My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW

Yankeefan007
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My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#1
Posted: 10/17/09 at 11:40pm
Look, it's a nice, unassuming production that lets the material speak for itself. That material is dated - more so than all of the other recent revivals. The weak script is very visible, but you have the beautiful Burton Lane/Yip Harburg score with lush orchestrations that are, due to poor sound quality, very muffled.

Cast is a mixed bag. Wonderful are Jim Norton (he's always wonderful, though he can't sing, but he's so lovable), Christopher Fitzgerald (a true triple threat who exceeds the material he's given), Chuck Cooper and Terri White.

The romantic leads, Cheyenne Jackson and Kate Baldwin, are like watching paint dry.

Designs are reliable - Beatty's is most notable, lovely, sort of like the indoor version of his summer TWELFTH NIGHT set.

After seeing a lot of Warren Carlyle production, it's clear he likes big, tight groups. It didn't work for TALE OF TWO CITIES. It works here. His stagings of a variety of numbers work very well - The Begat is wonderful, and the 2nd act ballet is utterly breathtaking.

As for the show itself, it is what it is. Act I is a slog, Act II is lovely. I wish it well.
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#2
Posted: 10/18/09 at 12:09am
I was at the show tonight- and I felt the same way.

The production was reliable, and charming, but the show definitely has a ton of inherent weaknesses that might lessen the experience. The book is really weak, but the score is lovely.

I agree about Fitzgerald and Norton, and Cooper to a lesser extent. I didn't love Terri White, however- I just didn't see a character there, I saw an archetype. Chris Fitzgerald was the highlight of the show- what a performance.

And yeah, the show is way dated. I couldn't help but think, during the act one closer, how depressing a bunch of people celebrating taking advantage of a line of credit is in light of current events. It didn't help that the money to pay off their debt just magically appeared either- this show is heavy on Deux ex Machina.

But it was an enjoyable night at the theatre if you can appreciate it for what it is. The word "charming" comes to mind as the most appropriate adjective.
chrisampm2
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#2
Posted: 10/18/09 at 12:36am
I disagree with both of you. I found the book fresh and bold. Yes, it doesn't have the cynical sexiness of Pal Joey to give it a timeless edge. But it has political bite that is sadly still timely. And the score is one standard after another that quickens the heart. I found it warmly exhilarating and look forward to a revisit.
Yankeefan007
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#3
Posted: 10/18/09 at 12:37am
Bold I can see. It was bold in 1947.

Fresh? Really?
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Eris0303
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#4
Posted: 10/18/09 at 12:48am
I'm planning on getting tickets to a show for my mom and I'm torn between this and Ragtime
"All our dreams can come true -- if we have the courage to pursue them." -- Walt Disney We must have different Gods. My God said "do to others what you would have them do to you". Your God seems to have said "My Way or the Highway".
chrisampm2
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#5
Posted: 10/18/09 at 12:59am
Sure, bold. How many Broadway musicals today are boldly tackling racism, economics, and politics? I'd count Wicked, but those issues are rarely as front and center as they are here. Still fresh, still bold - at least to me.
Yankeefan007
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#6
Posted: 10/18/09 at 9:48am
But this show isn't dealing with it today. It's dealing with it in 1947.
teka21
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#7
Posted: 10/18/09 at 9:55am
well, today we still have judges like the one in Louisiana who this week refused a marriage license to an interracial couple...
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#8
Posted: 10/18/09 at 10:08am
I was at the show Friday night I feel pretty much the same way, I'll give a small review. It's an okay show.

I didn't like the Book at all, I thought it way out dated and silly and kind of stupid. You can't take it seriously and it doesn't help that it's not acted very well by numerous people.

Kate Baldwin- I actually thought she was pretty good. She has a beautiful voice and did what she was supposed to. Nothing great, might get her a Tony nomination.

Cheyenne Jackson- Why do people love him again? He a bad actor and has a good voice. I don't even think he is very attractive, he's just over built.

Christopher Fitzgerald- He has a big future ahead of him, he is great. But I have a feeling he will always play the same character.

Jim Norton- Nothing to write home about but he was good. Sorry, not much to say.

I didn't like the cop guy and the other tall skinny guy he was with.


Set- The whole time I kept thinking that this would be a beautiful show outside in the Delacorte. Also I couldn't get Twelfth Night out of my head. This is the kind of show where the set should be impressive and really colorful, and it wasn't.

I don't expect this to run long. I don't know why the chose one of the biggest theaters on Broadway. The first row in the balcony was full. Most of the Mezz and Orchestra were full with a few seats empty on the sides and in the back.
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#9
Posted: 10/18/09 at 10:10am
I also disagree. I think the show is relevant and very charming. I've seen it twice now. Once at Encores and a week ago at the St. James. Both times I took my parents, and they both raved about it afterwards.

I thought Jackson and Baldwin were wonderful, and I loved Terry White.

I feel the show is relevant today. People looked to easy credit, and look what it got them. It's called irony.
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nealb1
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#10
Posted: 10/18/09 at 10:38am
I saw the show yesterday, and it was wonderful.......it was so charming and heartfelt.

As for the comments that the show is "dated" - HOW!!???

