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By Orla O’Sullivan Musicals can be irritating, their manufactured emotion unbearably phony. Larry Kirwan’s “Hard Times,” however, is not just the best of the genre I’ve seen, but truly affecting. The rest of the audience was also demonstrably moved at one of the extra performances laid on during the show’s largely...

Theatre / By Orla O’Sullivan “Fly Me to the Moon” * Written by Marie Jones * Directed by Marie Jones * Starring Tara Lynne O’Neill and Katie Tumelty * 59E59 Theaters, 553 East 59th St., bet. Park and Madison Avenues, NYC * Tickets: (212) 279-4200 or www.59e59.org * Playing through Sept. 30: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:15 p.m.;...

By Orla O’Sullivan The Wee Craic festival wasn’t short on craic, just a smaller showcase for short films out of Ireland than the main Craic fest, held around St. Patrick’s Day. The last one was held at a real cinema—the Film Forum—whereas last Friday’s screening gathered 50 viewers or more into a downstairs room of the...

Published in the Irish Echo, Sept. 12, 2012. Between the Lines / By Peter McDermott In the 1976 film “All the President’s Men,” the character Deep Throat rails against the media’s “inexactitude” and “shallowness.” The world learned in 2005 that Mark Felt, the FBI’s number 2, was the man who’d spoken with Bob Woodward more...

Published in the Aug. 15-21, 2012, issue of the Irish Echo Between the Lines / By Peter McDermott A Sikh man named Harpreet Singh Toor told me some years ago about an unpleasant encounter he’d had months before in the Wall Street area. He recalled: “This gentleman – and I will still call him a gentleman – had a...

By Peter McDermott Author J.D. Salinger was famously reclusive for most of his adult life. Back in 1940, though, you could easily contact him at his Manhattan home. “He was living with his parents, but the phone was listed in his name,” said Maira Liriano of the New York Public Library, which has put the city’s...

By Peter McDermott In 2004, following an international survey of genealogical research facilities, David Ouimette of the Genealogical Society of Utah / Family History Library, Salt Lake City, reported “the most impressive guidance we saw was provided by the Genealogy Advisory Service at the National Library and the...

By Peter McDermott It was a wet Thursday morning in Dublin in late April. But Lynn Shayler and Jennifer Moran hadn’t come to Ireland for the weather, or for the view of the mountains that a 5th floor office on Bishop Street affords. They hadn’t expected to be sitting reading their great-grandmother’s will either, but...

By Daniel Neely For all the attention given the records of the 78 rpm era, few seem to really notice the number of banjos one hears.  While aficionados may recognize names like Mike Flanagan of the Flanagan Brothers, Neil Nolan of the Dan Sullivan Shamrock Band and perhaps even Michael Gaffney (who recorded with flute...

Published in the May 30, 2012 issue of the Irish Echo By Orla O’Sullivan It was not the ringing of the servant’s bell in Downton Abbey that summoned forth Mr. Bates last week. Still wearing black, but unencumbered by a limp, he climbed onto the stage set up in Mutual Of America’s Manhattan headquarters to honor Origin...