Finian’s Rainbow

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screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-11-22-32-amGood advice from the medical and the musical theater worlds:

Hippocrates: Do no harm

Finian’s Rainbow: Ignore the book

Originally opening on Broadway in 1947, the Burton Lane/E.Y. Harburg musical “Finian’s Rainbow” ran for two years despite a famously weak book. Seven decades later, the book is even creakier. But no matter. Its score is more than enough to justify its existence

The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 W. 22nd St.) has mounted a wonderful production that is headlined by Melissa Errico (six Broadway musicals), Ryan Silverman and 11 other first-rate cast members (that includes one leprechaun). Mercifully, the book has been minimized, leaving mostly a cornucopia of show tunes excitingly performed — “Old Devil Moon,” “How are Things in Glocca Morra?” “Necessity,” “If This Isn’t Love,” “On That Great Come-and-Get-It Day” and a dozen more.

The production has received glowing reviews from Ben Brantley in the Times (“The score, by Burton Lane and E. Y. Harburg, is one of the most enduringly delicious ever concocted for an American musical”) and Terry Teachout in the Journal (“You won’t hear better singing—or better songs—on any New York stage”).

Go. Enjoy. Runs through Dec. 31.

Ben Rosen

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