Phineas Taylor Barnum was the quintessential American entertainer, who won and lost fortunes giving the people what he thought they wanted. Bringing both high and low culture to American audiences all-too-eager to be fooled, Barnum considered himself a showman first and foremost. He was determined to make money for himself, and was also generous to those working for him as part of the “Greatest Show on Earth.” Neill Hartley sings as General Tom Thumb, portraying the most popular Barnum attraction with verve, then concluding with Thumb’s signature heel click. Barnum collected and marketed people considered freaks and oddities, like George Washington’s 161 year-old nurse and the Feejee Mermaid, but he also promoted Jenny Lind, which he felt brought him class. Quite the colorful character in his own right, Hartley’s Barnum shows you a man who knew the value of his own personality. His self-published autobiography enjoyed sales second only to the Bible in North America during the 19th century. Charming, gregarious, crowd-pleasing, Neill Hartley’s P. T. Barnum is always a hit.
Invite P.T. Barnum to schools, libraries, museums, historic sites, retirement communities:
• Educational Programs: Programs for Schools, Libraries, Museums, Historical Sites. P.T. Barnum: The Master Showman,40-60 minutes + Informational Section and Q & A • Pair with Annie Oakley, Victorian Music Hall • Neill Hartley: Bio of Actor/Historian