The Tony Award nominee best known for his puckish film performances in the many "Andy Hardy" movies and such pictures as "Babes in Arms" and "Babes on Broadway" will perform Let's Put on a Show!, about his life in showbiz, at the Irish Repertory Theatre Aug. 10-Sept. 12.
His wife, singer Jan Rooney, co-stars in the entertainment, which includes songs and stories about M-G-M, Judy Garland, his sundry ex-wives and more. Film clips are to be part of the experience, which was previously seen June 9- 12 at the Cinegrill in Los Angeles.
At 83, Rooney is an 80-year veteran of show business, having started as a child performer. He was Tony-nommed for Best Actor in a Musical in 1980 for his shticky turn in the vaudeville-burlesque revue, Sugar Babies, which was a smash on Broadway and on tour. In the early 1990s he was a replacement actor in Broadway's The Will Rogers Follies, playing Clem, the father of humorist Will Rogers.
His many film credits — for a time he was the No. 1 box-office star in the nation — include "Boys Town," "Strike Up the Band," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1935), "Girl Crazy," "Captains Courageous," "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," "Pete's Dragon" and many more.
Sam Kriger is musical director for Let's Put On a Show! It's presented by Irish Rep and Densmore Productions. According to the announcement, "Mickey regales with tales of studios, movies, and, of course, the women in his life. He offers tributes to Ava Gardner, Judy Garland and culminates with his wife of over 25 years, Jan Rooney. The show includes original music by Mickey, interspersed with standards from the films of M-G-M. Jan, a singer of great range, performs a wide range of styles from 'Smile' to a smashing tribute to Patsy Cline. Together they perform some classic duets such as 'Let's Call the Whole Thing Off' and 'Our Love is Here To Stay' and 'It Had To Be You.'"
Ticket prices are $60 and $65. Performances play Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Wednesday at 2 PM and Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM.
The Irish Repertory Theatre was founded in 1988 by Ciaran O'Reilly and Charlotte Moore. Over the past 16 years, The Irish Rep has celebrated the works of classic and contemporary Irish dramatists including O'Casey, Shaw, Synge, Wilde, Dion Boucicault, Brendan Behan, Dylan Thomas, Samuel Beckett, Hugh Leonard, Frank McCourt, Tom Murphy, Brian Friel, Peter Sheridan, Patricia Burke Brogan, Pat McCabe, Geraldine Aron, Jennifer Johnston, Tommy Makem, Enda Walsh and Harold Prince.
Currently, Irish Rep is staging a concert version of Finian's Rainbow, to July 11 at its home at 132 West 22nd Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues). For information, call (212) 727-2737 or visit www.irishrep.org.