Irish American Writers & Artists

March 15, 2018

3.6.2018 IAW&A Salon: An evening of personal & fictional stories, poetry, drama, and song

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 3:50 am

by Gordon Gilbert
Photos by John Kearns and Mark Butler

For the second time, the IAW&A salon convened at our new home for first Tuesdays, St. Pat’s Bar & Grill, a pub on West 46th Street, in a private room on their 3rd floor (accessible both by elevator and stairs).  From behind the bar, Claire, a convivial Irish lass, served us well.  Several of those who attended can attest that the food there is also quite good!  John Kearns was our host for an evening in which we were regaled with both personal and fictional stories, monologues, poetry, song and excerpts from a play.

IMG_3686Gary Cahill

The evening began with a reading by crime fiction writer Gary Cahill of an excerpt from his short story “On a Two-Way Street”, published in print and e- formats with Mystery Weekly Magazine’s February edition.  It was a foretaste of the next salon (March 20th): Crime Night at The Cell, co-created  by Gary and Seamus Scanlon, which will feature an array of readers and writers from IAW&A and Mystery Writers of America New York.  Dark and stormy?  Gary guarantees it!


Maria Neuda

Gary was followed by Maria Neuda.  Although primarily a crime fiction writer, this evening Maria presented us with three short non-crime pieces.  The first two were poems:  “I Hate to See” (in two parts – “That Evening Sun” and “Go Down”) and “What is Honesty in This Case?”  The third, a flash fiction piece: “Strangers on a Train.”  Maria will be a participant in the upcoming “Crime Night”, and is also featuring on April 25th at a monthly spoken word event, “Rimes of the Ancient Mariner,” held at the Three of Cups in the East Village.  Maria has had her crime fiction published on e-zine sites, Shotgun HoneyYellow Mama, and Near2theKnuckle.


Thom Molyneaux and Annalisa Chamberlin

Next were Thom Molyneaux and Annalisa Chamberlin, who performed two excerpts from his play White Ash Falling 9/11, a play within a play about that horrific day.  The first takes place backstage with Annalisa’s playing Gwen, a young actor who first learns of the tragedy while rehearsing The Seagull at Yale Drama.  In the second, Annalisa played a waitress, Bonnie, witnessing the devastating tragedy live in a New Jersey restaurant with a spectacular view of the Twin Towers.

Then County Mayo native, Maura Mulligan, author of the memoir, Call of the Lark read an excerpt from her fiction writing in progress that features Madge O’ Malley.  Madge has been chosen by a ghost to solve a murder, the said spirit making contact with her at an artist’s retreat in Donegal.  Maura was delighted with the audience’s response.   Maura invited everyone to join her at a ceremony on March 22nd at Brooklyn Borough Hall, where she is being honored as Irish Woman of the Year by the Irish American Heritage & Culture Committee of the Dept. of Education, NYC.

This event is free and open to the public.  Anyone interested in attending, please contact Maura ( and she will send you the invitation.  Also you may contact her if you have an interest in joining a weekly céilí dance class (Irish folk dance for adults) and or an Irish language class.


Maura Mulligan and Philomena Connors

Next came a regular attendee of the IAW&A Salons, Philomena Connors, who is currently working on a short story set in India in a dystopian future.  Philomena read to us from the beginning of her new story.   The protagonist, a UN field worker, takes the reader on a journey to a new reality where the world order has radically changed: dictatorships, caliphates, and democracies vie for global power; mainstream education no longer functions, international travel is restricted and the internet is inaccessible.  Two Irish aid workers try to keep it all together while exploring their pasts and maybe falling in love. To be continued … !


Maewyn Succat 


John McDonagh

The second half began with  John McDonagh, who thanked the IAW&A for making possible his one-man play Off the Meter Off the Record at the Irish Repertory Theatre.  He then went on to tell us his personal story about how, following the death in London of his cousin, Vinny, who had been born in that city, it came about that he was asked to bring his ashes back to County Donegal to be buried with his mother, John’s aunt.

John also asked if anyone knew of an agent who could promote his one-man show to HBO, Showtime or Netflix.  He told us that in the neighborhood where he grew up in Queens, the only agents he ever knew were FBI agents. You may contact John at


Rosina Fernhoff

Next we were entertained by IAW&A Salon regular and wonderful actor Rosina Fernhoff, who gave us a delightful reading of a monologue by Gordon Gilbert, in which she portrayed a rather merry widow who still talks quite regularly to her dead husband, and this time is telling him about the unique solution she has found to her need to feel the closeness of others.


Gordon Gilbert

Then to the amusement of the gathering, Gordon gave us a brief but rowdy reading of six limericks not his own.


That was followed by our host John Kearns, reading an excerpt from the title story of his collection, Dreams and Dull Realities, in which the sixth-grader Terrance is returning to school after having cut his Achilles tendon on March 17th.  As he gets ready for school, he imagines how he will be a different, more extroverted kid with his classmates.  He also recalls the teasing of his relatives and wonders if they somehow knew that he had brought bad luck upon himself by not wearing green on Saint Patrick’s Day.


Guenevere Donohue

Next Guenevere Donohue sang two songs of the Irish immigrant experience: “Ain’t I Mc Enough For Ya”, an original piece about Guen’s grandparents’ Amerikay arrivals, and “No Irish Need Apply”, a classic folk song which helps people understand one of the reasons why we Irish Americans hold fiercely to our Irish identity.  Guenevere also wants us to know: “I’m in a cool play next week, and it’s super fun: Pieces of a Playwright II in Off-Off-Broadway at 124 Bank Street Theater 2018.”


Rosina Fernhoff

Not done yet, the indefatigable, incomparable Rosina Fernhoff performed for us once again, this time a hilarious rendition of “And the Winner Is Me,” a monologue by playwright and movie buff Mark William Butler, in which he pays a satirical tribute to the Oscars.  (Following the salon that night, they both then attended the “after-Oscars-party” ten feet away at St. Patrick’s 3rd floor bar.)


Malachy McCourt

As he traditionally does, Eugene O’Neill Award recipient Malachy McCourt, one of the founders of IAW&A, concluded the salon by regaling us with choice witticisms and a reminder that we should be storytellers, not simply (and boringly) readers, when we perform what we have written, not seeking so much to edify as to entertain!  Lastly, in case we had forgotten what he self-professes, that he cannot sing, Malachy led us all in song again, this time the anti-war classi:  “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye.”

