In a free online Irish Arts Center event tomorrow night, Dr. Mick Moloney will present "Ned Harrigan and the Rise of American Musical Theatre,” the eighth edition of Intercultural Connections. The 1870s in New York saw Edward Harrigan’s meteoric ascent to prominence, alongside his talented cohorts, Tony Hart and David Braham. Born in 1844 on the Lower East Side of the city, this Irish-American was a multi-talented singer, instrumentalist, actor and comedian. Above all, he was a playwright and composer of memorable songs, many of which passed into the oral tradition in America and Ireland. Using a variety of audiovisual illustrations, Moloney traces the remarkable life and career of this now largely forgotten man over the course of three decades, in which he achieves almost impossible fame and renown.
An actor's immigrant tale
“Tumbling Towards Home,” a documentary by Irish director and producer Imelda O’Reilly, is streaming for free through May 14 as part of the Thomas Edison Virtual Film Festival, hosted by the Hoboken Museum. (Go to “Docs Pushing Boundaries” at www.tefilmfest.org, or see it here on Vimeo).
A scene from “Tumbling Towards Home.”
The film follows Irish actor and immigrant Malcolm Adams and his move to New York in 1989 to study acting under Alan Langdon. Featuring home footage, animation, live photos and Adams’s own narration, "Tumbling Towards Home" shares the young actor’s experiences as he decides where to place his hat down and call home: from dealing with grief from the loss of his mother and his friend Philip Seymour Hoffman, with whom he lived in Park Slope in Brooklyn for two years.
O’Reilly is a director whose works span film and theater and explore themes of identity, exile and race. Her films for theatrical exhibition include Eggs and Soldiers (2016) and her feature screenplay “We’re the Kids in America” (2018), about three generations of Irish fathers and sons, was selected as part of the Cannes Film Festival’s L’Atélier. Her film Bricks, Beds and Sheep’s Heads, for which she was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to develop. For about her work in general and “Tumbling Towards Home” in particular go to imeldaoreilly.com.