Best Production of a Musical Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2000 - Finian's Rainbow
Last fall, the average playgoer had to wonder, Did we really need a revival of Finian's Rainbow? Despite a glut of Broadway revivals in New York, the Coconut Grove Playhouse certainly made a good case for the 1947 Fred Saidy-E.Y. Harburg classic, the familiar songs of which -- "How Are Things in Glocca Morra" and "Old Devil Moon" -- are just two good reasons to revisit this story of a man, a woman, a leprechaun, and a battle against racism. Starring Austin Pendleton, the great Brian Murray, and a ferociously talented chorus and featuring a book updated by Peter Stone, the Grove's Rainbow rose over one of the most exquisite examples of stage design you'd ever want to see. (Kudos to Loren Sherman's rainbow of pastel bed sheets, Phil Monat's effervescent lighting, and Marguerite Derricks' choreography.) It also served to remind us that there's always a place for an old-fashioned musical with a great score and a timeless antibigotry statement. Things are great in Glocca Morra, indeed.