Finian’s Rainbow has become the latest show to succumb to the “economic realities of Broadway.” Producers David Richenthal, Jack Viertel and Alan D. Marks said today (Dec. 31) the show will close on Jan, 17, after only 22 previews and 92 performances.
The show is the second revival to bite the dust. Producers of Ragtime, the $8 million Broadway musical revival, said yesterday they were closing the show Jan. 3, after a disappointing run that spanned only 57 performances. Poor ticket sales were cited.
The closing touched off the usual grousing about the impact that shows with marquee Hollywood names were having on tried-and-true Broadway stalwarts without big names.
Finian’s producers put the blame squarely on the “economic realities of Broadway.”
“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,” they said in a statement.
Finian’s Rainbow opened Oct. 29, at Broadway’s St. James Theatre to some of the best reviews of the season.
Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called the show “permanent sunshine. Infectious song and exuberant dancing are on abundant display in this thoroughly winning, joyous production.”
Out of town critics liked the show as well.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more musically satisfying Broadway show. Not only is the score a string of flawlessly cut gems, but everyone involved in the production takes the songs seriously, performing them with love and sensitivity,” wrote Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal.
Yip Harburg and Fred Saidy had the book; lyrics were by Harburg with music by Burton Lane. Book adaptation was by Arthur Perlman and original adaptation for New York City Center Encores! by David Ives. I
The musical was directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle; musical direction is by Rob Berman.
The production stars Jim Norton (Finian), Kate Baldwin (Sharon), Cheyenne Jackson (Woody), Christopher Fitzgerald (Og), and Chuck Cooper (Bill).
The original 1947 Broadway production ran for 725 performances, and the show has gone through several revivals and a 1968 film version starred Fred Astaire, Tommy Steele and Petula Clark. Francis Ford Coppola directed.
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.
They include 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 cast and orchestra recorded the show on Monday, Dec. 7 for PS Classics. The label anticipates an early February street date for the sounctrack.
The musical boasts such classic songs 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.”
St. James Theatre
246 West 44 St.
Tuesday-Thursday at 7pm;
Friday and Saturday at 8pm;
Matinees: Wed and Sat at 2pm; Sun at 3pm.
Or by phoning: 212.239.6200.
For groups: 212.541.8457 or 1.800.BROADWAY.
For more information: Finian’s Rainbow