Saturday, January 21, 2017

Review of [title of show]

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The following is based on a previous review of the show.

[title of show], the affable and at times amusing musical now playing at Playhouse-on-Park in West Hartford, gives hope to the multitudes of individuals that dream of creating a show for The Great White Way. Hunter Bell, who wrote the show’s book; and Jeff Bowen, the score; were two out of work actors when the genesis of their quirky, decidedly downtown flavored show, came together. Simply, with three weeks until the submission deadline for the 2004 New York Musical Theater Festival, the two men concocted a musical based on two struggling actors named, surprisingly, Jeff and Hunter, who have only three weeks to write a musical for an upcoming festival. The rest is, as they say, theatrical history:
1.    Their entry was accepted.
2.    After playing their six performances at the New York Musical Theater Festival, an Off-Broadway producer optioned the production for an open run at the Vineyard Theater.
3.    A cast album was recorded and released on Ghostlight Record.
4.    After the Off-Broadway stint, the two collaborators produced a series of Internet videos for YouTube to keep interest in their off-spring alive.
5.    The videos reignited interest from producers.
6.    The newly tweaked [title of show] opened on Broadway.
 
Peej Mele as Hunter, Miles Jacoby as Jeff, Ashley Brooke as Susan, Amanda Forker as Heidi, Austin Cook as Larry.  Photo Credit: Meredith Atkinson
So, what exactly is [title of show]? Well, it is not a large scale musical with a huge cast, lavish sets, over produced production numbers, or a fully stocked pit band. [title of show] consists of four, casually dressed people—Hunter (Peej Mele) and Jeff (Miles Jacoby), and their two female friends—Susan (Ashley Brooke) and Heidi (Amanda Forker)--who work on bringing the musical to life in Hunter’s slightly drab apartment. With only four chairs on stage, along with musical director, Larry (Austin Cook), sitting behind his keyboard—the sole musical accompaniment, [title of show] concentrates on the actor’s angst and insecurities and, finally, their exuberance as they conceive and mold their show.

The 100 minute, intermission-less production, caters to a more knowing theater going crowd. Obscure musical theater and cultural references populate the show.  One of the more creative numbers is the song “Monkeys and Playbills,” which showcases memorable, and not so memorable, Broadway flops within its lyrics.  They include such duds as “Dude,” “Merrily We Roll Along,” “Smile” and many others.  The January 22, 2017 broadcast of my radio program, “On Broadway,” features many of these songs.
 
Miles Jacoby as Jeff, Amanda Forker as Heidi.  Photo Credit: Meredith Atkinson
The four actors are good-natured and bring an impetuous flair to their performances, but they don’t necessarily gel as a group.   Individually, Peej Mele is a tad over-the-top as Hunter.  There could have been less histrionics on his part.  Miles Jacoby, as Jeff, is the ying to his partner’s yang, but more energy on his part would have enlivened the duo’s partnership.  Ashley Brooke, as Susan, is game for the work-in-progress nature of the musical, but could have upped her avidity to the role.  Amanda Forker gives Heidi a knowing and affecting, world-weariness to show biz life.  The actress also has a dynamic singing voice.  Austin Cook, as Larry the musical director, almost steals the show with his deadpan delivery of dialogue snippets and very impressive keyboard prowess.

The score by Jeff Bowen can be witty and knowing, without being overly challenging to the ears.  The direction by David Edwards is breezy and light.  There is a lot of silliness, schtick, and somewhat choreographed routines to keep the four thespians occupied.  The show has a somewhat slapdash quality to it, which stays in line with the nature of the musical’s creation.  The production, though, would have been helped with a greater dollop of energy and fine-tuning of the characterizations.

[title of show], a cheerful and diverting musical that provides proof in the power of positive thinking as well as being a tonic for musical theater aficionados.  Playing through January 29th.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Review of "Dear Evan Hansen"


The show Dear Evan Hansen is an electrifying, captivating new musical with an emotionally powerful and praiseworthy performance by Ben Platt in the lead role.

Evan Hansen is an extremely anxious high school student, on medication and seeing a therapist for his sometimes debilitating condition.  He has no friends and, for all intents and purposes, is invisible to his peers.  He is alone, until a classmate commits suicide. Through an escalating series of lies, fueled by unceasing and insatiable social media networks, his stature and presence begin to change with unanticipated and distressing results.