Join us next time, Tuesday, March 20th, 7 pm, at The Cell Theatre for the IAW&A Crime Salon!



February 26, 2018

2.20.18 IAW&A SALON: “Love, artistry, and courage abound” in an exciting night at The Cell

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 3:14 pm

By Karen Daly

Photos by Dan Brown

The mid-February Salon at the Cell drew raves from audience members and from presenters grateful for their warm support. A night rich in monologue, personal stories, crime fiction and satire was brought to an electrifying close by visiting bluesman Paddy Smith.


Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, IAWA Board member, and co-founder of St. Pat’s for All, announces the Concert and Parade this weekend.

Salon producer and host  John Kearns opened the program with two original poems, each inspired by travel, of long and short distances. In “Leaving for China,” an homage to Du Fu, Chengdu poet of the Tang Dynasty (8th Century), the narrator describes the streets of the Bronx as he anticipates his first flight to Shanghai. “Heading Home” portrays the spontaneous creative conversation of a couple commuting home from work. John had just celebrated the Chinese New Year in China, and he came bearing gifts of chocolate.

6 John Kearns

Andre Archimbaud likes to say he that he has a very French name, but a very Irish heart. Tonight he read three short pieces which revealed that Irish heart: “Museless Monday” written the day that David Bowie died; “Thickets and Thorns” about losing his grandfather and “Hyperballad” about a man Andre met in Washington Heights, who was losing his life to the drink.


Andre Archimbaud

Jerry McTigue presented a satire piece in the form of a hypothetical ad promoting the most difficult item to sell: Nothing. And we bought it!  Jerry got the idea from his work creating ads for real products and services. He’s also authored six books, including the Life’s Little Frustration Book series, and numerous articles and essays for national magazines and major city newspapers. An IAWA newcomer, Jerry appreciated our “warm and supportive audience.”

11 Jerry McTigue

Once again the Obie-Award winner Rosina Fernhoff captivated the audience with a monologue from the one woman-play The Conversion of Alice B.Toklas by Carol Polcovar. In this play , Toklas steps out from the shadow of her late lover Gertrude Stein, and talks about her dream to become a Catholic


Rosina Fernhoff

Crime fiction writer Gary Cahill read from his newly published short story “On A Two-Way Street” currently featured on the cover of the February issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine. Gary sums it up as “Chinese food meets diamonds and guns on the beach and the driver of your dreams.” And what else do you need to know? Gary primed the audience for next month’s crime-themed Salon at the Cell (3/20) being organized by Seamus Scanlon with Gary colluding (yes … there is “collusion”).

12 Gary Cahill

Dan Brown wrote and directed actress Abbey Dubin in one of the night’s outstanding monologues. In “The Rolex Tudor Prince Oyster Date with Steel Blue Dial,” a child’s impulsive act has far-reaching consequences on her family relationships. Dan says the piece challenges the idea that the truth will always “set you free.” Instead an occasional dose of dishonesty might be the pathway to freedom. Dan also took the great photos here.

3 Abbey Dubin

Carmel McMahon made an impressive Salon debut with an excerpt from her recently completed memoir, In Ordinary Time about her childhood in a large Catholic family in Co. Meath. Carmel, who came to New York in 1993, has been published in The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, The Irish Echo and the Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction.


Carmel McMahon

Another Salon newcomer, and a stylish presenter, M.C. Neuda says she probes “the darker (but not unamusing) side of the human condition in crime fiction.” Her selections tonight  made that point.  They included “Look At Me, Damn You”  which won an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s July/August 2016 Very Short Fiction Competition. “Matchstick” was published in Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine and her latest, dealing with the latest technology,  is “Are You Tracking?”


M.C. Neuda 

The fearless Sarah Fearon blew in to try out some new material for her comic real estate routine, no doubt preparing for her show on Tuesday at the West Side Comedy Club. She brought along her ukulele, too and prompted by the day’s weather, sang “California Dreamin.” And inspired, or uninspired by the news these days, she played “Imagine.”  Sarah claims she needs more uke lessons, and she was delighted that the crowd joined in to sing along.

5 Sarah Fearon 

Leilani McInerney delivered a brief, mesmerizing performance in a monologue about a woman experiencing unusual side effects from medication.


Leilani McInerney

The blues artist Paddy Smith brought the Salon to a thrilling close with two numbers on harmonica and vocals: “The Sky is Crying” and Paul Butterfield’s “Born in Chicago.” Paddy has been playing harmonica since he was six years old and has released two EP’s “Ran Out of Road Paddy” and “Let Those Blues In.” You have a chance to hear Paddy Smith Blues Band at the CRAIC Fest on Saturday, and we say don’t miss it.


Paddy Smith

Get ready for a busy few weeks and watch Facebook for more events.

FEB 27  Sarah Fearon in a Comedy Review. Reserve at

MAR 2  St. Pat’s-for-All Concert at Irish Arts Center, 6 pm.  Tickets:

MAR 3  CRAIC Fest, including Paddy Smith Blues Band, Mercury Lounge, 7 pm. Tickets at Ticketfly

MAR 4  St. Pat’s-for-All Parade, Sunnyside, NY 1 pm

MAR 6  IAW&A Salon at St. Patrick’s Bar, 22 West 46th St.,  7pm

MAR 20  IAW&A Crime-themed Salon at The Cell, 7pm




February 12, 2018

2.6.18 IAW&A Salon: Eclectic Talents and Lively Audience Mark Our Midtown Debut

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 3:41 pm

By Karen Daly

Photos by Cat Dwyer

St. Patrick’s, that is, the pub on West 46th Street, drew a convivial crowd to the first February IAWA Salon. Hosted by John Kearns and Mark Butler in the bar’s private room,   we had poetry, monologue, memoir, flash fiction and befitting our location, a saint or two.

Poet and frequent Salon contributor, Gordon Gilbert, Jr. kicked off the night with three poems, covering a range of styles and emotions. His first, “War of the Roses,” a heroic-style parody about his battle with invasive roses. In the second poem, he drew deeper meaning from two small tragic events and the final one concerned the impact of new technologies on our children.

In honor of the Philadelphia Eagles’ first ever Super Bowl victory, Salon producer and the night’s co-host and Philadelphia native John Kearns read from the opening of his short story, “Athletics.” In the story, Gene Prendergast commutes home from Center City Philadelphia imagining that sportscasters are giving a play-by-play of his exploits.

