The social history of New York City could hardly be written without factoring the influence of the Irish and the Jews, and few people are as adept at bringing that to our attention in such an entertaining way as the academic impresario Dr. Mick Moloney.

That subject matter is the latest fertile finding from the Tin Pan Alley Archives that he has been exploring as part of his residency at New York University and Glucksman Ireland House as a professor of music and Irish studies in recent years.

Rather than leave the information undisturbed in some dusty (or its technological equivalent) archive, the shrewd Limerick native knows it has massive entertainment value, and his vast experience and contacts has afforded him many opportunities to take lecture topics and transform them into extravagant showpieces on stages like Town Hall and Symphony Space where knowledgeable fans fill the seats.

Another one of those epic shows is about to the hit the boards at Symphony Space on Saturday, October 24 at 8 p.m. in the Peter Norton Theatre. It is also the occasion for the CD launch of his latest project and show called “If it Wasn’t for the Irish and the Jews” produced by Moloney and John Doyle and licensed to Compass Records ( 

The title song hails from 1912, written by an Irishman and a Jew appropriately enough, and is one of the 14 period songs that depict an era where the Irish and the Jews put their fingerprints all over the immigrant center of the U.S., the great melting pot of New York City. It’s a light-hearted and humorous walk down memory lane that evokes many of the sentiments of the time without overdoing it. 

Rest assured the good professor Moloney will put everything in context for the audience when he puts his name above the door for the Saturday evening show on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a melting pot all its own.

In keeping with past performances a star-studded lineup is expected to perform along with Moloney, including Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, whose musical skills are invaluable to making these melodies come to life almost a century later. 

Dana Lyn will lead a string quartet, Kerith Spencer-Shapiro, John Roberts, Liz Hanley, Billy McComiskey, Susan McKeown, Gabriel Donoghue, Niall O’Leary, Jerry O’Sullivan and the Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra are all on the bill, and Mick will probably find a way to squeeze a few more special guests onstage. 

Like the featured work in the show collaboration was critical in mounting a production like this, and Moloney was able to turn to the Irish Arts Center, the Irish Consulate of New York and Culture Ireland for support. In addition, Georgeanne Aldrich Heller and the Henry Rosenberg Foundation provided support as well. 

Tickets are available through Symphony Space (phone 212-864-5400 or at $45 for tier one seats and $35 for tier two in the very comfortable theater. Additional discounts apply to members of the Irish Arts Center and Symphony Space.