Ben Platt from "Dear Evan Hansen."

The book by Steven Levenson is an emotional rollercoaster of impassioned scenes and straightforward honesty that connects to today’s teenagers.  The story can sometimes be agonizing to watch as the characters try to negotiate the new landscape that is developing, changing, and spiraling out of control all at once.  But Dear Evan Hansen is not just about angst and crisis.  It also focuses on the a multitude of relationships that are spawned and changed from the events on stage. 
The score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul is heartfelt with penetrating lyrics that explore the inner turmoil Evan is going through as he confronts a new reality.  The songs can be raucous with an in-your-face impact.  They are playful, with a serious undertone.  And there are tender ballads that reach to the depths of the character’s souls as well as reveal the agony individuals feel upon the death of a son.
 
The cast of "Dear Evan Hansen."
The cast, led by Ben Platt, is impressive, imbuing their characters with an intensity and delicacy that can be poignant as well as somber.  Platt is the anchor.  He is almost always on stage and singing the majority of the score.  From his first entrance on stage, with nervous tics and darting eyes, you realize this is a young man that has fully taken his acting prowess to a heightened level.  He is believable and authentic.  The other members of the acting troupe include Laura Dreyfus as the sister of the deceased student, Zoe Murphy, and the one who Evan pines for.  The young actress deftly projects a lost innocence and whirlwind of emotions as she tries to make sense of the sudden change in her family dynamics and personal life.  Rachel Bay Jones, as Evan’s mother Heidi, aptly portrays a mother frustrated and panicked over a son she cannot reach.  Jennifer Laura Thompson is superb as Cynthia Murphy, mother of the departed son.  Her grief and confusion strikes a chord with the audience.  Your body quivers with compassionate understanding as she pleas for any scrap of information about her enigmatic boy.  Michael Park as the father, Larry Murphy, gives a finely etched portrait of a man aloof, at first, over the death of his son, who gradually begins to wrestle with his feelings, as he tries to come to grips with the sudden shake-up in his life.  Mike Faist as Connor Murphy, the high school student who suddenly dies, gives a nicely layered performance in life and death. Will Roland as Evan’s “relationship friend,” Jared Kleinman, provides a good dose of comic relief to off-set the weighty mood of the show.  Kristolyn Lloyd as high school classmate, Alana Beck, gives an understated and compelling performance.  She is not unlike Evan Hansen in her anxiety and timidity.
 
Laura Dreyfus and Ben Platt from "Dear Evan Hansen."
Director Michael Greif, who has sensitively helmed other musicals with dysfunctional characters such as Next to Normal and Grey Gardens, skillfully guides the production from its inauspicious beginnings through to its cathartic ending.  He smartly keeps Ben Platt center stage—aching and trying to find his pathway through the storm he has unleashed--with the other characters swirling around his nexus.  Greif artfully incorporates the social media maelstrom through pulsating, ever-changing screens.  He also intelligently allows the material to unfold naturally without calling undue attention to the series of events that are unfurling onstage.

The creative team of scenic designer David Korins, Projection Designer Peter Nigrini, Lighting Designer Japhy Weideman and Sound Designer Nevin Steinberg show their expertise and presentation skills during scenes where the stage of the Music Box theater is transformed into a hive of activity with screens projecting social media buzz, lights and sound amplifying the dramatic tension. 
 
Ben Platt in "Dear Evan Hansen."
Dear Evan Hansen, a gripping, dazzling new musical that speaks openly and directly to the culture of today.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review of "A Bronx Tale"


The new musical A Bronx Tale has gone through many iterations—one person show, major motion picture and now big, splashy Broadway musical.  The show is based on the recollections of actor Chazz Palminteri during his formative years growing up in a tightly knit Italian neighborhood in the Bronx.  The musical is a traditionally structured production, as opposed to such other new, more innovative works as Dear Evan Hansen and Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812.  Nonetheless, A Bronx Tale is, an entertaining and satisfying piece of musical theater.
 
