Finian’s Rainbow – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1947
An engaging group of sharecroppers are in a fight to preserve their lovely Rainbow Valley in the state of Missitucky against encroachments from the bigoted and mean-spirited Senator Billboard Rawkins. A land auction for non-payment of taxes is about to take place, led by the corrupt Sheriff, and the valley’s inhabitants will lose their homes. Woody Mahoney, the leader of the valley people, is in the big city to seek money to pay the back taxes. Woody’s mute sister, Susan the Silent, and the sharecroppers, anxiously awaiting his return, delay the auction – This Time Of The Year. Finian McLonergan, an elderly Irishman, and his daughter Sharon wander in. He is in hopes that the crock of gold he has stolen from the leprechauns, in addition to granting him three wishes, will multiply in the fertile soil adjacent to Fort Knox (with the government’s reserve as an example). His homesick daughter is more interested in thoughts of their old home – How Are Things In Glocca Morra? Woody arrives, short of the tax money needed. Sharon and Finian lend him the difference, becoming part owners of Rainbow Valley, and foiling the dishonest plan of the Senator. Woody and Sharon are already in love, and Sharon tells Woody about her father’s whimsical philosophy – Look To The Rainbow. Meanwhile, Finian, while looking for a place to bury the crock of gold, encounters Og, the leprechaun from whom he stole it. Og, alarmed because he is turning into a mortal, must succeed in getting it back or be changed forever. Woody and Sharon make love by moonlight – That Old Devil Moon. The next day, Sharon runs into Og, who experiences a funny sensation at the sight of her – Something Sort Of Grandish. By the end of the day, and despite some misunderstandings, Sharon and Woody become engaged – If This Isn’t Love. The sharecroppers are working, and as they work, they all sing about the basic driving force in life – Necessity. Senator Rawkins (determined to get the land because gold has been discovered on it) says he will seize it because of the black sharecroppers living on it. Sharon, part of the crowd, unknowingly stands over the buried pot of gold. Shocked at his bigotry, she wishes Rawkins could experience what it’s like to be black. There is a thunderous boom! and the Senator is transformed and runs away. The discovery of gold on his land has made Finian a desirable customer to the merchants Shears and Robust. Delighted at their offer of a charge account, Finian invites the valley people to share the wealth – That Great Come-And-Get-It Day. Two weeks later, with all sorts of useless goods in evidence, Sharon leads the sharecroppers in praise of their new lifestyle – When The Idle Poor Become The Idle Rich. Meanwhile, Senator Rawkins has been hiding in the mountains since Sharon’s wish turned him black. Og finds him, and says the Senator needs to be black on the inside as well as the outside. He performs some magic, and soon a trio of black gospel singers come by. The Senator, who is now happy to be black, joins them and they sing – The Begat. In Rainbow Valley, the Sheriff threatens to arrest Sharon and Woody for “demoting” the Senator by making him black, and refuses to listen when the Senator insists he’s now happy about the transformation. Sharon has until dawn to change the Senator back or everyone will be arrested and the land confiscated. The next morning, Og has a “funny feeling” again. He thinks he’s been talking to Sharon, but discovers it’s really Susan the Silent. It doesn’t seem to matter – When I’m Not Near The Girl I Love. Finian begs Og to change the Senator back, but Og can’t do it without the crock of gold – unknowingly, he’s standing over it. He wishes Susan the Silent, who knows where the gold is, could speak and she does! Realizing that two of the crock’s three wishes have now been used, Og uses the last one to make the Senator white again. He’s learned that being kissed by Susan is something he likes better than being a leprechaun. With Rainbow Valley’s problems resolved, Finian sets off to continue his wanderings. Everyone sings joyfully – That Great Come-And-Get-It Day (Reprise).
Sharon McLonergan: Ella Logan Og (a leprechaun): David Wayne Finian McLonergan: Albert Sharpe Woody Mahoney: Donald Richards Susan Mahoney: Anita Alvarez Sheriff: Tom McElhany Senator Billboard Rawkins: Robert Pitkin Sunny (harmonica player): Sonny Terry Buzz Collins: Eddie Bruce Henry: Augustus Smith Jr. Honey Lou: Elayne Richards Howard: William Greaves Singer: Dolores Martin Diane: Diane Woods Jane: Jane Earle John (the Preacher): Roland Skinner Mr. Robust: Arthur Tell Mr. Shears: Royal Dano Sharecroppers: Alan Gilbert, Robert Eric Carlson, Ralph Waldo Cummin, Maude Simmons Geologists: Lucas Aco, Nathaniel Dickerson Passion Pilgrim Gospelers: Jerry Laws, Lorenzo Fuller, Louis Sharp Deputies: Michael Ellis, Robert Eric Carlson, Harry Day Children: Norma Jane Marlowe, Elayne Richards