A Tribute to Harrigan & Hart: Irish-American Vaudeville
Through stories and songs, Chris Simmons and Murray Callahan capture the excitement and humor of the 1870’s by saluting Harrigan and Hart through songs and stories based on original characters, drawn almost entirely from contemporary interviews, press accounts and original songs and sketches by Edward Harrigan and David Braham.
In the 1870’s, the songs of Edward Harrigan, tunesmith and playwright, and his partner, Tony Hart, were the hit of New York City. They wrote ballads about Irish-American working class immigrants, building characters that were filled with love, grit, and good humor. Harrigan and Hart were arguably the most popular duo of the late 19th century, and their songs and sketches became the foundation for the musical comedy on the American stage.
Chris Simmons has worked as an actor, musician, writer and singer for over forty years. Chris and company have performed "An Evening at a British Music Hall" for forty years in many places, including Bethlehem, Philadelphia, NYC, and New Jersey. He became interested in the Harrigan and Hart duo in the late 1960s after finding a sheet music copy of Harrigan and Hart’s hit, "The Mulligan Guard." Murray Callahan works as a graphic artist and singer. She has performed with "An Evening at a British Music Hall” for 27 years. Valerie Schoenk, pianist, has accompanied the "Evening at a British Music Hall” orchestra for 10 years. She has also played piano for many local musical productions.