April 24, 2012
April 22, 2012
Charles R. Hale debuted his short film “The Death of Baby Florence” at Tuesday’s Irish American Writers and Artists’ Salon at The Cell.
April 19, 2012
I followed Aedin– a daunting task–but I took the easy way out. Instead of reading a story I debuted a short film The Death of Baby Florence, a story about my maternal grandmother’s third child who died shortly after she was born. For religious reasons Florence wasn’t buried with her family. The video documents my search to find where Florence was buried and my journey to honor my grandparents’ pain. The film opens with the Stephen Foster song, “Slumber My Darling.”
TJ English, president of the Irish American Writers & Artists, read a passage from the New York Times bestseller The Savage City, just out in paperback. This was the perfect reading of a non-fiction work. Deftly set up with a powerful story, followed by a short reading, TJ reflected on a key moment in the rising racial consciousness of a young black militant in New York City.
Tom Mahon, a frequent performer, and a man of many talents, read the second half of the short story “Desperate” in which three wounded vets, all from different wars, are brought together by a man least likely to be a hero in the way he emerges. He not only saves two young people’s lives, but creates a new life and better ones for everyone by playing Cupid.
Playwright, Patricia Goldstone, followed up her successful reading at the Thalia Cafe with another reading from her playInterlock. Two accomplished actors, both of whom have appeared at salons, Vincent Bandille and John Moss, gave wonderful readings of an artist at the make-it-or-break-it age, driven and slightly maddened by ambition, but also a prankster and an outsider, not overly burdened by respect for the art establishment and his college buddy and rival, an Enron-type corporate lawyer. Another very fine performance.
Closing out the evening were Honor Molloy and guest actor, Caroline Winterson, performing a savagely funny scene from Honor’s playCrackskull Row. Caroline, appearing at a salon for the first time was outstanding as the daughter to Honor Molloy’s rendition of a mad old wan living in at the back of a kill-de-sack in Dublin 2.
Great evening. The next salon will be on May 1, at the Thalia Cafe, which is located at Symphony Space at the corner of Broadway and 95th Street. For more information on joining the Irish American Writers & Artists or learning about the salons, contact Charles R. Hale at email@example.com
April 17, 2012
April 16, 2012
Are you looking for some low cost entertainment in New York this week? Here are three alternatives:
be reading from Smarty-Girl-Dublin Savage, a wild child’s struggle to hold her family together in 1960s’ Dublin. Word is the evening will be kicked off by a jazz trio. Fornino’s is located at 254 Fifth Avenue in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Admission is free. I’d be attending this event if it weren’t for the fact that I’ll be back at The Cell that same night, Thursday, April 19th, appearing in a full length reading of ….
April 12, 2012
The Irish American Writers & Artists’ Salon at The Cell on Tues., April 17 is shaping up to be a great event. Aedin Moloney, who recently starred as Rose in the Irish Repertory’s production of Dancing at Lughnasa, a performance the Wall Street Journal described as “especially striking,” will be reading Molly’s soliloquy from James Joyce’s Ulysses. Those who have heard Aedin read Molly describe it as mesmerizing.
The Cell is located at 338 W23rd Street. The Salon begins at 7:00 and runs until about 9:30
April 11, 2012
Pioneering video art by IAW&A member Paul Dougherty is now on view in the Museum of Modern Art’s current show, “SELECTED WORKS FROM THE CONTEMPORARY GALLERIES: 1980-NOW.”
From the punk era, Frankie Teardrop (1979) combines superimposed projector manipulations and high-end video post-production technology, generally unavailable to artists. The resulting video is described by John O’Connor of the New York Times as “an urban ballad of mental break-down” and is Included in Rolling Stone‘s “Book of Rock Video.”
The museum website describes Frankie Teardrop this way:
“This coarsely textured film-video hybrid combines superimposed projector manipulations and high-end video post-production. An insightful collaboration between videomaker Paul Dougherty and Art-Rite zine editors Walter Robinson and Edit DeAk, the work interprets a strident song by Suicide-with vocalist Alan Vega and Martin Rev on synthesizers and drum machines-about a poverty-stricken Vietnam vet pushed to the edge.”
