Ruth Leon recommends… Look to the Rainbow – Finian’s Rainbow – SlippediscSlippedisc

norman lebrecht

October 29, 2022

Look to the Rainbow – Finian’s Rainbow

Here’s a clip from the 1968 movie version of E.W. (Yip) Harburg’s much better 1947 stage musical. It’s worth another look because it was Fred Astaire’s last movie musical and we get to hear him sing and see him dance with Petula Clark. He was 69 when Finian’s Rainbow was filmed and this was the last time he danced and sang on camera. Elsewhere in the movie was Tommy Steele as a very unlikely leprechaun.

My flimsy excuse for choosing to showcase this otherwise dreadful Hollywood version of rural Ireland is that Look to the Rainbow is the title of one of the shows in this year’s Cabaret Convention which starts at Lincoln Center in New York this week. A plethora of wonderful cabaret singers will be performing this and other songs from the catalogue of Yip Harburg under that collective title.

I’m on my way to New York to enjoy all three nights of the Cabaret Convention, staged by the Mabel Mercer Foundation and I can’t wait.

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