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A middle school play with a message

Students say they like Finian’s Rainbow for its message, it’s songs and the opportunity it provides to try new things, like talking with a southern accent.1 / 2
Rosemount Middle School will present Finian’s Rainbow Jr. April 10 and 11 in the school’s multi-purpose room.2 / 2

Here’s a quick list of what you can expect to see on stage if you attend Rosemount Middle School’s production of Finian’s Rainbow Jr. this Thursday or Friday:

• Racism

• Corruption

• Leprechauns

Which is to say, the play manages to take on some serious issues without necessarily being serious all of the time.

The story, which started as a book, was first performed on Broadway in 1947 and was made into a movie in 1968, is set in the fictional state of Missitucky. Irish immigrant Finian McLonergan comes to town with his daughter, Sharon, to bury a pot of gold because he believes it will grow. He’s pursued by a leprechaun named Og who has to recover the gold or he will be made permanently human.

Meanwhile, a corrupt and bigoted senator complicates matters as he tries to bully his way into acquiring the land on which the gold is buried. Wishes are made, lessons are learned and everybody comes out better for the experience.

The show comes complete with Broadway-quality songs and dance numbers.

Students said they liked the fact that the show has a serious message.

“It gives a lot more meaning to a middle school show if it has a message behind it,” said Gavin Wier, who plays the leprechaun.

Nick Tentis, who plays the corrupt senator, said he wants people to take the show seriously.

“You want people to call it great, not cute,” he said. “You want it to be good, not just, like, ‘Aww, it’s a bunch of middle schoolers up on a stage.’”

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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