Longacre Theatre, (1/31/1985 - 2/03/1985)

First Preview: Jan 10, 1985
Opening Date: Jan 31, 1985
Closing Date: Feb 03, 1985
Total Previews: 25
Total Performances: 4

Category: Musical, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Bernard B. Jacobs: President)

Produced by Elliot Martin, Arnold Bernhard and The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Bernard B. Jacobs: President)

Originally produced by The Goodspeed Opera House (Michael P. Price, Executive Producer)

Book by Michael Stewart; Music by Max Showalter; Lyrics by Peter Walker; Featuring songs of the period by Edward Harrigan and David Braham; Musical Director: Peter Howard; Based on material compiled by Nedda Harrigan Logan; Based on "The Merry Partners" by E. J. Kahn, Jr.; Music orchestrated by John McKinney; Music arranged by John McKinney; Dance arrangements by John McKinney; Vocal arrangements by John McKinney

Directed by Joe Layton; Choreographed by D. J. Giagni

Scenic Design by David Mitchell; Costume Design by Ann Hould-Ward; Lighting Design by Richard Nelson; Sound Design by Otts Munderloh; Hair Design by Masarone; Mr. Hamill's hair designed by Patrik D. Moreton; Make-Up Design by Michelle Bruno

General Manager: Joseph Harris Associates, Inc.; Company Manager: Mitzi Harder

Production Stage Manager: Mary Porter Hall; Stage Manager: Marc Schlackman; Assistant Stage Mgr: Rita Calabro; Technical Supervisor: Jeremiah J. Harris Associates

Musical Supervisor: John McKinney; Music Contractor: Peter Howard; Conductor, Piano: Peter Howard; Piano, Assistant Conductor: Michael Skloff; Trumpet: Irving Berger; Percussion: Bruce Doctor; Double Bass: Bill Ellison; Trombone: Jack Gale; Banjo, Mandolin: Scott Kuney; Violin: Robert Lawrence and Michael Skloff; Oboe, Flute, Clarinet: Robert Steen; Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax: David Weiss

Casting: Warren Pincus and Marjorie Martin; Dance Captain: Michael Gorman; General Press Representative: Fred Nathan & Associates; Advertising: Serino, Coyne & Nappi; Photographer: Martha Swope and Associates

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Opening Night Cast

Christine EbersoleGerta Granville
Harry GroenerEdward Harrigan
Mark HamillTony Hart
Armelia McQueenMrs. Annie Yeamons
Tudi RocheAnnie Braham Harrigan
Kenston AmesChester Fox
Cleve AsburyOld Colonel
Billy Gross
Nat Goodwin
Clent BowersArchie White
Sam Nichols
Felix Barker
Uncle Albert
Mark FotopoulosStetson
Andrew LeCouvrier
Johnny Wild
William Gill
Roxie LucasEleanor
Ada Lewis
Merilee MagnusonLily Fay
Adelaide Harrigan
Amelia MarshallJennie Yeamons
Barbara MorozThe Colonel's Wife
Elsie Fay
Christopher WellsAlfred J. Dugan
Harry Mack
Judge Hilton
Oliver WoodallMartin Hanley

Swings: Michael Gorman and Alison Mann

Understudies: Michael Gorman (Archie White, Felix Barker, Martin Hanley, Sam Nichols, Uncle Albert), Roxie Lucas (Mrs. Annie Yeamons), Merilee Magnuson (Gerta Granville), Barbara Moroz (Annie Braham Harrigan) and Christopher Wells (Edward Harrigan, Tony Hart)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 1985 Best Book of a Musical [nominee] 

