Ivoryton: Here is where you should head this summer to warm your soul with infectious song, exuberant dancing, jokes both lovably corny and unexpectedly fresh, and of course the satisfying pairing of boy meets girl (as well as leprechaun meets human!)
Finian’s Rainbow (Book by E.Y Harburg and Fred Saidy, lyrics by Harburg and music by Burton Lane) was first produced on Broadway in 1947. It ran for 725 performances. Several revivals and a 1968 film version followed with Fred Astaire, Petula Clark and Tommy Steele. A recent Broadway revival was very well received by the press – the NY Times called it “a welcome picker upper” with “beautiful music and memorable songs”
In this whimsical, magical, still contemporary fable-with-a social-conscience, Finian McLonergan (Bruce Connelly*), his daughter Sharon (Kathleen Mulready*), followed by a leprechaun named Og (Michael Nathanson*), travel from Glocca Morra, Ireland to Rainbow Valley in the mythical state of Missitucky, USA. Finian has “borrowed” Og’s crock of gold to plant in the soil near Fort Knox so it will grow and make him rich. But Og wants it back, for without it all the Glocca Morra leprechauns will lose their magic powers and the crock of gold, which grants wishes, will turn to dross.
A highly original story unfolds, at once magical and all too real, filled with a strange and delightful cast of characters including Susan (Tessa Grunwald), who is mute and “talks’ by dancing; Senator Rawkins (Larry Lewis), an old Southern bigot whose world turns upside down; and Woody (John Rochette*), the All American boy who can charm the birds from the trees and Sharon into his arms!
The show is filled with irresistible music Old Devil Moon, How are things in Glocca Morra?, Look to the Rainbow and the timely When the Idle Poor become the Idle Rich
Finian’s Rainbow is directed by Julia Kiley, musical direction by John DeNicola with a set design by Tony Andrea, lights by Tate Burmeister and costumes by Pam Puente.
Finian’s Rainbow opens on August 11 and runs thru September 5 for 4 weeks. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $38 for adults, $33 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.