Racism and bad money management ( ie....Wall Street), happens every single day in the world. Look at what happened with the inter-racial couple and the marriage license.

So many people love to bash Cheyenne Jackson, and I just don't understand that. He's very, very talented....has a wonderful voice, great stage presence. And, in reading some of the comments here, perhaps some are a tad jealous of this Broadway star.

Kate Baldwin's scene with her father were so heartwarming. There's an obvious love there between the two of them. The scene at the end of the show, where he leaves was very, very touching.

A wonderful afternoon.
Yankeefan007
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#11
Posted: 10/18/09 at 10:42am
Why does not enjoying the work of a performer always lead people to cry "jealousy?"
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nealb1
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#12
Posted: 10/18/09 at 10:51am
Sure, people can have opinions, that's not the issue. But, when they take it to another level - that's when you gotta wonder...

And, I'm sure you'll agree that many people love to go into a theatre with a bad attitude towards the show that they are seeing - they are bound and determined to not like it.
Updated On: 10/18/09 at 10:51 AM
Yankeefan007
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#13
Posted: 10/18/09 at 11:00am
But where does "jealousy" fall into it?
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madbrian
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#14
Posted: 10/18/09 at 11:02am
I loved the show, and found it incedibly relevant. It was a refreshing change to hear beautiful songs sung beautifully.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
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Felm_heart
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#15
Posted: 10/18/09 at 11:20am
Is it sad that I'm considering a trip to NYC just to get one of the pretty Finian's Rainbow Playbills?
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AC126748
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#16
Posted: 10/18/09 at 11:30am
Why does not enjoying the work of a performer always lead people to cry "jealousy?"

Because these days, there is no such thing as a difference of opinion. There is only "I'm right, you're wrong, and if you don't agree with me you must have some ulterior motive."
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#17
Posted: 10/18/09 at 11:36am
I couldn't help but think, during the act one closer, how depressing a bunch of people celebrating taking advantage of a line of credit is in light of current events.

That actually got one of the biggest responses at the Encores production. Is it not getting the same response on Broadway?


I'm really biased because it's been one of my favorite shows for a long time, but I don't think it's that dated. I was more familiar with the movie than the stage show before I saw the production at Encores, and expected it to feel creaky and ridiculous. And it truly did not. We're still facing the same issues (the credit thing was so timely, I thought), and I think the show is very relevant. But if it's not your thing, then it's not your thing.
When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
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luvtheEmcee
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#18
Posted: 10/18/09 at 11:53am
I think people get really hung up on the word dated, because they get mixed up in the attachment that it has to the idea of irrelevance. "Dated, as it's so often used, has come to automatically mean "irrelevant," where things that people consider "dated" aren't necessarily so. Period pieces remain relevant, and I'd argue that Finian's Rainbow is one such piece. I'm seeing it tomorrow, and I can't wait.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
Updated On: 10/18/09 at 11:53 AM
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Drunk Chita Rivera
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#19
Posted: 10/18/09 at 10:48pm
"Is it sad that I'm considering a trip to NYC just to get one of the pretty Finian's Rainbow Playbills?"

I would if I was you.
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givesmevoice
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#20
Posted: 10/18/09 at 11:17pm
Em, I really hope you like the show!
When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#21
Posted: 10/18/09 at 11:25pm
I also was at the Friday show. I knew nothing about it, but we decided to rush it. SO glad I did. I personally LOVED the show. The music is simply gorgeous, especially with such a large orchestra. And I must say, Kate Baldwin was very good and my personal favorite from the cast. Also, the Ensemble is very solid. The dancing was great, and the costumes were fantastic. My biggest complaint is the pot of gold. It was just plain ugly and cheap looking. Otherwise, I enjoyed the show very much. So much that I rushed it on Saturday as well.
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#22
Posted: 10/18/09 at 11:34pm
Funny that I was studying the word "dated"
today.
It's the production that makes the show,
many shows that would be considered "dated"
have worked, going back to (and probably further)
the revival of NO NO NANETTE.
Of course the material is of it's time,
but the production can overcome that if it strikes the right cord and makes the audience connect and have a great theatre experience.

I am looking forward to FINIAN'S RAINBOW because the score is magical and I hope they pull it off.

Critic at the original ROMEO AND JULIET at the Globe.
"That material is so dated,
Young impulsive Lovers,
warring families and prejudice,
Angry youth,
innocence lost,.
That's so Greek."
ZiggyCringe
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#23
Posted: 10/19/09 at 12:17am
Dated? Not so much.

It's a freaking terrific production, period.

Cast? Incredible. Direction? Terrific.

I hope it runs forever.
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re: My thoughts on FINIAN'S RAINBOW#24
Posted: 10/19/09 at 11:47am
Saw the show Saturday afternoon. Yes, the book has weaknesses, especially given the age of the material. This is a show where you have to let go and just enjoy the story without too much critical thinking. Also, much of it is satire ( especially the scenes involving the bigoted Senator).
As an "old-school" musical, the songs are the highlight. Really well sung and enjoyable.
As for Cheyenne, he fits the role well. (This isn't Hamlet, folks.) Kate is radiant as the daughter. This will hopefully be a breakthrough for her. I hope they record a CD.