Cheyenne Jackson, Tony Award winner Jim Norton and Kate Baldwin will star in Finian’s Rainbow, the final production of New York City Center’s 2008-09 Encores! season. The musical will play five performances from March 26 to 29, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with music direction by Rob Berman.
Featuring music by Burton Lane, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg and a book by Harburg and Fred Saidy, Finian’s Rainbow is the story of the Irishman Finian McLonergan Norton and his daughter Sharon Baldwin, who travel to a small Southern town in the mythical state of Missitucky with plans to bury a stolen pot of gold in the shadows of Fort Knox in the mistaken belief it will grow and multiply. They have been followed from Ireland by the owner of the gold, a leprechaun named Og, who shows up determined to recover his treasure. Jackson plays Woody, the Missitucky landowner who falls in love with Sharon.
Finian’s Rainbow deals in a satirical way with issues of class and race, most specifically in the character of a bigoted southern senator who is accidentally turned black. The score includes such familiar songs as “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?,” “When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love I Love the Girl I’m Near,” “That Old Devil Moon” and “If This Isn’t Love.” The show originally opened at the 46th Street Theatre on January 10, 1949, and played a total of 725 performances.
Jackson starred in the Encores! 2008 summer production of Damn Yankees and headlined last season’s Broadway production of Xanadu. Other New York theater credits include All Shook Up, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Altar Boyz and Aida. On film, he appeared in United 93.
Norton won the Tony Award for his featured role in Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer and appeared on Broadway in McPherson’s The Weir. His most recent film credit is The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
Baldwin’s Broadway credits include Wonderful Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Full Monty.
No casting has been announced yet for the show’s supporting roles, including Og the leprechaun, which earned David Wayne a 1948 Tony Award.