Gordon Gilbert, Jr. left. John Kearns, center. Mark Butler

First time presenter Tim Fitts, who lives in Philadelphia, also revelled in the Super Bowl victory. Author of two short story collections, Hypothermia and Go Home and Cry for Yourselves, he read terrific new flash fiction: “Belly,” “Disco,” “Spring Break” and “Shark Patrol.” Tim teaches Creative Nonfiction at the Curtis Institute of Music and is a frequent guest on the literary magazine Painted Bride Quarterly’s podcast, Slushpile. Find Tim’s work on Amazon.

In light of last week’s celebration of St. Brigid, Sheila Houlihan read “The Giveaway,” a poem written by the Pulitzer Prize winning American poet and satirist, Phyllis McGinley. The humorous work acknowledges – and pokes fun at — the Saint’s legendary generosity:

For here’s the fault in Brigid lay:
She would give everything away

Tim Fitts,  left. Sheila Houlihan with her St. Brigid’s Cross.

Delivering five powerful monologues from the Shakespeare section of his one-man show, Me and the Monologue, actor Thom Molyneauxdescribed his personal connections with Marc Anthony, Hotspur and Henry V. Thom, a veteran Salon performer, was delighted with the audience’s reception and sharing of their personal connections with the Bard. Thom notes that he and Malachy McCourt agree, “The best things that ever happened to the English language were Shakespeare and the Irish, though not necessarily in that order.” 

Thom Molyneaux, left.  John Munnelly

John Munnelly has a new talent. He’s a musician, singer, songwriter, artist and now saucier. He debuted a new song “They Were No Good,” and captured the mood of many salongoers about the politics of the day in “I Wish I Still Believed.” In addition to XU, his current music release, John’s other hot new project is hot sauce. Disproving the notion that Irish people can’t do spice,he’s created a food enhancer that getting great word-of-mouth, Hattwood Hot Red Sauce at

Marcia Loughran, a prize-winning poet and nurse practitioner, received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Tonight she shared three poems, “Superstition,” “Tap Dance at the Nursing Home” and “7D.”  She is working on a full-length manuscript to follow up on her prize-winning chapbook, Still Life With Weather.

Marcia Loughran, left. Kathleen Vaughan

Kathleen Vaughan read a section of her memoir-in-progress Raised By Nuns & Drunks. When she entered Good Shepherd School, after living in an orphanage, she felt like an outcast, compared with girls who were more confident, better dressed and who enjoyed the kind of bonding Kate never experienced. Luckily, the nuns at Good Shepherd School were especially kind to their new student, and Kate expresses her appreciation for them in this candid section.

Speaking of kindness, Guenevere Donohue described how a suggestion from another IAW&A member, to give money to a homeless person, instead of sending him a birthday present, inspired her poem. So she gave to a man who lives on the grate next to her subway entrance and created a perceptive new poem, “Sometimes He’s There and Sometimes He’s Gone.”

Guenevere Donohue, left.  Ellis O’Toole

A new member of IAWA and first time presenter, short-story writer Ellis O’Toole read two charming selections from her remembrance collection in progress. “The Wild Man” tells the story of a child’s confusion upon meeting an apparent fugitive, while “Election Year” describes what happens when five-year olds engage in political debate, in this case over Kennedy vs. Nixon. O’Toole, a daughter of Irish immigrants, is a New York native.

crowdMalachy McCourt, far right,  enjoying the night.

Fondly known as our Salon godfather, Malachy McCourt came to bless the new space, and share a few words about St. Patrick himself. He chased the snakes out of Ireland…and we know where they came. Malachy guided us in singing “Down by the Salley Gardens” and we left the warmth of St. Patrick’s pub for the bright lights of midtown.

Join us next time, Tuesday, February 20, 7 pm at The Cell.


January 22, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 1:01 am

By Maureen Hossbacher
Photos by Cat Dwyer

On Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc. tribute to the great man got off to a rousing start with a powerful presentation by poet Robert Gibbons entitled  “to deify a martyr.”  The torrent of applause that followed set the tone for the rest of this wonderful evening hosted by John Kearns and included in the roster of events for the 2018 Origin’s First Irish Theater Festival.

gibbons .jpg

Robert Gibbons

Keyera Bowens returned to the Cell to share another thought-provoking work: Part 1 of a story titled “No Church in the Wild,” a prose poem that explores America’s history through the lens of two brothers. We eagerly await Part 2 from this young writer with a promising literary future.

bowers Keyera Bowens

Incorporating some strategically placed call-and-response phrases, first time presenter Natasha Herring read her lyrical essay ”Black and Blue.”   An educator and filmmaker, Herring is a graduate of CCNY’s MFA program and recently completed a memoir entitled, Raining Sunshine (and is looking for an agent). She has also created an on-line community of e-courses called lolforlotsoflove. For more info go to



Natasha Herring

IAW&A was delighted to receive a visit from Irish Vice Consul Shane Cahill who expressed his admiration for our organization and pledged the Consulate’s continued support. In the spirit of the evening, he generously reached out to our diverse presenters and audience and invited other artists with worthy projects to seek assistance from the Consulate.

Vice Consul of Ireland in New York, Shane Cahill, left.  George Heslin,  founder Origin Theatre Company’s First Irish Festival

Standing in for filmmaker and IAW&A Vice President Mary Pat Kelly who was unable to attend, Board member Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy introduced a tantalizing abridgment of Kelly’s film Proud. The inspiration for the film was an article by Thomas Young, an African-American war correspondent, headlined “Irish First To Treat USS MASON Crew As Americans” and based on the true story of the only African American sailors to take a Navy warship into battle during World War II.  Narrated by Ossie Davis and featuring actors Stephen Rea, Eric LaRay Harvey and Aidan Quinn, the section screened at the salon showed the men arriving in Derry and their adventures there.  For more information check out 


Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy introducing clip from Mary Pat Kelly’s film Proud

Next we were treated to a musical interlude by Annalisa Chamberlin, accompanied on acoustic guitar by John Kearns.  Chamberlin, a NYC-based actor and singer, performed the song ”Only Her Rivers Run Free”, which was written for the civil rights movement in 1968 Northern Ireland inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.  Her second selection was a rendition of the stirring ballad ‘The Death of Emmet Till’ written by Bob Dylan.

ac & JK.jpgAnnalisa Chamberlin,  John Kearns

Funny thing about the truth is, it’s just true, you don’t have to prove it. That lyric from Aiesha Duke’s original song “Sweet Lie” applies to her impressive talent as well.  Nevertheless she went right ahead and proved it anyway, with another exciting salon performance.  In addition to her work in Off-Broadway musical theater, Aiesha is also the lead singer, lyricist, manager, and choreographer of her own band , Miss Dukes Music.


