Brian Tuor to play Harry Harrigan


Brian Tuor of Mabton, playing the role of Harry Harrigan, and a chorus made up of Tom Stegeman of Toppenish, Janet Minton of Prosser, Lydia Rosant of Prosser, Dee Howell of Grandview, Susan Webber of Prosser and Marlaine Mars of Grandview rehearse one of George M. Cohan’s songs.

The cast is set for “All Aboard for Broadway,” and Brian Tuor of Mabton will play the lead male role.

All Aboard is a musical comedy created by George M. Cohan, considered the father of musical comedies.

Cohan was one of the first big name entertainers in this country. He wrote songs that have stood the test of time.

Songs like “Over There,” “Give my regards to Broadway,” “The Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” are songs that are known by every generation and are still sung today.

Cohan was prolific, writing more than 300 songs. He wrote, composed, produced and appeared in more than three dozen Broadway Musicals. Born in 1878, he was still a headline artist in 1940.

All Aboard, which will be staged by Over the Hill Theatricals in September, includes the above-mentioned songs.

It also includes “Harrigan,” a cute sing-along song about the lead character, Harrigan.

The story takes place in 1917 New York. Big-time Broadway producer Florence Zweibach is organizing a show that requires several young women. Mary Conklin is one of those young women.

Played by Debbie Mendoza of Sunnyside, Mary runs into Harry Harrigan, a down-and-out Tin Pan Alley song writer. They fall in love.

The Harry Harrigan character was probably a reflection of Cohan and his experiences when he was starting out.

On the run from loan sharks, Harry enlists in the military and joins the war that’s just broken out in Europe.

Harry leaves with Mary his portfolio of sheet music and the dream of what might have been. Zweibach stars Mary in his patriotic revue and even falls in love with her, much to the chagrin of his fiancee. But the revue is a big flop.

Until Mary pulls out one of Harry’s songs, “You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag.” Things turn around, and Harry returns from the war to discover he’s a celebrated songwriter. He and Mary are blissfully reunited.

If you like American patriotism, this play should be pleasing. “Over there,” “Grand Old Flag” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” have remained in the America consciousness since they were debuted.

Julie Trumble of Prosser directs the musical, assisted by Dee Howe of Grandview. The music director is Mabton’s Kristi Tuor, and the choreographer will be Marlaine Mars of Grandview. Barb Wells and Sheila Hazzard, both from Sunnyside, are the producers.

The play draws on the talents of about 25 actor-singers from all over the Lower Valley. It’s likely you know some of these people. Rehearsals are underway.

By city, the list of Lower Valley performers follows:

Sunnyside — Karen Santos, Mendoza, Sheila Hazzard, Ploy Hazzard, and Joyce Taylor.

Toppenish — Tom Stegeman, JoAnn Taft, Pat Stegeman and Bob Taft.

Mabton — Brian Tuor.

Prosser — Lydia Rosant, Janet Minton, Susan Webber and Kathi Paul.

Grandview — Dee Howe, Marlaine Mars and Betty Minnich.

Zillah — Marc Cummings.

Harrah — Ann Glover.

“All Aboard for Broadway” will play on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30, at 2:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, and 2:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 7, at 2:30 p.m.


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