Bobby Conte Thornton (center) and Nick Cordero (right) and members of the cast from "A Bronx Tale."
The story follows the trajectory of Palminteri from little tyke through his teenage years during the late 1950’s to late 1960’s.  Known as Calogero, his life forever changes when he witnesses a daytime murder by the neighborhood wiseguy, Sonny, but doesn’t rat him out to the police.  To show his gratitude Sonny takes him under his wings, to the displeasure of his mother and, especially, his father who sees the local ruffian as a malignant influence.  However, the boy is transfixed by the hooligan’s lifestyle and respect he receives from people on the street.  As Calogero gets older and becomes more intertwined with the hoodlums the question becomes will the seductiveness these mobsters radiate be too great to resist?  Will he succumb to the appeal of the street or break free to pursue a better, healthier way of life?

As a playwright, Palminteri has crafted a memoir that is funny as well as poignant and introspective.  Having the teenage protagonist consistently step out of character to act as the narrator of the show helps frame the action and provide necessary exposition for the audience.  It’s not just a coming of age story about an impressionable young man and the trials and tribulations he faces growing up in an insulated section of New York City.  It is also a tale of choices and the clash of values and ethics he faces between the hard-working beliefs and ethics of his parents and those of his “adopted” family.
 
Nick Cordero and Hudson Loverro from "A Bronx Tale."
The music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater combine traditionally structured Broadway songs with doo wop numbers reminiscent of the times as well as rhythm and blues tinged vocals.  The score can by brash, high-spirited, and wistful. 

The cast is led by Nick Cordero as the wiseguy Sonny.  He’s charismatic, menacing and no-nonsense.  He gives the character a magnetic allure even though we are chilled by his demeanor and actions.  Bobby Conte Thornton, making his Broadway debut as the teenage Calogero, imbues the wide-eyed youth with internal conflicts and struggling allegiances.  He admirably grows as a character from a naïve, uncorrupted individual to a more mature person questioning his life, choices and direction.  
Hudson Loverro, as the younger Calogero, brings a spunky enthusiasm and professionalisms to his role.  Richard H. Blake, as their father, conveys an earnestness and principled firmness to his character.  Ariana DeBose as the teenage boy’s love interest, Jane, has an engaging presence, an independent-minded persona, and an attitude to take on and overcome all obstacles. 
 
Members of the ensemble from "A Bronx Tale."
Sergio Trujillo’s choreographer can be exuberant, as with the opening number, “Belmont Avenue.”   The production numbers move to the rhythms and sounds of the day.  As with his previous work in Jersey Boys, Memphis, and On Your Feet! they can be sexy, sultry, and full of energy as the dance routines  evolve naturally from the action on stage.

Directors Robert de Niro and Jerry Zaks know their way around the material—de Niro was the director of the acclaimed film version and both helmed the out-of-town tryout in Spring 2016 at New Jersey’s Papermill Playhouse.  They bring a knowing language and histrionics to the characters.  The duo spend the first act slowly developing and massaging the overall arc of the musical with a street smart sensibility. This gives them the opportunity to ramp up the storyline with a rush of material and commotion, culminating in a conclusion that neatly ties up the dramatic machinations of the show. 

A Bronx Tale, a welcoming addition to this season’s line-up of new musicals.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review of "The Band's Visit"


In the sweetly lyrical, captivating new musical, The Band’s Visit, the Egyptian musicians of the Alexandra Ceremonial Police Orchestra invited by the Arabic Cultural Center of one Israeli town end up, through a miscommunication, in the wrong locale in the middle of the Israeli desert.  With no bus service until the following day, the group ends up stranded in the sleepy town with little money and options.  Thus begins the 24-hour odyssey of the Arab entertainers as they become warmly and enchantingly intertwined with the lives of some of the residents. 

The show, based on the 2007 film of the same name, focuses on three ongoing vignettes between some members of the band and the Israeli citizens.  They are poignantly portrayed, sometimes amusingly and at other moments with deep wistfulness.  What comes forth is how much alike people are, no matter what their background and beliefs.

As he has demonstrated throughout his theatrical career, composer David Yazbeck’s score is inventive and full of surprises.  There is no full-throttled production number like “Great Big Stuff” from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels or “Jeanette's Showbiz Number” from The Full Monty or “Tangled” from Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.  The songs form a gratifying whole that come across as more heartfelt and revealing with influences of Arabic and Klezmer music from beginning to end.

