Saturday, April 04, 2009
Finian's Rainbow (The SOB Review) - City Center Main Stage, New York, New York
** (out of ****)
Now that it's been announced that the City Center Encores! musical reading of Finian's Rainbow will get all gussied up for a regular Broadway staging later this year, I feel compelled to write a few thoughts about this dated clunker.
I submit that what may have worked among the adoring, hard-core New York theatre audiences that regularly assembles for Encores! presentations simply won't sell on the Great White Way.
Yes, there were winning performances from Cheyenne Jackson, Kate Baldwin, Jim Norton and Terri White (who truly proved a "Necessity"). Also, Finian's Rainbow boasts some timeless tunes from the canon of E.Y. Harburg and Burton Lane -- I still can't get "Old Devil Moon" or "How Are Things in Glocca Morra" out of my mind.
But despite director/choreographer Warren Carlyle's best attempts to breathe new life into this 62 year old tuner -- which in 1947 had boldly challenged racial discrimination well ahead of its time -- Harburg and Fred Saidy' s ridiculously creaky book reads more like a relic.
And dare I say it? I was bored silly.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).