Mick Moloney Tribute to Harrigan and Hart at Symphony Space Thursday!

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How It’s New York:  Well, it’s Mick Moloney, who’s really the person to know in New York Irish music.  He teaches at NYU, he’s an NEA Heritage Award winner, he’s the guiding light behind the Masters in Collaboration series at Irish Arts Center, who presenting  this event. Also, it’s at Symphony Space which is one of New York’s best places to see and hear music, poetry, performance of all kinds.  Also, it’s a tribute to early leaders of musical theatre, and what’s more New York than that?  The event is a copro with several New York institutions– others include Glucksman Ireland House NYU, American Irish Historical Society, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, City Lore, Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

How It’s Irish:  Apart from great Irish (and non) musicians participating,  including Green Fields of America with Athena Tergis, Billy McComiskey, Brendan Dolan; Susan McKeown;  Dana Lyn and Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks (you can hear Vince on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which is going deeper into the Irish thing this season, and owns me), of course, Ned Harrigan was Irish-Ameircan

A Tribute to Harrigan & Hart:
The Original Men Who Owned Broadway

Edward “Ned” Harrigan and partner Tony Hart are New York Broadway legends, largely forgotten except for George M. Cohan’s famous song.  Mick told me that members of the Harrigan family who have never meet will be there. These extravaganzas do have a family reunion feel– certainly the case with the tribute to the Famous McNulty family in March!  It’s kind of an off-beat Broadway musical event, that those who don’t follow Irish culture at all will not really find out about…

Mick knows how to do research and how to present it in a lively fashion– that’s where the PhD thing comes in very handy.  So, for example, here’s some of the stuff we will learn about:

 

The Mulligan Guards’ Surprise

“Harrigan & Hart, together with their entire company […] and a host of celebrities, will produce the great hit of the season, the “Mulligan Guard Surprise Party,” with all the fun that that implies.” – Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 21 1880

Cordelia Mulligan has badgered her husband Dan into moving from their old homestead on “Mulligan Alley” to a deluxe apartment in the upper east side. Forced to put on airs by Cordelia and her newly moved in family (!), poor beleaguered Dan is left yearning for the good old days of his old neighborhood. Something has to change – but what will Dan do to find happiness and to restore wedded bliss?

Premiering in 1880, The Mulligan Guards’ Surprise was the fifth in Harrigan’s popular “Mulligan Guard” series. Featuring familiar characters like “Planxty McFudd” and memorable songs such as “Never Take the Horseshoe from the Door,” it delighted audiences both uptown and down during its long run at the Theatre Comique.

PLAYListen to “Never Take the Horseshoe From The Door” from
The Mulligan Guards’ Surprise


It’s also an Irish-jewish collaboration celebration as  David Braham, who collaborated on “The Mulligan Guard” and many others, was Jewish, dating from the days when Tin Pan Alley was famously owned by the Irish and the Jews (hey!  Boardwalk Empire lovers!  did you notice how Kozik changed his name to Doyle?).  He’s in the book Funny, It Doesn’t Sound Jewish, a great book about how Yiddish and Jewish songs affected Tin Pan Alley, jazz, Broadway and the movies, and he was called “The American Offenbach.”

Meet the Original Men Who Owned Broadway:
Edward “Ned” Harrigan & Tony Hart

The Mulligan Guards’ Surprise

“Harrigan & Hart, together with their entire company […] and a host of celebrities, will produce the great hit of the season, the “Mulligan Guard Surprise Party,” with all the fun that that implies.” – Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 21 1880

Cordelia Mulligan has badgered her husband Dan into moving from their old homestead on “Mulligan Alley” to a deluxe apartment in the upper east side. Forced to put on airs by Cordelia and her newly moved in family (!), poor beleaguered Dan is left yearning for the good old days of his old neighborhood. Something has to change – but what will Dan do to find happiness and to restore wedded bliss?

Premiering in 1880, The Mulligan Guards’ Surprise was the fifth in Harrigan’s popular “Mulligan Guard” series. Featuring familiar characters like “Planxty McFudd” and memorable songs such as “Never Take the Horseshoe from the Door,” it delighted audiences both uptown and down during its long run at the Theatre Comique.

PLAYListen to “Never Take the Horseshoe From The Door” from
The Mulligan Guards’ Surprise

Thursday, October 13th at 8pm
at Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street

In the 1870s, decades before George M. Cohan burst onto the Broadway stage, the songs of his hero Edward “Ned” Harrigan, Irish-American tunesmith and playwright, were the toast of New York. Harrigan’s ballads of the working class immigrants – filled with lovable and good humored characters like Dan Mulligan and his wife Cordelia, John McSorley, the owner of McSorley’s Irish Ale House, Tammany Alderman Old Boss Barry, and Mary Ann, the schoolteacher – mirrored his own mercurial life, and provided the foundation for an entirely novel genre of musical comedy on the American stage.

On the hundred year anniversary of the death of the beloved Ned Harrigan, Mick Moloney and friends return to Symphony Space with a night with Harrigan, Hart, and musical collaborator David Braham. The performance captures the excitement and humor of the times and salutes its importance in the formation and growth of American musical and theatrical culture.

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