Book by Michael Stewart

Drama Desk Award

 1985 Outstanding Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Mark Hamill

 1985 Outstanding Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Harry Groener


music by Max Showalter; lyrics by Peter Walker

ACT 1 Sung By
Put Me in My Little BedTony Hart
Wonderful MeEdward Harrigan and Tony Hart
Mulligan GuardEdward Harrigan and Tony Hart
Put Me in My Little Bed (Reprise) Tony Hart
I Love to Follow a BandEdward Harrigan and Company
Such an Education Has My Mary AnnEdward Harrigan, Tony Hart and Company
Maggie Murphy's HomeAnnie Braham Harrigan, Edward Harrigan, Sam Nichols and Company
McNally's Row of FlatsMrs. Annie Yeamons and Company
Something New, Something DifferentEdward Harrigan, Tony Hart and Company
That's My PartnerEdward Harrigan and Tony Hart
She's Our GretelEdward Harrigan, Tony Hart, Mrs. Annie Yeamons and Company
What You Need Is a WomanGerta Granville
Knights of the Mystic StarMrs. Annie Yeamons and Company
Girl of the Mystic StarGerta Granville and Men
Mulligan Guard (Reprise) Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart
ACT 2 Sung By
Skidmore Fancy BallSam Nichols, Harry Mack, Johnny Wild and Billy Gross
Sweetest LoveAda Lewis and Elsie Fay
The Old Barn FloorJohnny Wild, Jennie Yeamons, Chester Fox and Lily Fay
Silly BoyGerta Granville, Billy Gross and Harry Mack
Mulligan Guard (Reprise) Edward Harrigan, Tony Hart and Company
We'll Be ThereEdward Harrigan, Tony Hart and Company
Ada With the Golden HairAnnie Braham Harrigan, Johnny Wild and Billy Gross
That Old FeatherbedHarry Mack and Fay Sisters
Sam Johnson's Colored CakewalkSam Nichols and Jennie Yeamons
Dip Me in the Golden SeaEdward Harrigan, Mrs. Annie Yeamons and Company
That's My Partner (Reprise) Edward Harrigan
I've Come Home to StayTony Hart
If I Could Trust MeTony Hart
Maggie Murphy's Home (Reprise) Martin Hanley, Lily Fay, Mrs. Annie Yeamons and Ada Lewis
I've Come Home to Stay (Reprise) Tony Hart and Girls
I Need This One ChanceGerta Granville
I Love to Follow a Band (Reprise) Annie Braham Harrigan and Company
Mulligan Guard (Reprise) Edward Harrigan, Tony Hart and Mrs. Annie Yeamons
Something New, Something Different (Reprise) Edward Harrigan, Tony Hart and Company


New York Daily News: "Now we know why vaudeville is dead"

If you really want to know what killed vaudeville, see "Harrigan 'n Hart." On the evidence presented by last night's musical at the Longacre, it wasn't the movies or radio, but the dizzying succession of mindless routines that, this show would have it, were part and parcel of the partners' act.

Harrigan - as actor, manager, dramatist, theater owner and songwriter - was supposedly responsible for the evolution of "variety," a term that gave way to "vaudeville," into full-blown musicals that led the way to musical comedy. Actually, though, considering their musical worth, they led no further than Harrigan's protege, George M. Cohan, whose own simple songs pointed nowhere beyond him, and one of which, "Harrigan," was a tribute to his idol.

Though Michael Stewart's book does try to indicate Harrigan's originality in depicting New York City's lower classes, the Irish and Dutch immigrants and orphan youths, in his musical plays, the evening depends so heavily on its fast-stepping musical numbers that the show-stopper is, of all things, a lengthy clog dance by the foot-slapping ensemble. There are two dozen songs in all, the majority of them foursquare creations by lyricist Harrigan and his composing father-in-law, David Braham. Though the several interpolated new songs by Max Showalter (music) and Peter Walker (lyrics) aren't exactly knockouts, they do offer some genuine relief and, in a couple of instances, help point up the story Stewart has to tell.

This story is an uneasy account of the relationship between Harrigan and his young discovery, of the brash Hart's marriage to a domineering actress who broke up the team to further her husband's career as an actor, and of their almost ghostly reunion as Hart, a failure on his own and a syphilitic who died of paresis at 36, leaves his deathbed to join Harrigan in one of their most celebrated routines, "Mulligan Guard." That's next-to-closing, for this Mulligan stew of a show actually ends with "Something New, Something Different," a Showalter-Walker paean to Harrigan's advanced theatrical ideas.

While the cast is reasonably large, there are only three principals, and Mark Hamill, as the irrepressible Hart, is by far the most interesting - in part, because Hart, whose attachment to Harrigan is glancingly intimated as being perhaps unnatural (I don't believe there's any real evidence of this), is the more interesting character, but also because Hamill is a deft and engaging performer. Harry Groener, as Harrigan, proves once again that he is a nimble hoofer but brings little personality to the role. Christine Ebersole, as Hart's termagent wife, Gerta, sings beautifully and earns hisses for her villainous behavior, applause when Hart knocks her for a loop, and more applause when she redeems herself by bringing the two men together again.

Despite all the forced gaety on stage, it's a rather grim and unedifying story, reflected by the shabby-looking back wall and backcloth paintings of the old city's dingier aspects. In this respect, David Mitchell's scenic designs carry out the general idea faithfully, lightened by the vivid look, enhanced by Ann Hould-Ward's costumes, of some of the production numbers. Richard Nelson has lighted the entire show expertly, right down to the 1884 fire which, in Stewart's book, resulted from a careless stagehand's departure from a blaze which was to engulf the partner's Theatre Comique.

Joe Layton has directed the book in a workmanlike fashion, trying to keep it fluid as possible when D.J. Giagni's dance numbers aren't flinging themselves at you relentlessly. A small but effective pit band is presided over by Peter Howard.

I'm sure Harrigan 'n Hart were vastly more entertaining than this lame musical about their careers. Even so, I trust I never have to hear one of their songs again, not even their "Maggie Murphy's Home" or "Mulligan Guard" smasheroos.

New York Daily News

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