a Crowd, Earl Carroll's Vanities (1931), Hold Onto Your Hats, Laffing Room Only, Carmelina, and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

E.Y. HARBURG (Book & Lyrics) (1896–1981) One of America's greatest lyricists for stage and screen, Harburg was the son of poor Russian–Jewish immigrants and attended CCNY. Also a bookwriter (usually with Fred Saidy), director and poet, Harburg wrote lyrics for over 550 songs, including “It’s Only a Paper Moon” (with Harold Arlen), “April in Paris” (with Vernon Duke), and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” (with Jay Gorney). His landmark musicals were Bloomer Girl (with Arlen) and FINIAN’S RAINBOW (with Burton Lane). Yip was final editor and wrote lyrics and continuity for the universally beloved film, The Wizard of Oz.

FRED SAIDY (Book) (1907–1982) was born in Los Angeles and educated in New York where he studied journalism at NYU. He began his theatrical career writing screenplays, including Star Spangled RhythmMeet the People and the Red Skelton comedy, I Dood It. With E.Y. Harburg, Mr. Saidy also wrote the books for the Broadway musicals Bloomer GirlFlahooleyJamaica and The Happiest Girl in the World. In 1968 he wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of FINIAN’S RAINBOW.

WARREN CARLYLE (Director and Choreographer) most recently directed and choreographed the highly acclaimed Encores! revival of FINIAN’S RAINBOW in March 2009. Selected additional New York credits: directed and choreographed A Tale of Two Cities (Broadway), choreographed On the TownJunoStairway to Paradise (all Encores!); You Again (NY Fringe), Working (Zipper),The 24 Hour Musicals (Public Theater). Regional: Lucky Guy (Goodspeed), Mame (Kennedy Center), The Pirates of Penzance(Papermill; Goodspeed; Best Choreography, CT Critics Circle Award), The Baker’s Wife(Goodspeed). West End: Pageant. London: Sondheim’s Moving On. UK national tours of Me and My Girl (director/choreographer; Best Production 2007 Theater Goers Choice Award) and The Goodbye Girl; European tour of Scrooge. Film/television: Deceptionstarring Hugh Jackman, Hope and FaithAn Evening at the Boston Pops (PBS), and Elton John’s Made in England video. Resident director and choreographer: Jolson (London, Toronto), Fosse (London), and Oklahoma! (London). Associate choreographer: The Producers (worldwide/film), Oklahoma! (Broadway), and Center Stage (film).

ROB BERMAN (Music Director) is currently in his third season as music director of Encores! where he has conducted productions of Music in the AirApplauseStairway to Paradise and the Summer Stars production of Damn Yankees. He is music supervisor of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, which he recently conducted on Broadway. Other Broadway credits include The Pajama Game and Wonderful Town. Last year he supervised and arranged the world premiere of The Gershwins’ An American in Paris. Rob won a Helen Hayes Award for his music direction of The Kennedy Center’s production of Sunday in the Park with George. He is also music director of the Kennedy Center Honors Orchestra.

JOHN LEE BEATTY (Scenic Consultant) has designed all 48 City Center Encores! presentations. His many Broadway designs include DoubtThe Color PurpleProofAin’t Misbehavin’Rabbit HoleSisters RosensweigCrimes of the HeartTalley’s FollyFifth of JulyHow The Grinch Stole Christmas and the revivals of ChicagoThe HeiressA Delicate BalanceDinner at EightFrankie and Johnny. A Tony®, Obie, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle award winner, he is a graduate of Brown University and Yale School of Drama, and is a member of the Theater Hall of Fame.

TONI-LESLIE JAMES (Costume Consultant) LCT: Bernarda AlbaDessa RoseElegiesMarie ChristineA New BrainGod’s HeartChronicle of a Death ForetoldHello Again. Broadway: Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life; Ma Rainey’s Black BottomOne Mo’ TimeKing Hedley IIFootlooseThe Tempest (Drama Desk nomination); Twilight . . . Los Angeles 1992Angels in AmericaJelly’s Last Jam (American Theatre Wing Award, Tony® and Drama Desk nominations). Other venues: The Public Theater, Second Stage, City Center Encores!, Circle Rep., Hartford Stage, The Goodman Theater, The Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Rep., Berkley Rep., The Long Wharf Theatre, Center Stage, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera and The Huntington Theatre. Television and film: WhoopiAs the World TurnsThe Huey P. Newton Story and A Tale of Two Pizzas.

KEN BILLINGTON (Lighting) has designed over 80 Broadway shows, including the current Chicago and the recent Sunday in the Park with George; the U.S. touring productions of ChicagoThe Drowsy ChaperoneDisney’s High School MusicalAnnieIrving Berlin’s White Christmas and Riverdance, for which he is the lighting supervisor. Other projects include Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular for 26 seasons, Disneyland’s nighttime extravaganza Fantasmic! and Shamu Rocks at Sea World of Florida and San Diego. Among his many awards are the Tony®, Drama Desk, Los Angeles Drama Critics awards, as well as the Lumen for his architectural lighting.

