Saturday, June 5, 2010

Finian's Rainbow -- new Broadway cast recording

I’m looking forward to gathering for a Tony party in Sutton Place next Sunday where I can cheer on my favorite shows and actors of the past season. One of these I feel most passionate about is Finian’s Rainbow, which I want to win best musical revival. I saw the show when it opened in the fall and had hoped I’d go back again during voting season, but unfortunately, despite rave reviews, it failed to draw a large audience and closed Jan. 17. I’ve been keeping my memories alive, though, with the cast recording, which does a first rate job of recapturing the magic of the live performance.

Right from the start, with the enchanting five-minute overture of Burton Lane’s music, the CD is a gem. Yip Harburg’s classic romantic songs -- “How Are Things in Glocca Morra,” “Look to the Rainbow,” “Old Devil Moon,” “If This Isn’t Love” -- evocatively sung by Kate Baldwin and Cheyenne Jackson, sound about as close to live as they can. The inclusion of quotes from Harburg and Fred Saidy’s book add to that effect. It’s always good to be reminded that “you’ll never grow old, and you’ll never grow poor, if you look to the rainbow beyond the next moor” and to always search for that faraway place that’s “a little beyond your reach, but never beyond your hope -- it’s out there, the hill beyond yon hill.”

The revival should still be running, but in its absence the CD is a gift. And its run will be forever, thanks to the folks at PS Classics who produced it. My fingers are crossed for next Sunday . . .

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