Danahey On the Loose at Phantom of the Opera

So I recently went to see that musical that everyone’s been talking about – 30 years ago. Yeah, I finally made it to “Phantom of the Opera,” which is on tour again and playing the Cadillac Palace Theatre downtown through Jan. 8. A friend had to back out at the last minute due to a […]

Irish Theatre of Chicago revisits “The Weir”

Once again, actor Brad Armacost finds himself at the holiday season confronting theatrical ghosts and the very real demon known as Chicago traffic. For Armacost is back at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace starring as Ebenezer Scrooge in the chestnut that is “A Christmas Carol.” From that gig, he’s been heading back into […]

Danahey on the Loose at Stomp

If you’re looking for a show that’s festive and that might  get your mind off the holidays, Stomp is afoot at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. In case you’re not familiar, Stomp is one of those theatrical experiences that arose in the 1990s, like Riverdance, Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil that […]

Danahey on the Loose: A Visit to Northern Ireland

My late summer vacation to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland gave me an idea for an app. There might even be one like it already, but I’m too lazy to rifle through the online stores, so here goes the simple version: Somebody should set up a system where you can find people where […]

Danahey on the Loose at Graeme of Thrones

As luck would have it, opening night for “Graeme of Thrones” happened to be the same time the Chicago Cubs were in Cleveland battling the Indians in the seventh and deciding game of the World Series. I thought about not going. Another reason: No matter what’s happening, from where I live in the northwest suburbs, […]

A ‘Keane’ show Saturday at Irish American Heritage Center

If you’re looking for a little local labor lore with your music, Saturday, Oct. 22, the Irish American Heritage Center has a program for you. At 6 p.m.  that night, the Center is offering a free presentation of Jimmy Keane: Irish Labor and Irish Music in Chicago. As you could probably figure out from the […]

Movie Hooley gets the hat trick this weekend!

  There’s a hooley brewing in Chicago and today’s Chicago Tribune delivered rave reviews for all three films in the 2nd Annual Irish American Movie Hooley at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 North State Street, Chicago. This Friday night, Sept. 30, 2016, 8PM is the kickoff to The 2nd Annual Irish American Movie Hooley […]

September 2016 Irish American News Column

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan My pal Skinny Sheahan mocks me on the radio by telling folks “Houli has become a PI, a professional Irishman.” But, I feel no shame in loving Ireland, the land of my ancestors, and I’m mighty proud to have founded Hibernian Transmedia NFP with my family, to promote and preserve Irish […]

August 2016 Irish American News Column

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan   “May you live in interesting times…” is an old apocryphal Chinese curse. Looking around lately, you’d think we all might be on the wrong end of that curse. The world seems to be spinning faster and faster into a terrifying gyre of violence, racism, false prophets, mendacity and infanticide. And […]

July 2016 Irish American News Column

Hooligansim by Mike Houlihan   “When I go see a movie, I want to feel like I’m peeking through a keyhole…just gimme the truth as best you can.” So says first generation Irish American filmmaker and writer Kevin Baggott. The disciple of the late novelist Nelson Algren, is an “enigmatic cat”, much like his dead […]

Danahey on the Milwaukee Irish Fest loose

Best fest buddy Tom and I are heading to Ireland Friday – so keep an eye on our houses, okay? And stay out of his hot tub. The neighbors are still talking about the last time. In advance of our journey we headed to the Milwaukee Irish Fest this past Saturday to get in a […]

DOTL: A Ren Faire, Irish Fest, Greek Fest weekend

The weekend after the 4th of July typically is one of the most fest-filled ones in the Chicago area – which is fitting. With all the seeming acrimony in the country right now, such gatherings remind what’s best about this nation. And I’m not kidding about that. Our collective love of frivolity of all sorts, […]

Danahey on the Solstice Loose

Here, in photos, is what I did the weekend before the summer solstice time, that longest day of the year, which brings out the Druid in me. Friday night Best Fest Buddy Tom and I hit one of  our locals, where we met TV legend Larry David. Maybe it wasn’t him. We had a lot […]

Danahey on the Loose in St. Louis for a birthday adventure

It was Best Fest Buddy Tom’s birthday recently, so over the weekend we headed to the St. Louis area, where his brother lives,  to celebrate. Tom’s waist size remains less than his age, and there is a currently airing police drama set in Honolulu. Those are the only clues I’ll give you about how old […]

