This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Finian's Rainbow at Heinen Threatre Sept 8-11th

Thanks to Max for passing this on:

Finian's Rainbow Image gallery

Presented by Bayou City Concert Musicals at Heinen Theatre

September 8-September 11, 2011

BAYOU CITY CONCERT MUSICALS presents the magical and romantic fantasy,Finian's Rainbow, opening Thursday, September 8 and playing through Sunday, September 11, for FIVE PERFORMANCES ONLY, at The Heinen Theatre, 3517 Austin at Holman in Midtown. The production is directed by Paul Hope, with Michael Mertz as Musical Director, Krissy Richmond and Melissa Pritchett as Choreographers, and Dominique Royem as the Conductor.

With a book by E. Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy, lyrics by Harburg, and music by Burton Lane, Finian's Rainbowhas some of the most gorgeous music in all of musical comedy, with such songs as "How Are Things In Glocca Morra?," "Look to the Rainbow," "If This Isn't Love," and "Old Devil Moon." Burton Lane was one of the youngest composers of his time. At the age of fourteen, he wrote the score to a Shubert show, though the show never made it to Broadway. Fortunately Broadway beckoned again and under the mentorship of George Gershwin, he collaborated with Howard Deitz on the revue Three's A Crowd. Though he largely wrote for Hollywood, his scores to Finian's Rainbow and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever are considered to be some of the finest in Broadway history.

In the plot of Finian's Rainbow, Harburg and Saidy, both strong liberals politically, sought to address the inequities of the time; racial bigotry, political corruption and economic thievery, which are ironically quite relevant today. They did so with a light hand using comedy and fantasy woven through the characterizations. This allowed Finian's Rainbow to become a wonderful "happily ever after ending" musical with love conquering all.

This magical fantasy follows Finian McLonergan (played by Charles Krohn), and his daughter, Sharon (Beth Lazarou) who immigrate from Glocca Mora, Ireland, to the town of Rainbow Valley in the mythical state of Missitucky. Finian and Sharon carry a pot of gold with them that legend says will grant the bearer three wishes. This is where the problems begin. Finian intends to bury the pot of gold in the shadow of Fort Knox in the hopes that it will grow right along with the rest of the money that the United States has buried inside the fort.

Unfortunately the pot of gold does not belong to Finian and his daughter. It rightfully belongs to the leprechaun, Og (Mark Ivy), who follows them from Ireland to retrieve his pot of gold. Also part of the fantasy is Woody Mahoney (Cole Ryden), a labor organizer with whom Sharon falls madly in love, and the villain, a bigoted southern senator, Senator Billboard Rawkins (Rutherford Cravens). At the end, everyone realizes that only love and trust in one another brings happiness, not gold.

Finian's Rainbow was last seen in Houston over 50 years ago. Theatre, Inc. produced the show in the early 1950s and again in 1961, both productions starring Marietta March.

Bayou City Concert Musicals is funded in part by a grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

Pictured: Sharon (Beth Lazarou) and Og the Leprechaun (Mark Ivy) share a moment of fun!  PHOTO CREDIT: Dalton DeHart.


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