Another Sunday in January and sadly, the curtain falls on another Broadway show. It's time to say goodbye to the musical revival of Finian's Rainbow, which closes today after 92 performances at the St. James Theatre.
I really thought this one might have a chance.
I had qualms going in about the silliness of the plot - but I ended up being charmed. And it got generally good reviews - in The New York Times, Charles Isherwood called the production "joyous."
True, there were no "stars" to draw the tourists and it's not a classic with the name recognition of say, West Side Story.
But Finian's Rainbow seemed to do the right things to build an audience, including having a very active Twitter and Facebook presence. Also, I thought it had the potential to be a good family show - a love story for adults, magic for the kids.
Just shows how much I know! Guess I'd better stay out of Broadway producing.
There were some terrific performances in Finian's Rainbow. I thought Kate Baldwin was lovely as the feisty Irish lass Sharon McLonergan, especially when she sang "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" And Christopher Fitzgerald was a very funny leprechaun. I hope the Tony nominators remember them.
This was a musical that debuted on Broadway in 1947, when its theme of racial harmony was considered daring. Just having black and white dancers on stage together was controversial. Thankfully, times have changed. And I guess the time for Finian's Rainbow has passed.
There simply was not enough of an audience. With 20-20 hindsight, that's pretty easy to see - a somewhat obscure 63-year-old musical with no stars is going to have trouble, no matter how glowing the reviews. There just isn't enough of a built-in fan base. At least there's a cast recording.
Maybe we're moving to an era of limited-run musicals just like we do for plays.