Harlem Repertory Theatre Company

Todays Date: 07/04/22
Last Update: 12/22/13 07:33:19 AM
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Schedule of Upcoming Productions

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Production History

Finian's Rainbow  | Open: 07/20/07 Close: 09/06/07
music by Burton Lane, book by E.Y. Harburg & Fred Saidy, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

The Harlem Repertory Theatre presents the political musical, FINIAN'S RAINBOW, July 20, 21, 26 & 28, August 11, 12, 18, 25 & 26, and September 1 & 6. The incomparable Yip Harburg, who created the dazzling score for the classic MGM film version of THE WIZARD OF OZ, also composed the score for FINIAN'S RAINBOW.

Set against Harburg's gospel, blues and Broadway songs, the plot of FINIAN'S RAINBOW uncompromisingly explores contemporary themes of race and class. The more serious, politically inspired plot devices are juxtaposed against situations that are filled with fantasy and charm that will surely appeal to audiences of all ages. The eclectic cast of characters include: a racist white senator who is turned black so he can experience the pain he has inflicted on others, a mischievous, misguided leprechaun named Og, a woman who speaks through dances, a pair of lovers, Woody and Sharon, and Finian, the hopeless dreamer, who is responsible for setting this fantastical, entertaining and magnificent tale in motion.

Finian's Rainbow & Flahooley  | Open: 12/27/13 Close: 01/12/14
 Book by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy;
 Lyrics by Harburg; Music by Burton Lane
 (Running time 60 minutes)

FINIAN’S RAINBOW shocked audiences when it opened in 1947 with its attacks on racism, class prejudice and injustice. It was the first fully integrated black and white cast performing on stage. The profound political and social economic messages that shocked the country over 60 years ago continue just as relevant today. Although FINIAN’S RAINBOW is certainly a beloved Golden Age American musical icon that is filed with charm and a wonderful score, it remains an important example of political theater that advocates for a utopian world where tolerance and social justice prevail.

 Original Book by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy; Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg;
 Music by Sammy Fain; Adaptation by Art Perlman
 (Running time 55 minutes)
Don't let the silly title mislead you! FLAHOOLEY is a provocative and hard hitting, politically charged musical that attacks capitalism, consumerism and corporate greed. FLAHOOLEY was created by Yip Harburg during the turbulent McCarthy era and raised eyebrows and ire when first produced in 1951. Harburg's response to being blacklisted and shunned by the Hollywood community was to write, direct and produce an allegorical musical that lambasted the witchhunts and injustices that plagued him and many of his colleagues. FLAHOOLEY was ahead of its time and still packs a punch today. HRT’s production is a rare opportunity to experience a revival of this extraordinary musical gem; a progressive and whimsical musical with all you can ask for: wire tapping, labor strike, political intrigue, love, dolls and a magical lamp.


For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf  | Open: 12/28/13 Close: 01/11/14
For Colored Girls...

This remarkable choreopoem by Ntozaka Shange has not been seen at the HRT since 2005. Now is the ideal time to stage a revival of this powerful African American theatrical classic. Seven of the HRT’s finest actresses will bring Shange’s 20 heart-wrenching and soul-affirming poems to the stage in this much anticipated revival.

The production will be staged in an intimate environmental theatre space. This unusual seating arrangement will allow the audience to be close to the action as our brilliant young actresses take them on a passionate journey through Shange’s Tony award winning masterwork!

Tambourines to Glory  | Open: 08/10/07 Close: 10/27/07
The gospel musical, TAMBOURINES TO GLORY, was written by Langston Hughes, the brilliant African American author who was a part of the remarkable Harlem Renaissance.

TAMBOURINES TO GLORY is a spirited, tragic-comedy that follows the lives of Laura Reed and Essie Bell Johnson who decide to start their own gospel church on a street corner in Harlem. Laura dreams of becoming rich and famous while Essie genuinely desires to serve the lord and her community. When the Devil (not a symbol or metaphor, but Beelzebub himself!) enters the picture, the conflict intensifies between the two women, their community and their faith. As these powerful forces collide and the conflict between the characters spiral out of control, Laura and Essie fight to find their way back from the ravages of Hell.

TAMBOURINES TO GLORY is a theatrical experience that will have you laughing, terrified and tearful as you take this entertaining journey from sin to redemption with Laura and Essie.