The cast is led by Tony Shaloub as Tewfiq who, at first, appears as a gruff, autocratic leader of the police orchestra.   As the play progresses and the actor begin interacting with the residents, especially the beautiful and alluring Dina, he subtly begins to change, becoming more wistful and reminiscent under the desert moon.  While not endowed with the most dynamic vocal chords he, nonetheless, suitably conveys his plaintive yearnings and passionate longings.  Katrina Lenk has a lovely and seductive voice.  She plays the shop owner, Dina, who is a tough, no-nonsense Israeli.  As with Tewiq, she initially comes across as dispassionate and tough.  But as the magic of the day progresses the actress becomes more absorbing and reflective, delivering a nuanced, fuller portrayal of a woman stuck in time with little options open to her.  John Cariani is a little too over-the-top as the husband Itzik, whose man-child antics cause a seemingly irreconcilable riff in his marriage.  Ari’el Stachel comes across, initially, as a lumbering, boorish Casanova as the trumpeter Haled.  Yet, as with the other characters in the play, the actor deftly sidesteps our introductory thoughts and develops into a more ingratiating and charming person. 

Director David Cromer plays up, at first, the drama caused by the sudden confluence of the two disparate groups.  But as the wariness quickly dissipates he brings into focus the relationships that slowly develop among the denizens of the small town and the traveling troubadours.  It’s the stories that draw the audience into the rhythms and flow of the action on stage.  This is an intimate piece of theater and Mr. Cromer, smartly, does not incorporate any unnecessary embellishments.

Scott Pask’s scenic design of an austere, unadorned, rotating structure in the center of the stage reminds us of both the plainness and stark nature of the resident’s lives and that life is a circle that continually revolves.  Sometimes we have the option of getting off, but other times the choice may just be fleeting.

The Band’s Visit, one of the more heartening and enjoyable new musicals this season.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Explaining Asperger’s Through "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

This column was originally posted when the show opened on Broadway.  I am reposting it as the play opens at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT.

In the new Broadway show, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a 15-year-old boy with Asperger’s is thrust into a journey of self-discovery and an examination of relationships with his mother and father, teachers, and others.  Audience members are given a window into the mind of an individual with this Austism Spectrum Disorder, thanks to the brilliance of the creative team and director, Marianne Elliott, and the remarkable performance of Alex Sharp in the lead role.  However, there are traits and actions that Christopher exhibits which are not fully explained in the drama, a hit in London before opening in New York this fall.   Why does someone like Christopher not want to be touched?  What is the significance of his model train-building obsession?  Why does he need to always tell the truth and be so literal?    

The following will provide playgoers background information on general Asperger’s characteristics.  Joining me in writing this column is my wife, Jane Thierfeld Brown, a national authority on students with Aspergers, who has co-authored three books on the subject and presents on the topic at colleges and universities across the country.  Our goal is to help enrich the theatrical experience of those attending a performance of this dazzling production by exploring some of the behaviors in the show at a more rudimentary level.

Cannot Lie  - Christopher informs people that he cannot lie. Many people with Asperger’s are literal and concrete in their thinking so lying does not make sense to them.  Lying, many times, takes premeditation, manipulation and forethought, something that is incongruous to individuals with Asperger’s.  Therefore, the character of Christopher needs to always tell the truth.  

Being Touched – In the show, Christopher does not like physical contact.  This is very common for individuals with Asperger’s.   Unwarranted or unexpected touching can be overstimulating for many persons on the spectrum. Often people’s senses are highly acute, much more so then their neurotypical counterparts. This can make individuals  with Asperger’s predisposed to becoming overly stimulated by lights, sounds, smells and touch.  For some people with Asperger’s being touched can produce unintentional violent behavior, which may lead to unnecessary restraint and further anguish by the person with Asperger’s.  In The Curious Incident of the Dog Christpher’s mother and father are the only ones able to touch and communicate with the boy by raising an upright hand, fingers apart.  The teenager can reciprocate the movement, by touching their outstretched hands for just a few seconds.  This ritual has a secondary effect of calming him down when agitated. 

