Friday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts
We’re all about the music and thrilled to bring Finian’s Rainbow to Annapolis!
See an Interview with J. Ernest Green about this show!
This groundbreaking and controversial musical premiered in 1947, winning multiple Tony Awards, and has been revived on- and off-Broadway several times since then. A film of the musical with Fred Astaire and Petula Clark was released in 1968. The show’s roots are in the charged political climate of the 1940s. Lyricist E.Y. Harburg, outraged by the racist speeches being made in Congress at the time, felt he had to respond in some way. The result was this powerful musical story that combines his take on the racial and economic politics of the day with an Irish fairy tale by James Stephens, called “Crock of Gold.” “Finian’s Rainbow” takes on bigotry and adds a sense of humor. It was the most radical show in Broadway’s history when in premiered. In fact, the 1947 production was the first Broadway show to feature black and white performers dancing together at the same time.
The controversial language of the play has changed over the years but the message is no less timely. One of the more recent hit revival productions was produced by New York’s Irish Repertory Theatre Company in 2004. Artistic Director Charlotte Moore updated the script, which had become dated, and the presentation of the musical. Almost, but not quite, a concert version of the original, Moore’s version was a critical and box office success with it’s two pianos as the musical accompaniment and her adaptation of the script. Says Mr. Green, “I chose to do this version of the musical because I think it has a very powerful message for modern audiences and because the music is extraordinary. When people discover it, they’ll want to hear it again.”
You’ll hear some of the most beautiful songs in the Broadway songbook, including “How are Things in Glocca Morra,” “Look to the Rainbow” and “If This Isn’t Love.”
Live Arts Maryland welcomes back Bernard Dotson (First Gospeleer), who first wowed audiences in LAM’s 2013 Marvin Hamlisch celebration. Joining LAM for the first time are Broadway performers Matt Gibson (Woody Mahoney), James Alexander (Second Gospeleer), John E. Lucas (Third Gospeleer) and Trent Armand Kendall (Rawkins). The cast also features a who’s who of local standout performers, including audience favorites Jason Buckwalter (Og), Kimberly Christie (Sharon McLonergan), Tom Magette (Finian McLonergan), Elysia Greene (Susan Mahoney), Duncan Hood (Senator Billboard Rawkins) and more. Members of the Annapolis Chorale will also be featured in small on-stage roles.
LAM has added a Saturday matinee performance at 3 p.m. The Casual Friday performance at 7:30 p.m. will be followed by a Q&A session with the cast and Mr. Green. It is a perfect opportunity for students and young performers to talk with professional, working musicians. The Student Rush free ticket program is active for this concert. Students over 18 with valid IDs may visit the box office a half-hour before curtain to receive a free ticket. Students under 18 do not need a valid ID.
Take your Valentine to a Broadway show – right here at home!