With its unique combination of romance, magic and political satire, Finian’s Rainbow tells the story of Irishman Finian McLonergan and his daughter Sharon. Finian sets out for the small town of Rainbow Valley in the mythical state of Missitucky with the hope that he will grow a fortune if he buries a stolen pot of gold near Fort Knox. The true owner of the pot of gold is Og, a leprechaun in hot pursuit of Finian. Og must recovering his fortune before the loss of it turns him permanently human. Meanwhile, a crooked and bigoted senator gets the surprise of his life when Sharon accidentally turns him black by making a wish near the magic crock of gold. Add a delicious love story between Sharon and local hunk Woody Mahoney as well as another love story between Woody's mute sister Susan the Silent and the comical Og, and you have a rainbow of happy endings for the lovable characters in this charming show.
"Infectious song and exuberant dancing are on abundant display in this thoroughly winning, joyous production."Review by Charles Isherwood from The New York Times
"Finian's Rainbow overflows with songs that are pure heaven, propelled by Yip Harburg'swit and Burton Lane's timeless sense of melody. Scrumptious!"Review by Elisabeth Vincentelli from The New York Post
What is Finian’s Rainbow Like?
Finian’s Rainbow is an old-fashioned musical with a lot of heart, but it’s message of tolerance is as contemporary as today’s newspaper. With themes such as racial harmony, justice, social equality and living beyond one’s means (there’s a credit crisis in the show), the musical tackles big ideas in an easy-to-digest, whimsical manner. The convoluted plot moves swiftly, carried by a glorious score that runs the gamut from love ballads to jazz.
Is Finian’s Rainbow Good for Kids?
Youngsters over 10 or so will find a lot to love in Finian’s Rainbow. The colorful ideas are almost presented as a fairy-tale—with plenty of magic to go along with its topical issues. The big themes of the show (as outlined above) also provide an opportunity to discuss social awareness and tolerance with children. One caveat: the romance might not prove as scintillating for younger kids as it does for adults. There’s also a scene in which Finian stumbles along in a drunken stupor, but it’s minor and should not distract from the fine offerings of this show.