Broadway's Finian's Rainbow Fades, But Cast Album Will Shine

By Kenneth Jones
17 Jan 2010

Kate Baldwin and Cheyenne Jackson
Kate Baldwin and Cheyenne Jackson
Photo by Joan Marcus

The critically acclaimed new Broadway production of the romantic musical comedy fantasy Finian's Rainbow closes Jan. 17 after 22 previews and 92 performances. A cast album from PS Classics will be released on Feb. 2.

Finian's Rainbow opened Oct. 29, 2009, at Broadway's St. James Theatre to some of the best reviews of the season.

The producers David Richenthal, Jack Viertel and Alan D. Marks stated Dec. 30, "Despite the rave reviews and extraordinarily positive audience reception, the economic realities of Broadway today do not allow us to play at the St. James as long as we would have hoped. We are thrilled, however, that our gorgeous musical score performed by our incredible cast and brilliant orchestra lives on in our soon to be released cast album."

The Green Day rock musical American Idiot will move into the St. James, a coveted large musical theatre house, in the spring.

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Finian's Rainbow has a book by Yip Harburg and Fred Saidy; lyrics by Yip Harburg; music by Burton Lane; with book adaptation by Arthur Perlman and original adaptation for New York City Center Encores! by David Ives. It is directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle; musical direction is by Rob Berman.

The production, which sprouted from a spring 2009 concert presented in the City Center Encores! series, stars stars Jim Norton (Finian), Kate Baldwin (Sharon), Cheyenne Jackson (Woody), Christopher Fitzgerald (Og) and Chuck Cooper (Bill). Fitzgerald and Cooper did not appear in the Encores! run.

Here's how the show is billed: "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 theatre 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."

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

Finian's Rainbow plays the St. James Theatre, 246 West 44th Street. For tickets, visit www.telecharge.com or phone (212) 239-6200. For more information, visit www.FiniansOnBroadway.com.