Musical revue in Hancock to celebrate American values
HANCOCK — “Over there! Over there! Send the word, send the word over there!”
These are the lyrics to one of the timeless songs performed in “Hancock Takes A Look At Over There” a musical revue on the american experience in The Great War ‘The War To End All Wars.’ The event is at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Performing Arts Center at Town Hall in Hancock.
The fourth in a series of events about the history of World War I, “The War To End All Wars,” will showcase the songs that reflected the core of American values during that time.
“This musical is about the American experience,” said Dr. Daniel Murphy, former mayor of Hancock, and chairman of Hancock World War I Centennial Commemoration Commission. “It differs from the other three events we’ve had.”
Hancock’s current mayor, Ralph Salvagno, gave Murphy free rein to create an event that informed the public about the history of World War I.
“Mayor Salvagno gave me the assignment and said ‘whatever you want to do, you do what you want to do,’” Murphy said.
As president of the Hancock Historical Society, Murphy said this is part of a continuing focus on WWI.
“The first presentation was done in April, and we did an overview of the entire war itself. We had weapons and pictures and stuff like that,” he explained. The event on July 2 was an afternoon of World War I poetry readings with the Hancock Art Council. We brought them in along with the historical society. We had six friends from our art council each read two poems. On Sep 23, I was the speaker and spoke on human interest stories and strange facts about the Great War.”
The fourth event, “The War To End All Wars,” will be performed on the centennial of the end of World War I.
“This is our finale,” Murphy said. “When we begin that program, it will be 100 years and five months after the armistice was signed. It was the 11th month, 11th day, 11th hour.”
The songs featured in the musical showcase both the morale of the American people and the terrors of war.
“You have songs about what’s going on at home, some songs that soldiers were singing at camp, and some that were reminders of how horrible war is,” Murphy said. “‘Over There’ will be our theme song, and there’ll be ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band,’ ‘Good Old Summertime,’ and ‘Grand Old Flag.’ I’ll start telling the stories of how these songs were written. There’s a song called ‘Goodbye Broadway, Hello France,’ that’s about our attachment to France. Americans were very fond of the France back then.”
Murphy also runs the musical side of things, directing the band and vocal performers.
“I have a pianist named Jo Anne Michael, and I have Mike Kligerman, he plays guitar and viola,” he said. “He’ll be doing strings with us, and we have another guitar player, Sinclair Hamilton. We all play in a band together. I play bass. These other guys are really talented. I don’t want to give it away, but we have a couple powerful songs at the end.”
Murphy is excited to help put on the show.
“This is the music that helped Americans staying at home and soldiers fighting overseas,” he said.
Top photo: Former Hancock Mayor Dr. Daniel Murphy is leading a musical about the American experience in World War I. (Submitted photo)