The musical comedy “Finian’s Rainbow” was declared pure gold by theater critics after its October 29 opening night on Broadway. The revival of the whimsical 1947 satire is being staged at St. James Theatre in New York, NY.

Based in the mythical state of Missitucky, “Finian’s Rainbow” tells a sweetly complicated love story that centers around a colorful cast and a stolen pot of gold. The cast is composed of Jim Norton, playing the title Finian McLonergan, Kate Baldwin as his daughter Sharon , Cheyenne Jackson as the love interest Woody Mahoney, and Christopher Fitzgerald as a swindled leprechaun named Og.

Back on Broadway for the first time in several decades, the production has a runtime of two hours and 20 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. Warren Carlyle has been praised by critics for directing and choreographing the slightly revised revival, written by E. Y. Harbug and Fred Saidy, with lyrics by Harburg and compositions by Burton Lane.

Previews of “Finian’s Rainbow” began on October 8, with attendance staying steady at about 72 percent capacity over the next two weeks and rising slightly in its last full week of previews to 77 percent capacity at the 1,701-seat theater. Ticket prices range from $25 to $120, and the average price paid during previews was about $37 to $46.

“Finian’s Rainbow” started previews with performances on Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m., as well as Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. Beginning November 2, the musical comedy will change its showtime to Tuesday through Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. The Wednesday and Saturday matinee times remain the same, but another afternoon show will be added on Sunday at 3 p.m.

The St. James Theatre is located at 246 West 44th Street. Additional details about the production can be found on its official Web site.

Opening Night: “Finian’s Rainbow”

Publication Critic Review
Variety David Rooney “From the moment music director Rob Berman raises his lighter-than-air baton on the show’s soaring overture, blissful surrender is the only option.”
New York Times Charles Isherwood “…an overflowing pot of memorable songs, by turns yearning and bouncy, mocking and sincere, soft as a rose petal and clever as a crossword.”
New York Post Elisabeth Vincentelli “Whether you think this particularly whimsical crock is half-empty or half-full, the songs are pure heaven.”
USA Today Elysa Gardner “Under Warren Carlyle’s gently buoyant direction, ‘Rainbow’s’ eclectic characters…come to life naturally and gracefully, winking at stereotypes while transcending them.”
TheaterMania David Finkle “…every single production element coalesces into one incandescently seamless whole.”
Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck “… there’s simply no disputing that this is one of the greatest musical comedy scores ever written.”

Last Updated on October 30, 2009