Aiesha Dukes

John Kearns read a draft of a new poem about how movements of non-violent resistance have had far reaching influence. The poem highlights connections between Irish civil rights leaders and Gandhi and Martin Luther King who inspired the civil rights movement in the North of Ireland.


John Kearns

The amazing Rebekah Madebach made her second appearance at the salon. The New York actress performed “New Year’s Eve 2014”, a dramatic monologue written and directed by IAW&A member Dan Brown. The piece explored the idea that a seed of hate may exist even in the most open heart. The goal of this raw and edgy performance was to inspire each of us to look inside of ourselves, and continue to become more open and loving.


Rebekah Madebach

First time presenter Janelle Poe, read three poems, the first a found poem comprised entirely of Dr. MLK Jr.’s words in his seminal historic text, “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”.  In “Math,” Poe continued addressing the theme of segregation and exploitation by presenting a complicated equation to identify, “How Many Black People Do You Know?”  Her final untitled poem draws connections between global “cells” and prisoners of oppression.  An organizer for the CCNY MFA Reading Series and selected reader for the Turnstile Series of graduating CUNY MFA students, she will be reading at CUNY Grad Center sometime in the next few months.  Visit or CCNY MFA Reading Series for more information.


Janelle Poe

Our grand finale was delivered by Maxine Linehan, international concert and recording artist.  Maxine travels the world as a solo concert artist and has enraptured crowds in venues from New York’s Lincoln Center and Paris’ famed Théâtre du Châtelet, to Feinstein’s/54 Below and Birdland. Her stunning tribute to fellow countrymen U2, garnered rave reviews at its premiere last year including the Irish Voice who described the show as “the perfect introduction to the megawatt talent of the incomparable Linehan”. Accompanied by pianist Steven Ray Watkins at the salon, Maxine performed U2’s smash hit “One” (her cover single is available on iTunes and all proceeds benefit Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS: ).  She also performed another U2 classic, “Pride” (In The Name Of Love), which was written in honor of Dr. King. Maxine will give a special St. Patrick’s Eve performance of her show  ONE: THE SONGS OF U2 backed by a chamber orchestra at Feinstein’s/54 Below on March 16th at 9.30pm.

maxine civil rights 2

Maxine Linehan

This special event was summed up perfectly by Janelle Poe:  “ A beautiful evening — and this is what [Dr. King] wanted!”









January 12, 2018

1.5.18 IAW&A Salon: A Rollicking Night Undeterred by Bomb Cyclone

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 12:45 am

by John Kearns
Photos by John Kearns and Tom Mahon

The IAW&A Salon began 2018 undaunted by a last-minute schedule change, large piles of snow on the sidewalks, and the frigid temperatures brought on by a “bomb cyclone”.  But in the words of presenter Tom Mahon, “We turned a quiet, freezing evening into another rollicking night of story, song and drumming.”


Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon started the salon with two vignettes.  The first was called, “I’ve Had Enough,” about a young intern’s first ER patient who dies before he can save him.  Then the man’s family arrives, and then his lawyers.  Altogether four wives and fourteen children, who all howl when they discover their former rich husband and father left them nothing.  The second story was called, “Before He Left,” of a vet whose reentry into his family and community goes awry when a bar patron’s shouting sends him into survival mode and he reacts and kills the man.  A week later the vet kills himself. The story, told from the father-in-law’s point of view asks after burying his son-in-law, “How did we expect him to do all he had to on his own?”


Rob Block

First-time presenter Rob Block’s  ‘Beyababa’ was written as a choral oratorio though decidedly secular – not a bit churchy. The story concerns the interior conflict of a king who’s nation is in peril of losing to drought it’s only crop: “beyababa.”  None of the advice or direction he receives from those around him seems useful or sound. What is a King to do? Rob sends all possible praise and thanks to Rosina Fernhoff for her magnificent interpretation of his work.


Rosina  Fernhoff

Rosina  Fernhoff then performed a monologue from Approaching Zanzibar by Tina Howe.  The very old character Olivia recounts her memory monologue of her wild youth and her unforgettable first love who ” taught her to eat orchids and read the stars” in Zanzibar.


Eddie Crawford

John Kearns was honored to have actor Eddie Crawford read an excerpt from his story, “Displacement.”  Eddie vividly portrayed the musings of 1940s Detective Raftery who tries to imagine himself in the place of a murderer, since it has proven difficult to get any information in his Irish-American neighborhood.  “Only way to shut the Irish up is come in with a badge and ask a question.”


Gordon Gilbert

Gordon Gilbert began with two poems written on the first and second day of the New Year and followed them with a singles bar proposal and a poem about acceptance of the
physical limitations that come with age.  He concluded with a “Winter Spell” of protection for his father’s land, written twenty years ago when the land was still his father’s.


Sarah Fearon acted as an understudy for Marcia Sanders (aka Marcia Loughran).  Sarah read new material on a character who moves through the real estate world in New York.


Kathleen O’Sullivan presented a chapter from her illustrated memoir, Isham Street, in iMovie form.  In this chapter, the innocent child in a spiritual euphoria sees life from her unique perspective, in which walking up Isham Street feels like she’s going on a pilgrimage to heaven.  With her angel by her side, the girl goes through her Saturday ritual that includes the butcher’s offering her a slice of baloney and the baker’s giving her the bread ends, while people are blessing themselves all over Broadway … returning home to her lyrical mother & the family feasting on baloney sandwiches.

kathleen OKathleen O’Sullivan (photo by Tom Mahon)


Malachy McCourt (photo by Tom Mahon)

Malachy McCourt shared some of his thoughts on religion and the afterlife and read part of the description of hell from Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  He then sang, “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” by Eric Bogle and wrapped up the salon with a rousing rendition of “The Bells of Hell”:

“The bells of Hell
Go jing-aling-aling
For you but not for me …”

After Malachy’s performance, the salon had a surprise guest recruited by Tom Mahon from the subway in Washington Heights — djembe drummer Matt Sweet!  Matt plans to return to the IAW&A Salon with more drums!


