Photo: Joan Marcus
The best Encores! production of the past few years, Finian's Rainbow was two and a half hours of pure delight. Virtually the whole cast shone, and oh! the voices! and oh! the dancing! The show is a well-meaning hodgepodge with some pointed--and funny--things to say about racism and about money, but it is Burton Lane's music and E.Y. Harburg's lyrics that soar. For me, the discovery of the evening was the fabulous Kate Baldwin. Her "How Are Things In Glocca Morra" was clear and sweet and lovely and yearning and beautiful. Beside having that stunning voice, Baldwin can do comedy, drama, and romance and is quite pretty. Speaking of pretty, Cheyenne Jackson was a total charmer, as usual. Their "Old Devil Moon" was a sexy treat. To name a few other standout performances, Terri White did a kickass "Necessity," and Ruben Santiago-Hudson was quite effective as a white racist turned black. It was also a treat to see Encores! regular J.D. Webster play two small but fun parts; I first noticed him as a dancer years ago, and it's nice to see him get speaking roles as well.