Errico and Gets Reprise Finian's Rainbow in Westport from 6/16

Melissa Errico (High Society, Amour, Dracula, the Musical) and Malcolm Gets (A New Brain, Amour, The Apple Tree) will reprise their respective roles as leading lady and leprechaun in the Westport Country Playhouse's production of Finian's Rainbow. Opening on June 16th, the Burton Lane-E.Y. Harburg-Fred Saidy classic will launch the company's 75th anniversary season in its newly renovated theatre.

The 2004 production at the Irish Rep Theatre drew raves both for the show and for the performers. Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote of Errico: "This is the voice of enchantment, and it captures perfectly the musical soul of a production that is all the more bewitching for being so relaxed." Last year's production was both adapted and directed by Charlotte Moore.

Featured in the cast of the Westport production is Milo O'Shea as Finian, as well as Wendi Bergamini, Stephen Buntrock, Jonathan Hadley, Andi Hopkins, A.J. Irvin, Eric Jackson, Kimberly Dawn Neumann, John Sloman, David Staller and Joacquin Stevens. Mark Hartman will serve as music director, with Barry McNabb providing the choreography and James Morgan (sets), David Toser (costumes) and Mary Jo Dondlinger (lighting) on the design team.

A sharp satire on corruption and racism as well as a fantastical love story, Finian's Rainbow recounts the emigration of Finian and his daughter Sharon (Errico) to the fictional southern state of Missitucky. Yet having stolen a pot of gold, Finian is trailed by an irate leprechaun named Og (Gets)

Finian's Rainbow opened at the 46th Street Theatre on January 10th, 1947; it would run for 725 performances with Ella Logan and David Wayne as the stars. The show received two Broadway revivals--in 1955 at City Center and 1960, again at the 46th Street.

Also lined up for the Westport County Playhouse's summer season are J.M Barrie's Dear Brutus (July 7th-24th), Carson McCuller's The Member of the Wedding (July 28-August 14th) and the war drama Journey's End (August 18th-September 4th).

Renovations, which are set at $17.8 million, will replace the old pews with newer pew-like benches, add a spacious lobby overlooking the garden and bathrooms on both the orchestra and balcony levels and remove roofs beams that obstruct the view of the stage. Additionally, an orchestra pit will be built for musicals, actors will receive new dressing rooms and a new scene shop will be installed for designers. However, the seating capacity will be reduced from 707 to 580.


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