Matt Sweet (photo by Tom Mahon)

Don’t forget out Civil Rights Salon at the Cell on Monday at 7.  Reserve your free ticket here:

December 27, 2017

12.19.17 IAW&A Salon: Bringing Gifts of Dance, Acting & Laughter to the Party

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 4:49 am

By Karen Daly

Photos by Cat Dwyer

The IAWA Holiday Salon at The Cell lived up to its advance billing as a festive year-end party full of tremendous talent, an SRO crowd and seasonal cheer. Three dance performances, two short videos, mesmerizing acting, sweet Christmas tunes and a lot of laughter added up to an unforgettable night.

NYC actress Rebekah Madebach commanded the stage in “Flesh Wounds,” a comedic monologue written and directed by Dan Brown. As a “friend” of the bride at the wedding reception, she gives an unscheduled toast. The self-indulgent, and often inappropriate, speech becomes a journey towards spontaneous self-discovery for the uninvited speaker.

catseyepix-0591_Brown Rebekah Madebach

Next in playwright Jenifer Margaret Kelly’s darkly comic piece “Hailing Time,” the ever-amazing Rosina Fernhoff portrayed a Southern woman struggling against the vortex of suburban life, with its tightening gyre of missing socks, frozen smiles and unexpressed passion.

catseyepix-0608_preview Rosina .jpg Rosina Fernhoff

With lively music, song and dance, Maura Mulligan and company brought us a bit of the Celtic winter tradition known as “Wren Day.” The wren is considered a symbol of the old year in Celtic mythology and the holiday is still celebrated in some parts of Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man. Fiddler Marie Reilly and whistle player Colm Butler joined singers Martin Daly on guitar and Pamela Jean Agaloos in presenting traditional Wren Day music together with Maura and her dancers Deirdre Batson, Siobhán McCourt, Silpa Sadhajun and Kim Tullach. If you’d like to join Maura’s weekly dance class, reach out to

catseyepix-0640_preview wren .jpgMaura Mulligan’s Wren Day 

Actor and comedy performer Sarah Fearon sent her alter ego “Snazzy Peabody.” A real estate legend in her own mind, Snazzy appears in a series of short films. Having already sold the Brooklyn Bridge, Snazzy is on to another NYC exclusive listing, this time she’s selling the Belvedere Castle in Central Park. Director and actress Shae D’Lyn introduced the segment and we’re only sorry that Sarah wasn’t able to be there to enjoy the laughs.

Sarah Fearon as Snazzy Peabody, left. Photo by Dan Brown. The real Sarah, upper right. Shae D’Lyn, lower right.

Bessie-award nominated Darrah Carr Dance returned to the Salon with the beginning stages of choreography for a new, full-length collaboration with musicians Dana Lyn and Kyle Sanna premiering at the Irish Arts Center in 2018. Inspired by Lyn and Sanna’s sophomore album The Great Arc, the work blends traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance, in the company’s trademark style of ModERIN. Company members Michelle Esch, Jonathan Matthews, Caitlin McNeill, Laura Neese and Alexandra Williamson thrilled the crowd with their ensemble work, and a solo by company member and TONY award winner Trent Kowalik (the original Billy in Broadway’s Billy Elliot) thrilled again.

Darrah Carr Dance.  Soloist Trent Kowalik 

In what’s becoming an IAWA holiday tradition, Mark William Butler invited cast members from his terrific show in development Ugly Christmas Sweater: The Musical to perform original songs. This time, Richard Butler and Kristine Louis Reynal treated us to “Christmas Is You,” accompanied by Will Buck on piano. Mark will have an Ugly Christmas Sweater performance in late January. We’ll post the details, and be sure to check here

Will Buck on piano.  Richard Butler, left, Kristine Louis Reynal, Mark Butler

Dublin playwright Derek Murphy excels at creating plays about very bad relationships and he’s delighted that Maria Deasy and John Keating brought “A Leg For Christmas” hilariously to life. In a hospital waiting room in Ireland, the two argue about traffic, tea, marmalade, and the bathroom, until the macabre reason for their presence, and relationship to one another is finally revealed, amid much laughter.

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Maria Deasy, John Keating.  Photo by Dan Brown.

IAWA VP Mary Pat Kelly showed a trailer for Shirah of Bethlehem, an animated Christmas musical that she’s writing with world-class collaborators, best-selling children’s book illustrator Peter H. Reynolds, award-winning television producer Carole Hart (of Sesame Street and Free to Be You and Me) and producer Margaret Murray. As a child, Mary Pat loved Nativity stories that added fictional characters, such as Amahl and the Night Visitors and The Little Drummer Boy. There were talking animals, but where, Mary Pat wondered, were the girls? That was her inspiration for the adorable Shirah, who leads the shepherds to the manger. More at

Mary Pat Kelly, Shirah on screen

catseyepix-0827_preview larryLarry Kirwan announced that 2018 would be his last year as President of Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc. He thanked his fellow board members and IAWA members for their unwavering support – and we’ll have ample time to thank Larry for his leadership and inspiration. Saying that he had achieved most of his goals since taking the helm in June 2014, he noted that the organization was thriving. A believer in change and progress, Larry hopes that every member can aspire to join the board and become president. Larry is shown at right.

Later in the evening, Larry Kirwan performed a piece from his new solo show, “Ireland —A History in Song.” Larry went to Barbados to track down descendants of the Irish people whom Oliver Cromwell sent as slaves in 1649. One remarkable woman told him “They sent us here to kill us but we have thrived.” He integrated that conversation about the resilience of these descendants with Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” and Black 47’s “Fire of Freedom.”

 break.jpgEnjoying the break

In his first Salon performance, Niall O’Leary demonstrated a few of his many talents, with a charming version of Shay Healy’s “I Am Allergic to Christmas,” followed by what he’s famous for: a thrilling traditional Irish dance. An All-Ireland and World Champion dancer, he founded the Irish Dance School that bears his name.

catseyepix-0813_preview niall 2Niall O’Leary

Malachy McCourt brought the Salon to a perfect close with a few words, covering among other things, the power of words. He thanked John Kearns, Salon producer and hard-working host. By popular request,  he ended with his signature song, “Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go.” 

And we lassies and lads went to our after-party to continue the holiday cheer.

catseyepix-0842_preview sing along .jpgSinging along with Malachy McCourt

To our presenters, volunteers, members, friends and fans and the team at the cell, thank you for supporting the Salon and Happy New Year! 


