Remember the old Clancy Brothers refrain, "Wasn't it the truth, I told you, lots of fun at Finnegan's Wake!"? Well, producer Joseph Corcoran is bringing that Joycean bacchanal to interactive life. In mid-May he tried out Finnegan's Farewell, a comedy-performance-event with music in the tradition of Tony n' Tina's Wedding, which Corocoran also produces. Now the show returns in an open run beginning Aug. 4. At first, Finnegan will fare well only on Wednesday nights at 7 PM. Starting Sept. 25, Saturday 2 PM matinees will be added.
Yes, the "Riverkids" will dance, and oh yes, corned beef and cabbage will be served. As with T n' T, Finnegan starts in one place -- at St. Luke's Church for the wake ceremony -- and then parties nearby -- at the Edison Hotel on West 46th Street. The long-running Off-Broadway shows Late Nite Catechism and Tony n' Tina's Wedding will continue to run in repertory at St. Luke's.
Asked in May how Finnegan would differ from such entertainments as the regionally popular Rafferty's Irish Wake, producer Corcoran told Playbill On-Line his idea is to mix the comedy and audience participation of Tony n' Tina with the dance and spirit of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. To that end, the show first tried out in Atlantic City and in "a couple of country clubs."
For tickets and information on Finnegan's Farewell call (212) 279- 4200 or check out their section on the website, http://www.finnegansfarewell.com.
-- By David Lefkowitz