Being Literal – Individuals with Asperger’s can be very literal in how they see the world and in their responses.  For example, in the show Christopher is told to be quiet.  His simple response is how long he needs to be silent?  He doesn’t understand this is just a figure of speech and, therefore, doe not know how long he actually cannot speak.  This can we be wearing on other teenagers and adults that do not realize this need.  Individuals like Christopher also do not comprehend the nuances of idioms or sarcasm, a fact which confounds his parents several times during the show.  

Trains – According to the website of the National Austism Society of the United Kingdom (http://www.autism.org.uk/), an obsession with trains can help individuals with Asperger’s “manage [their] anxiety and [give them] some measure of control over a confusing and chaotic world.”  Many people with Asperger’s are drawn to trains for two reasons.  First, is the preciseness of train schedules, which fits into their need for structure, order, and predictability.  Second, is the orderliness that train track patterns form.  In the show, Christopher spends most of the production laying out tracks in a certain pattern, which can be seen as one of his coping mechanisms.  In real life, a teenager like Christopher would always construct the train tracks in the identical arrangement, rarely varying its sequencing and organization.   A possible third reason is the television show, Thomas the Tank Engine.  The high interest in trains and the easily understood facial expressions of the trains draw many individuals with Asperger’s to this character/show.

The Grid – What makes the scenic design for the show so effective and meaningful is its basic floor-to-floor, wall-to-wall black grid system.  It synthesizes all the needs of Christopher—structure, order, control, predictability and preciseness into the basic math construct of graph paper.  The Grid is a conduit for showing the teenager’s traits, behaviors and defined movements.  Simple in concept, The Grid echo’s Christopher’s need for order and his way of perceiving the world. 

In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time we are introduced to a teenage boy with Asperger’s.  During the production audience members are given a glimpse into Christopher’s world.  It can be confusing and unsettling for him as well as for people on his periphery.  Hopefully, the explanations presented above will make the theater-going experience more enlightening and further enhance the virtuosity of the production.  The information should also help us better understand individuals with Asperger’s we interact with in society.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Review of "In Transit"


For people that appreciate a cappella music for their stylized vocal arrangements and exquisite sounds then the new Broadway musical, In Transit, will be an entertaining treat. 

The show, with book, music, and lyrics by Kristen Anderson Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth, follows the lives of five individuals as they wrestle with personal crises, cope with unfulfilling relationships, and maneuver through the sometimes unforgiving city of New York and its transit system.  The plot of the musical uncovers no new emotional territory and retreads familiar themes, but the strength of the production is the vocal gymnastics, not the dramatic machinations. 


The score is comprised of songs that are tuneful and catchy, that bop and rock to the beat box backing of the talented Chesney Snow.  The focus is on the crisp, unadulterated singing performed by the actors and actresses.  The voices are beautifully blended and artistically arranged and orchestrated with tight harmonies and a sweetly satisfying balance.  Kudos for the a cappella arrangements by Deke Sharon and musical supervision by Rick Hip-Flores.  They deserve high praise for the wall of sound they have created for the acting troupe. 

The cast doesn’t have to stretch their acting muscles but, nevertheless, deliver sound performances that keep the audience modestly intrigued between songs.  Chesney Snow, one of the two rotating beat boxers in the production, is a proficient and masterly artist.  He handles many roles—accompanist (remember there are no instruments in the musical), narrator, and a somewhat linkage with the central stories. Justin Guarini as Trent and Arbender Robinson as Steven are agreeable performers portraying a gay couple trying to navigate their avowed relationship.  Erin Mackey as Ali is equally agreeable as a jilted lover.  James Snyder as the frazzled, career challenged, Nate and Margo Seibert as the struggling and driven actress, Jane have more developed characters then the other actors.  Their performances draw us in to their plights and make us want to cheer for them.


In her dual role as Director/Choreographer Kathleen Marshall gives the production a consistent flow and dynamism.  The actors playfully mimic the feel of a New York subway car, with all the bumps and tussles associated with a ride.  The musical is at its best when the entire ensemble is on stage.  It gives an opportunity for Ms. Marshall to up the energy as the theater pulsates with vibrancy, a reminder of the flurry of activity during the evening rush hour. 