JAN. 4:  IAWA Salon at Bar Thalia, 7pm

JAN. 14:  Darrah Carr Dance’s next performance during Stam-pede at Symphony Space, 3pm

JAN. 15:  IAWA Civil Rights Salon in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as part of Origin Theatre’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival, The Cell. 7pm

JAN. 20:  Larry Kirwan’s Ireland – A History in Song, Noble Maritime Museum, Snug Harbor, Staten Island, 8 pm

JAN. 17 — 29:  Derek Murphy’s play Dyin’ For It, starring our own Maria Deasy and directed by John Keating. Origin Theatre’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival, The Cell.


December 11, 2017

12.7.17 IAW&A Salon: We Start the Season with A Salon Rich in Variety & Storytelling

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 2:45 pm

By Karen Daly

Thanks to Brendan Costello and Maureen Hossbacher for hosting an early December IAW&A Salon that was rich with variety ranging from Irish-born storytellers, a literary scholar and a thrilling performance by Honor Molloy.  Plus, we enjoyed new songs from the wonderful Tara O’Grady, along with fiction and memoir and we marked the start of our holiday season.

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Brendan Costello. Photo by Christopher Booth.

Playwright/poet Jim Cullinane’s story “Lizzie Molloy” depicts a teenager’s crush on a mature woman who seems to him to exude sexuality. The boys in the small Irish town watch the title character go to work at the glue factory, “her hair the color of a wind-blown meadow.” An enthusiastic new member who has written two books, Jim says that, like all stories, there’s a kernel of truth in “Lizzie Molloy.” More at

Jim Cullinane. Photo by Gordon Gilbert, Jr.  Maureen Hossbacher. Photo by Cat Dwyer.

Tara O’Grady joined us to celebrate the release of her 5th CD, Folk Songs: Songs About Real Folks, a collection of original songs in styles that include folk, gospel, rockabilly, swamp pop and swing. “Everybody’s got a story to tell,” says Tara, and tonight she gave us two of them. “Evening Temptations” is dedicated to Tara’s friend, Danish folk musician Mathilde Bondo (Tom Waits also wrote about her in his song “Tom Traubert’s Blues — Waltzing Matilda”). “Vidar the Viking” tells how Tara’s Dublin cousin Joanne met her Norwegian boyfriend Vidar. Tara fashioned that story into a proper old-fashioned Irish drinking song and we gladly sang along. Find out where Tara performs weekly, at

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Malachy McCourt, Tara O’Grady. Photo courtesy of Tara O’Grady.

We heard Jonathan Goldman, a Joyce scholar and literature professor at New York Institute of Technology, enthusiastically describe a new book he’s edited for the University Press of Florida, Joyce and the Law. Fifteen scholars contributed essays about the legal issues central to Joyce’s work and life. (He was litigious!) Jonathan is author of Modernism Is the Literature of Celebrity and author/editor of numerous academic works. We also hear he’s a musician.  For the Joycean on your Christmas list, a special price of $40 plus shipping  has been extended until December 15. Use this code  AU1117 and order here:




Jonathan Goldman.  Photo by Dana Cotton.

Playwright Honor Molloy (Crackskull Row) declared she was there to “share the new.” And she did with a powerful monologue from her new play Round Room. An actress named Maggie Dubs believes that suicide is the only solution to an unwanted pregnancy in the Ireland of the early 1940s. She’s up on the roof of the Gate Theater, preparing to jump. Honor says, “If you weren’t there, you’ll have to wait for the play to be produced to find out.”

Honor not only “shared the new,” she treated us to her much-loved evocation of Dublin’s open-air markets, circa Christmas 1966, “Sixpence The Stars” (“The Little Oranges”). “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the little oranges,” says a Moore Street Shawlie. And it wouldn’t be an IAWA holiday event without “Sixpence The Stars.”  Treat yourself ttps://

Honor Molly. Photo by Dana Cotton.

Tom Mahon had two stories to tell. He’s so proud that his daughter-in-law Jessica Cantlon is a Time Magazine Person of Year, The Silence Breakers. A cognitive scientist at the University of Rochester, as is Tom’s son, Bradford, she was an initiator of a lawsuit against the University for ignoring the sexual harassment by a professor in the Neuroscience department.

In Tom’s fiction story “I Voted,” a young immigrant talks about the first American Presidential election he was eligible to vote in. His candidate lost, and a short year later, his children’s health insurance has been cut, and his family’s food stamps slashed. Wondering what will happen next, he realizes that the president reminds him of the dictators of his former country.

Tom Mahon. Photo by Cat Dwyer. Karen Bermann. Photo by Dana Cotton.

After her Salon debut last month, Karen Bermann returned with a second excerpt, “Either I’ll Kill Myself Or I’ll Eat The Cookies,” from a work about her father, a postwar Jewish émigré who was born in Vienna in 1922. The text was accompanied by Karen’s drawings and watercolors. Karen teaches architecture in Rome during the first half of the year and returns to New York for the second half. A recent IAW&A member, she’ll be sad to miss our events while she’s away, and would love to be in touch.

Gerry Maguire, native of West Cavan, resident of Poughkeepsie told a funny autobiographical short story, set in 1960s rural Ireland. In “The Power of The Office” an elderly man sends a child on quest for a cure for his toothache. His cry for help is answered but not quite in the way he was expecting. Gerry’s work has appeared in the Leitrim Guardian magazine and other newspapers.


Gerry Maguire.  Photo by Dana Cotton.

Introduced by Brendan Costello as our “atheist godfather,” Malachy McCourt gave his unique version of the Nativity. He also told how as a poor child in Limerick, he desperately wanted a train set and was always disappointed. There’s a happy ending, as Lionel Trains gave him a gift, in a special presentation, 75 years later. So inspired by that story, the atheist sang “O, Come All Ye Faithful,” thus ending the night on a high note.

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Mark McCourt, Siobhan McCourt. Photo by Dana Cotton.

Don’t miss our Christmas Salon at the cell, Tuesday, 12/19 at 7pm.






December 1, 2017


Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 10:24 pm

By Maureen Hossbacher

The first half of this salon at The Cell theatre featured a conversation between novelists Kathleen Hill (Still Waters in Niger and Who Occupies This House) and Mary Pat Kelly (Of Irish Blood and Galway Bay) to celebrate the publication of Hill’s new memoir, She Read to Us in the Late Afternoons: A Life in Novels. The conversation focused on her well-travelled and fascinating life and the novels that have shaped it.  Works by Willa Cather, Chinua Achebe, Henry James, George Bernanos and Proust illuminate memorable experiences, from Hill’s first understanding of death as a young girl, to her marriage and teaching career in Nigeria, her grappling with awareness of the poverty that surrounds her in post-war northern France, and the six-year project to read Proust aloud to her dear friend Diana Trilling whose eyesight is failing.

