Norton, Jackson and Baldwin Look to the Rainbow Beginning March 26 at City Center

By Andrew Gans
March 26, 2009

The final production of the current City Center Encores! concert season, Finian's Rainbow, begins performances at the famed New York venue March 26.

Directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle with music direction by Rob Berman, the cast boasts Jim Norton (Finian), Kate Baldwin (Sharon), Cheyenne Jackson (Woody), Jeremy Bobb (Og), Philip Bosco (Senator Rawkins), Guy Davis (Sonny), Alina Faye (Susan Mahoney), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Billboard), Andy Weems (Sheriff) and William Youmans (Buzz).

The ensemble comprises Tanya Birl, Bree Branker, Meggie Cansler, Bernard Dotson, Leslie Donna Flesner, Lisa Gajda, Tim Hartman, Mary Illes, Tyrick Wiltez Jones, Denis Lambert, Kevin Ligon, Monica L. Patton, Joe Aaron Reid, Devin Richards, Steve Schepis, Rashidra Scott, J.D. Webster and Terri White.

Finian's Rainbow has music by Burton Lane, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg and a book by Harburg and Fred Saidy. The musical, according to press notes, tells "the story of the Irishman Finian McLonergan (Jim Norton), and his daughter Sharon (Kate Baldwin) 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 musical is unusual in that it deals in a satirical way with issues of class and race, most specifically in the character of a bigoted southern senator who is accidentally turned black."

The score boasts such tunes as "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.

Show times are March 26 at 8 PM, March 27 at 8 PM, March 28 at 2 and 8 PM and March 29 at 6:30 PM.

For tickets, priced $25-$95, call (212) 581-1212 or visit www.nycitycenter.org. City Center is located in Manhattan on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.