The creative team, led by set designer Donyale Werle, Lighting Designer Donald Holder, Sound Designer Ken Travis, and Projection Designer Caite Hevner has meshed their talents to fashion a creditable subway station albeit with a number of added bells and whistles we wouldn’t normally see below ground.  A moveable strip down the center of the flooring gives movement to a static stage as an imaginary subway line arrives and departs on an infrequent timetable.


In Transit, an enjoyable and appealing musical not just for a cappella aficiandos.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Review of "Finian's Rainbow"


For musical theater enthusiasts there is no better way to spend a cold, frigid New York afternoon or evening then at the splendid, feisty revival of Finian’s Rainbow at the Irish Repertory Theater.  There is much to enjoy about this scaled down version of the classic show.  First, and foremost, is the talented cast led by Melissa Errico and Ryan Silverman.  They are wonderful performers with beautiful voices and a chemistry that is real and tender.  Second, is the theater.  It is a marvelous performance space that allows the audience to develop a special and close relationship with the actors and actresses on stage.  Lastly, is the timeless score by Burton Lane and E.Y. Harburg.  What other show has such remarkable, lyrical songs in one production?  They include "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?," "If This Isn't Love," "Necessity," and one of my all-time favorites, “Old Devil Moon.”  

For those not familiar with the 1947 musical, the plot centers on Finian (Ken Jennings) and his daughter Sharon (Melissa Errico), who have arrived from Ireland to settle in the south’s Rainbow Valley to make a new life for themselves.  Finian has brought with him a swiped pot of gold in the belief that if he buries it the land will become exceptionally fertile.  But Og (Mark Evans), a leprechaun has followed them to these shores to recover the stolen goods before he loses his otherworldly powers and turns human.

Melissa Errico and Ryan Silverman in "Finian's Rainbow."

Soon after father and daughter arrive they are quickly accepted by the towns folk, especially Woody (Ryan Silverman), who has a hankering for the young lass and they quickly become a couple.  At the same time Og develops a warm spot for Woody’s mute sister Susan (Lyrica Woodruff).  But trouble is brewing as the area’s bigoted Senator Rawkins (Dewey Caddell) has set his sights on underhandedly snatching the town’s fertile hillsides.  Yet, through some inadvertent magic the politician’s plans are thwarted.  The land is saved, marriages abound, and a happy ending resounds from the rafters.

The book by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy, while whimsical, romantic, and carefree on the surface, stealthily addresses such meaningful issues as race relations, consumerism, and immigration policies.  Both authors were known for injecting a sophisticated wit and social commentary into their work.  Even though the show is over 70 years old the topics and subject matter, sadly, still resonate loudly in today’s political climate.
 
Mark Evans and Melissa Errico in "Finian's Rainbow."
Burton Lane and E.Y. Harburg have written a rousing score with beautiful ballads, joyous and celebratory numbers, and comedic gems.  But, as with the book of the musical, a number of the songs also have finely honed appraisals and pointed observations.

The set design by James Morgan is fanciful, somewhat flippant and full of imagery with, for example, musical notes painted on the walls of the small stage.   

Everyone in the cast is of the highest caliber.  The notables include Ken Jennings, mischievous and impish as Finian. Melissa Errico, broad smiling and shimmering voice, has an innocent charm and independent streak, which makes her portrayal so winning.  Ryan Silverman is charismatic and self-assured as Ms. Errico’s love interest.  He exudes a down home appeal and gallantry, as well as a roguish lure.  Mark Evans, tall, lanky, with a beguiling grin, provides a comedic spark throughout the production.  Lyrica Woodruff, graceful and elegant, beautifully conveys her thoughts and emotions through her artistically executed dance steps.
 
Members of the ensemble of "Finian's Rainbow."
Director Charlotte Moore skillfully does more with less by utilizing her small band of performers to give the production a full-bodied look.  The action on stage, when the whole cast is present, is bustling with energy and liveliness.   The flow of the movement comes across as natural without any fussiness or showiness.  She also demonstrates a lighter touch with the intimate and comedic moments as with the “Old Devil Moon” and “Something Sort of Grandish” numbers, respectively.

Finian’s Rainbow, a handsome, tuneful revival at the Irish Repertory Theater through January 29th.