‘Rainbow’ heads to Broadway

Warren Carlyle will direct, choreograph revival

The Encores! production of “Finian’s Rainbow,” which just finished a well-reviewed run at Gotham’s City Center, is headed for Broadway, opening at the St. James Theater in the fall.

Warren Carlyle (“A Tale of Two Cities”) will reprise his duties as helmer and choreographer on the revival of the 1947 tuner, which has not been seen on Broadway since 1960.

No casting has been confirmed, although producers will try to retain as much of the ensemble as possible from the Encores! production, which starred Jim Norton, Kate Baldwin, Cheyenne Jackson, Philip Bosco and Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

David Richenthal and Jack Viertel, a.d. of the Encores! series, will produce the Rialto incarnation, which they said will be a beefed-up version of the pared-down template presented by Encores! Viertel also is creative director at Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns the St. James.

“Finian’s Rainbow” has music by Burton Lane, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg and book by Harburg and Fred Saidy. Whimsical plot centers on an Irishman (played by Norton in the Encores! staging) and his daughter, who are pursued by a leprechaun in the American South.

Tunes from the show include “Old Devil Moon” and “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?”

“Finian’s Rainbow” ran March 26-29 as the final offering of the 2008-09 season of Encores!, the City Center series that presents semi-staged concert revivals of overlooked musicals. Program has yielded past Broadway alums including “Chicago,” “Wonderful Town” and “The Apple Tree,” as well as last season’s revival of “Gypsy,” which originated as part of the Encores! summer series and went on to play the St. James.

“Finian’s Rainbow” will move to Broadway after Labor Day. No exact dates have been set.

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