June 2016 Column from The Irish American News

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan I’ll admit it. I’m a naturally nosey person. Even as a kid I loved rummaging through my mom’s purse to see what was in there. Nor was I averse to copping a finnski out of her purse while she was asleep. That type of perfidy came back to haunt me one […]

Danahey on the Loose with ‘Spinning’ playwright Deirdre Kinahan

Meanwhile, while I barely have to get out of bed to start my work-at-home day job and sometimes feel like I barely have time to get things done (at least before I get real hungry or thirsty or the lawn needs mowing), Dublin-based playwright Deirdre Kinahan says she’s had a crazy couple of years. “It’s […]

May 2016 Column from The Irish American News

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan I’ve been trying to limit my candor on Facebook ever since inadvertently insulting a friend’s mother. But of course Facebook friends are not real friends. They are mostly for our own self-amusement whilst goofing off on the internet. And the Internet can be a scary place. That’s why I never “accept” […]

Danahey on the Loose at the IAHC 1916 Easter Rising tribute

So I went to Songs of Freedom, the tribute to the 1916 Easter Rising at the Irish American Heritage Center Sunday with best fest buddy Tom. Tom noticed the back of the program, which he thought I typed, given my day job at a suburban newspaper historically known for its typos. It was A Soldier’s […]

Movie Hooley Redux

Hollywood can’t make up its mind, whether to call it “Movie Hooley II” or “Son of Movie Hooley”. But Barbara Scharres, program director of The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, and Irish American News columnist and radio personality Mike Houlihan, have announced  their plan to present the second annual “Irish American Movie Hooley” at […]

Danahey On The Loose at the Byrne and Kelly Concert

Each Saturday night – well, late afternoon in our case –  and direct from Las Vegas, The Gino Fontine Strolling Trio makes its way from table to table at Marie’s Pizza & Liquors on Lawrence Avenue, serenading diners. I guess they must fly in just for the weekend gig. Such is show business. Or maybe […]

Danahey on the Loose with Riverdance star James Greenan

Turns out I have something in common with James Greenan, the lead dancer in Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary World Tour, which plays the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago April 5 – 10. To have enough energy to perform, Greenan said he and other cast members carbo-load, piling plates with pasta, potatoes and other starches. […]

April 2016 Column from The Irish American News

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan I had one beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Unusual I know. But I’d been guzzling gallons before it and by Paddy’s day itself I was hobbling around like a cripple with a cane. I was wounded. Why wouldn’t I be? In Chicago St. Patrick’s Day starts the day after Christmas for […]

Irish American News column March 2016

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan He flirted with Marilyn Monroe. Graced the cover of Time Magazine. And went to early morning mass every day. John Joseph Lattner. Sure you know him as 1953 Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Lattner. But of course he was much more than that. One of the great pleasures of my life was […]

Danahey on the Loose for the Flatley Chicago farewell

I saw a chair-bound but magnanimous BB King play a few years before he died – in Elgin, of all places. That’s also where I caught Bo Diddley laying down his famous beat. And saloon singer par excellence Frank D’Rone. I saw moody Miles Davis at Chicago’s Jazz Fest once, and I caught Ornette Coleman […]

Danahey on the Loose about A Little World of Our Own

Playwright Gary Mitchell comes from the Belfast housing estate of Rathcoole. Of growing up there, Mitchell once said, “The smart thing to do was be stupid, and that’s more common than we let on.” He told the Belfast Telegraph in 2014 that while stuck in a dead-end job, he joined the local Arts Council, in […]

Danahey on the Loose is back and in St. Louis again for Mardi Gras

This past Sunday morning I headed to the St. Louis Zoo to say hello to one of my distant Irish cousins. There he was in his McDonnell Polar Bear Point home, chilling his big white butt in the pool next to the glass. When I do that, the neighbors complain, but this guy had the […]

February 2016 Irish American News column

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan Frank O’Hooligan learned the “value of enemies” in a most enlightening way, when he was a fifth grader at Little Flower many years ago. Many of you are familiar with the heroic exploits of Ferocious Frank O’Hooligan, son of Finbar Hooligan from Kilrush, County Clare. The stories of Ferocious Frank have […]

January 2016 Irish American News Column

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan I’ve nominated myself for the Irish American Hall of Fame several times over the last five or six years, but they never call me. Bob McNamara put me on the nominating committee years ago and I figured that’s the only way I’d get invited is to keep throwing my name in […]