DAVID RICHENTHAL (Producer) On Broadway: I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright, directed by Moises Kaufman, starring Jefferson Mays (Tony®, Pulitzer and Drama Desk Awards for Best New Play); Marc Salem’s Mind Games on Broadway; Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day's Journey Into Night, directed by Robert Falls, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Dennehy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert Sean Leonard (Tony® and Drama Desk Awards for Best Revival of a Play); Arthur Miller's The Crucible, directed by Richard Eyre, starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney; Arthur Miller's The Price, directed by James Naughton, starring Harris Yulin and Jeffrey DeMunn; Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, directed by Robert Falls, starring Brian Dennehy (Tony® and Drama Desk Awards for Best Revival of a Play); Noel Coward's Present Laughter, starring Frank Langella; The Young Man From Atlanta by Horton Foote, directed by Robert Falls, starring Rip Torn and Shirley Knight (Pulitzer Prize for Best Play); The Kentucky Cycle, directed by Warner Shook, starring Stacy Keach (Pulitzer Prize for Best Play); Mrs. Klein by Nicholas Wright, starring Uta Hagen; Remembrance, starring Milo O'Shea and Frances Sternhagen; and Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol by special arrangement with the Atlantic Theater Company. On the West End: The Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith, directed by Roger Michell, starring Eileen Atkins; Death of a Salesman starring Brian Dennehy and Clare Higgins; I Am My Own Wifestarring Jefferson Mays; and co-produced the world premiere of David Mamet's The Cryptogram and Katherine Burger's Morphic Resonance. Motion pictures include The Other Man, co-written and directed by Richard Eyre, starring Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Antonio Banderas; Tape, directed by Richard Linklater, starring Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard; and Death of a Salesman, starring Brian Dennehy for the Showtime Network.

JACK VIERTEL (Producer) has been creative director of Jujamcyn Theaters since 1987, overseeing the development of new projects for the company's five Broadway theaters. Beginning with the original production of Into The WoodsM Butterfly, he has been instrumental in bringing many new plays, musicals and revivals to Jujamcyn’s theaters, including Angels In America, Jerry Zaks’s legendary production of Guys And DollsGrand HotelCity Of AngelsJelly's Last Jam, the Brian Dennehy production of Death Of A SalesmanThe Beauty Queen Of LeenaneProofDoubt, and six plays of August Wilson’s ten-play Century Cycle . He is a co-producer and co-conceiver of the longest running musical revue in Broadway history, Smokey Joe's Cafe, and served as the dramaturg for Hairspray. Since 2000 he has also been the Artistic Director of the City Center Encores! series of great American musicals in concert, which recently produced FINIAN’S RAINBOW, On The TownFolliesFace The MusicStairway To Paradise, and Gypsy with Patti LuPone. He is also the author of the book for the musical Time And Again, based on Jack Finney's novel. He began his career playing National steel-bodied bottleneck guitar behind Bonnie Raitt, the Pointer Sisters, and Son House, spent two years as the dramaturg of the Mark Taper Forum, in Los Angeles, and was the chief theater critic and arts editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.

 



 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is FINIAN’S RAINBOW about?
With a sparkling score of beloved standards and a whimsical story that dances between romance, satire and fairy tale, FINIAN'S RAINBOW is a musical theater treasure.

Set in the mythical southern state of Missitucky, FINIAN'S RAINBOW pits a charming Irish dreamer and his headstrong daughter against the host of complications that await them in their newly adopted land: a bigoted southern Senator, a credit crisis, a pesky leprechaun and, of course, a complicated love affair that gives birth to some of the most witty, charming and heartfelt songs ever written for the stage. 

Q. Who wrote it?
The book is by E.Y. “Yip” Harburg and Fred Saidy, the lyrics are by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, and the music is by Burton Lane.

Q. Who’s in it?
Tony Award® winner Jim Norton (The Seafarer) stars as the loveable Finian, with Kate Baldwin (Wonderful Town) as the plucky Sharon, Cheyenne Jackson (Xanadu) as Woody, the boy who falls under her spell and Christopher Fitzgerald as Og the leprechaun.

Q: How long is FINIAN’S RAINBOW? 
2 hours, 20 minutes, including intermission.

Q. Is there an intermission? 
Yes, there is one 20-minute intermission.

Q. What are show times?
Performance Schedule
October 8–October 28
Mon 8 | Tue 8 | Wed 8 | Thu 8 | Fri 8 | Sat 2 & 8 | Sun DARK

Beginning November 2 
Mon DARK | Tue 7 | Wed 2 & 7 | Thu 7 | Fri 8 | Sat 2 & 8 | Sun 3

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