Finian’s Rainbow Transfers to Broadway


Finian’s Rainbow, which just ended a critically acclaimed five-performance run at New York City Center’s Encores! series last weekend, will move to Broadway’s St. James Theatre in the fall. Producers David Richenthal and Jack Viertel announced that the show, which hasn’t been seen on Broadway since 1960 (it premiered in 1947), will be adapted from the Encores! concert presentation into a full production. Warren Carlyle will again direct and choreograph, and Rob Berman continues as musical director. “What Encores! gave us was a joyous evening put together in just over a week,” Richenthal said. “We have the ability to fill out that template, keeping the essence of the performance front and center, but giving it a treatment that will be appropriate for Broadway,” Viertel added.

Richenthal said it is their intention to keep together as much of the cast and the creative team from the Encores! production as practicable, but that schedules have not yet been worked out. “The show at City Center wove a spell and played to cheering audiences, and our intention is to hold on to that magic,” Richenthal said. Viertel added, “Broadway seems ready to embrace a show that radiates hope and humor, especially one with as many great songs at Finian’s Rainbow.”

Finian’s Rainbow has music by Burton Lane, book by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg.

Cast, creative and design teams will be announced shortly as well as the dates for the first preview and opening night.

David Richenthal’s previous Broadway productions include, I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright, directed by Moises Kaufman, starring Jefferson Mays; Marc Salem’s Mind Games on Broadway; Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, directed by Robert Falls, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Dennehy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert Sean Leonard; Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, directed by Richard Eyre, starring Liam Neeson and Laura Linney; Arthur Miller’s The Price, directed by James Naughton, starring Harris Yulin and Jeffrey DeMunn; Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, directed by Robert Falls, starring Brian Dennehy; Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, starring Frank Langella; The Young Man From Atlanta by Horton Foote, directed by Robert Falls, starring Rip Torn and Shirley Knight; The Kentucky Cycle, directed by Warner Shook, starring Stacy Keach; Mrs. Klein by Nicholas Wright, starring Uta Hagen; Remembrance, starring Milo O’Shea and Frances Sternhagen; and Conor McPherson’s Dublin Carol by special arrangement with the Atlantic Theater Company. On the West End, The Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith, directed by Roger Michell, starring Eileen Atkins; Death of a Salesman starring Brian Dennehy and Clare Higgins; I Am My Own Wife starring Jefferson Mays; and co-produced the world premiere of David Mamet’s The Cryptogram and Katherine Burger’s Morphic Resonance. Motion pictures include the soon to be released The Other Man, co-written and directed by Richard Eyre, starring Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Antonio Banderas; Tape, directed by Richard Linklater, starring Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard; and Death of a Salesman, starring Brian Dennehy for the Showtime Network.

Jack Viertel has been the Artistic Director of City Center Encores! for the last nine years and Creative Director of Jujamcyn Theaters since 1987. For Encores! he has supervised 27 productions including acclaimed presentations of Follies, Hair, Carnival, Gypsy, and the Encores! revue Stairway to Paradise, which he conceived. Among the stars he has presented at Encores! are Patti Lupone, Donna Murphy, Kristin Chenoweth, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Victoria Clark and Anne Hathaway. For Jujamcyn, he is in charge of creating and identifying new projects for the company’s five Broadway theaters, and has worked on such productions as Patti Lupone’s Gypsy, Angels in America, Jerry Zaks’s acclaimed production of Guys and Dolls, Jelly’s Last Jam, Into the Woods, M. Butterfly, and six of the plays that comprise August Wilson’s ten-play Century Cycle, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson. Viertel conceived and co-produced the long-running musical revue Smokey Joe’s Café, served as dramaturg for Hairspray, and is the co-author of the musical Time and Again. He spent two years as dramaturg of the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and began work in the theater as a critic for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.