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Kathleen Hill.  Photo by Cat Dwyer.

During the Q&A session that followed, audience member Honor Molloy spoke for many when she expressed her delight in this type of event that focuses on one writer’s work and process. Also thoroughly enjoying the evening were Maureen Kennedy and Kent Covey of the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati. This was the third book launch by Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc. this year, the first two promoting Mary Gordon’s and Malachy McCourt’s latest works (There Your Heart Lies and Death Need Not Be Fatal).

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Mary Pat Kelly, right, interviews Kathleen Hill.  Photo by Cat Dwyer.

After an intermission for book signing and refreshments, host Mary Pat Kelly got the second half underway by introducing three first-time IAW&A presenters, starting with a lively reading by Myra Goldberg from an untitled work in progress, loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey and featuring a female traveller named Uli, who is working her way back from the war in Vietnam. Goldberg is a faculty colleague of Kathleen Hill’s at Sarah Lawrence College and author of the novel Rosalind (Zoland Books, 1996).

Myra Goldberg, left.   Rachel Aydt.  Photos by John Kearns.

Rachel Aydt read from her memoir now in the final stages of revision, entitled Latchkey, set against the backdrop of the New Age ‘80s in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The coming-of-age story is a love letter to the landscape, to the little brother she co-raised, and to her devoted single mother. Connecting with the salon’s opening theme of the indispensability of books in our lives, the excerpt included a mention of the blond folding bookshelf that moved with her from home to home in her youth. Aydt is an Assistant Professor at the New School and an accomplished freelance writer and editor.


Keyera Bowens, pictured at right, read two engrossing pieces, the first, “Allure,” a flash fiction about a woman traveling home, lulled by the noise on the bus. Thoughts of a troublesome lover she can’t, or won’t, let go are merged with glimpses of gentrification, of change that’s occurring whether residents realize it or not. The second piece, “Quicksand,” is a poem about an interracial relationship. A black woman describes the comfort as well as the awkwardness she feels when she is seen with her white boyfriend. She realizes the restrictions she puts on her relationship are imposed by society and she can only be free when she sheds the stereotypes and social constructs.  “Allure” is included in Bowens’ collection of stories Somewhere in America, which was the thesis for her MFA   degree at Sarah Lawrence. Her response to an audience question about her creative process — that it mainly is dependent on having to meet a deadline —  drew laughter and knowing nods from the writers in the crowd.  Photo by John Kearns.

Choreographer Darrah Carr and several members of her dance company  provided a grand finale by giving us a sample of a new, evening-length collaboration with musicians Dana Lyn and Kyle Sanna that will premiere at the Irish Arts Center in 2018. Combining Modern and Irish dance in a unique style called ModERIN, the presentation began with each dancer first executing a solo movement in silence, then uniting in a dance to the haunting music of Lyn and Sanna, from their album “The Great Arc.”  We look forward to Darrah Carr Dance  returning to the IAW&A salon on December 19th to present additional new material, including a solo by TONY award winner Trent Kowalik, best known for playing the original Billy in Broadway’s “Billy Elliot.”

darrah dance.jpgDarrah Carr, left, and her troupe. Photo by Cat Dwyer.


Darrah Carr Dancers.  Photo by Darrah Carr.


November 7, 2017

11.2.17 IAW&A Salon: “It’s Gonna Be All Right” & Sketches from a Memorable Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 11:16 pm

By Karen Daly

Photos by Gordon Gilbert Jr.

The early November IAW&A Salon, a mix of monologues, fiction, poetry and song, featured three first time presenters in the private Studio at Bar Thalia. Adding to the enjoyment, the Belfast artist Brian John Spencer delighted participants with his remarkable portraits.

Brian John Spencer, Karen Daly with Brian’s handmade sign

First on the program, Kathleen Rockwell Lawrence read from her novel in progress about a family dealing with an aging matriarch. And it’s sharply funny, as you can tell from its working title O The Places Mom Went!  Visiting her mother in the hospital, the narrator Clare challenges the nonagenarian’s delusion that she’s just had a baby: “Mom!  Mama! You had your last baby fifty years ago.” Leaving the hospital, Clare receives an impertinent offer from a sexy maintenance worker twenty years her junior. After a long sad day with Mom, Needy Clare considers it. But does Wise Clare prevail? Kathleen says: Stay tuned!  

Tennessee Williams admits to spying on his parents and sister, “the family he was damned and blessed with” in this fine portrayal of the playwright’s last days by actor/writer D.J. Sharp. D.J. was just nominated for Best Supporting Actor (World Music & Independent Film Festival) for his role in The Watchtower, which he calls “an Irish story of love and survival in Manhattan’s notorious Hell’s Kitchen.

Kathleen Lawrence, D.J. Sharp

Thom Molyneaux performed a selection from a solo show he’s developing, Me and the Monologue. Tonight he gave us “Bernie and the Britches by the North Carolina author and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green. It’s a low-key, charming Southern tale of love, betrayal and money, in which the good guy wins, sort of

A distinguished visitor from California, poet Linda Norton read a lyric essay “The Soul Must Stay Where It Is” as well as a section from her “Brooklyn Journals.” From her book The Public Gardens: Poems and History, Linda chose “Patterns to Arans” about those iconic sweaters (and islands).

Green from the mosses, brown

from the seaweed, grey and cream

color from the stones and pebbles

Read more about Linda, and the poem in its entirety at

Thom Molyneaux, Linda Norton

Native New Yorker Karen Bermann has been writing and drawing all of her life and she teaches architecture. In her Salon debut, she painted a vivid portrait, in words and illustrations, of her late father, a postwar Jewish émigré from Vienna.

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Karen Bermann.  Her illustration can be seen on the screen.

John Munnelly brought three new songs to the Salon. He composed “Automatic Fire” to help process and respond artistically to the shooting of concertgoers in Las Vegas. “It Was A Long Time Ago” reminisces about past relationships which still have meaning. And by popular demand, John reprised his hopeful song for these fraught times, “It’s Gonna Be All Right.”

In a short, but stunning piece, Rosina Fernhoff performed a monologue from Brian Friel’s play Faith Healer. As Grace, the wife of the charismatic, egomaniacal faith healer, she reveals the effects of his behavior on her life.

John Munnelly, Rosina Fernhoff
“Accidental Murder,” Tom Mahon’s dramatic story, tells of gun horror. A drunken man finally extracts revenge on his better educated, harder working and far smarter brother-in-law. Watching the Super Bowl together, he takes out a shotgun, and in the ensuing struggle, kills the better man, who leaves a seven-year-old son.

‪A welcome new member, playwright and poet Jim Cullinane read his very short story “Wilma” and an inspirational essay “Why I Write.” After working and raising a family, Jim got an M.A in Creative Writing from Manhattanville College, and has written two books, including a memoir of growing up in Ireland, Arses & Elbows. More at

Tom Mahon, left. Jim Cullinane

Salon producer and tonight’s host John Kearns read an excerpt from his multigenerational novel, Worlds. His character Seamus Logan has a vision of a now abandoned Connemara village as it was transformed and devastated by the Great Hunger. In this moving excerpt, an old widow is evicted from her home.

The grand master, Salon godfather Malachy McCourt praised the power of storytelling, comparing the voice to a pen or brush that paints a picture. And he noted how the Irish “injected life and poetry and ecstasy into the English language.” To make his point, he told a hilarious anecdote about Daniel O’Connell and a fishwife who murdered the language. Malachy ended the night with the song “Come Back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff.”

John Kearns, left. Malachy McCourt

See you next time, November 21, 7 p.m. at the cell for a Salon and book launch for Kathleen Hill’s She Read to Us in the Late Afternoon.




October 30, 2017

10.26.17 IAWA Salon: High-Energy Night Goes from Hip Hop to Broadway and to Memory, Ghosts & Love Stories

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 5:38 pm

By Karen Daly

Photos by Gordon Gilbert, Jr.

The house was packed for the late-October Salon at the Cell, and full of the energy and excitement generated by our O’Neill Award earlier in the month. One of our presenters  appreciated  “an especially warm and loving crowd.”  Salon producer John Kearns hosted an eclectic night, while Belfast artist Brian John  Spencer sketched remarkable portraits. The music ranged from hip hop to Broadway, and the range of theater, memoir and fiction pieces included love stories, ghosts, a vampire and some folks with murderous intent.

Journalist/playwright Pat Fenton read “The Ghosts of Coney Island,” a memory piece about his father who came from from Galway, Ireland and went to Coney Island every winter to be near the sea. Pat wanted to capture the haunting quality of Coney Island in the dead of winter. And he did, with this tender memorial. In January, Pat’s play Stoopdreamer will have a three day run in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, near Farrell’s Bar where the play takes place. We’ll keep you posted on the details.

fenton .jpgPat Fenton

New York actress Tara Steinberg wowed the crowd performing “Six Minutes to Life,” a monologue set to music that captures the colors and textures of emotion throughout the lifespan. Rockaway Beach resident Dan Brown wrote and directed the piece.

tara .jpgTara Steinberg

Pat Lavin shared the “coming of age” love story of her daughter and her boyfriend who have neurological issues. While visiting Pat’s tiny studio apartment on the Upper West Side, they demand their right to “sleep” together.” And Pat had a clever accommodation. In her funny and tender telling, she showed how through loving each other, the couple learn to love and accept themselves. Pat, a writer, playwright and poet, is a certified hypnotherapist and life coach who helps artists deal with stress and creative access.

lavin Pat Lavin

Maura Mulligan tapped two excellent actors, Jack DiMonte and Dee Nolan for scenes from her play in progress, Cursed, set around the 2016 election. Jack’s character is dutifully leading a meeting at the United Federation of Teachers when a ghost appears and persuades him to mix a magical potion to stop Trump from winning. Instead, the character drinks the poitín intended for the potion and we know how the election went. Maura, author of the memoir Call of the Lark, plans more mayhem ahead when The President gets a visitor “from beyond the veil.”

Maura Mulligan, left. Jack DiMonte, Dee Nolan

Rory K, the charismatic young hip hop artist, switched up the night’s tempo with his lively performance of two songs. In Rory’s track, “Suitcase,” a man is leaving a broken home in Ireland for a new life in New York City. With his remix of Ed Sheeran’s smash hit “Shape of You,” he had ‘em dancing.

Two views of Rory K

Two old friends gleefully share lots, one might say too much, information, as one patient husband (Tom Mahon) waits in the background. Maureen Hossbacher and Sheila Walsh are delightful as the friends in “How Sam Touched The Glass.” Sheila’s one-act play, part of her Evening of 8 One-Acts, tells of a night with playwright Sam Shepard.

sheila 's .jpgSheila Walsh, Maureen Hossbacher, Tom Mahon

Gordon Gilbert, Jr. gamely got into the Halloween spirit in costume and in content. Noting, “even vampires write poems,” he read a short poem in the person of a vampire residing in New Orleans. Gordon read a short story that’s to be included in a novel about an East Village vampire who has an unusual relationship with a young woman.

gordon .jpgGilbert Gordon, Jr.

Shaun Coen, an award-winning playwright, columnist and feature writer, had a great Salon debut reading from his first novel, The Pot O ‘Gold Murder. A comical thriller set in the tight-knit Irish enclave of Woodlawn, The Bronx, it features a hard-living woman detective who investigates the murder of a popular Irish bartender with whom she once had an affair. Shaun thinks it may be the only novel set in Woodlawn. Best-selling author Jeffery Deaver says “A great thriller! Coen brings into vivid focus not only his characters but also an entire neighborhood. You’ll read this in one sitting— guaranteed!”

shaun .jpgShaun Coen

In Derek Murphy’s wickedly funny play “Dyin’ For It,” the Kelly women, played by Maria Deasy, Gina Costigan and Aoife Williamson, plan to speed up the death of their evil patriarch. They practice the art of murder on an innocent head of cabbage. As they head upstairs, the playwright suggests that events will not go as planned for these women.

derek's .jpgleft,  Aiofe Williamson, Maria Deasy, Gina Costigan

We’ve seen Brandon Grimes in Mark Butler’s Ugly Christmas Sweater, The Musical and tonight we heard Brandon introduce his own original composition. Accompanied on piano by Michael Starr, the striking baritone  also sang “The Impossible Dream,” dedicating it to all the artists. A fine way to end a night full of such artistic variety.

brandon .jpgBrandon Grimes at the mic

Catch the next Salon at Bar Thalia on Thursday, November 2 at 7 p.m.



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