An EMMY Award winning video editor, Dougherty started working in college with video artists, creating innovative art in that emerging genre. His video work has been screened in over 25 museums, exhibitions and festivals
For the last year Dougherty has had a on-going assignment of editing short art documentaries for the Gagosian iPad App. Featured artists include John Chamberlain, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, Picasso.
Dougherty’s main indie effort of late is Punk Before Punk, a documentary origins story set in New York City which according to Vanity Fair‘s James Wolcott “explores fresh tracks of what led up to the punk scene, the bohemian burlesque that preceded it, its bleached roots.” On screen in Punk Before Punk is CBGB gatekeeper David Byrne, Lenny Kaye, Marty Rev, and Danny Fields, who dryly describes the backroom of Max’s Kansas City as a “sewer of creativity.”
Dougherty lets his inner Irishman shine through in a few of the videos he grouped together on YouTube at OutsiderTV, a casual compilation of legacy work and “just for fun” videos.
A lifelong New Yorker who traces his roots back to Donegal, Dougherty played an instrumental role in the seemingly hopeless but ultimately successful effort to save the Lower East Side’s St. Brigit’s Church–known as the Irish Famine Church–from demolition.
April 5, 2012
By Charles Hale
TODAY’S SONG: CARRICKFERGUS/VAN MORRISON
No, Van Morrison didn’t sing the beautiful Irish folk song, “Carrickfergus” at Tuesday night’s salon but Malachy McCourt ended an absolutely grand evening with a heartfelt rendition of this tune. The origins of “Carrickfergus” are unclear, but it has been traced to an Irish language song, “There Was a Noblewoman,” written in the early eighteenth century.And the Irish language was at the heart of one of the most stirring presentations the members of the Irish American Writers & Artists have experienced since the salons began. Reading from her play,Killer is My Name, Guenevere Donohue’s rapt audience sat spellbound as she weaved storytelling, keening–a form of vocal lament–and the Irish language into performance art of the highest order.
The evening began with two members reading for the first time. Jim Callaghan read from a story “Nobody Got It,” based on his “on a lark” tryout with the New York Mets in 1963, at the age of 16. Jim’s dad, friends and the stadium staff thought he was doing it because he really wanted to be in the big leagues. Jim claims he had no athletic ability and did it mainly for the adventure of playing in the Polo Grounds where his baseball hero Willie Mays played from 1951 to 1957 for the then-New York Giants. What New York City kid doesn’t relate to this? Great start to the evening.
Joe Davidson stepped up next and read from his novel in progress, a story of a mob associate and future insider on Wall Street. While celebrating his new career over dinner with his wife and mother at a Little Italy bistro, Billy Ferrara witnesses a gruesome mob hit by two men disguised as priests, complicating his already tumultuous relationship with mob boss Jimmy Vento and the Marghetti Family. This has the makings of an excellent novel. I look forward to hearing more from Joe.
Maura Mulligan, who has read on a number of occasions from her memoir, Call of the Lark, which she reported is forthcoming from Greenpoint Press next month, read from a novel in progress. The theme of the piece Maura chose to read concerned teaching inner city students whose young lives are ruled by poverty and crime. Maura also reported that she has several readings lined up in Ireland this summer.
Kevin R.McPartland read a riveting excerpt from his soon to be released novelBrownstone Dreams, an autobiographical tale set in sixties Brooklyn. Listening to Kevin’s entertaining presentations you know you are in the presence of someone who has “been there and done that.” Street smarts we call that in NYC. Tom Mahon read from a story “Desperate,” the tale of three wounded vets from three different wars. Tom, who presented a wonderful photomontage of his return to Vietnam at the last salon, is interested in the subject of returning vets who have difficulty rejoining society. Honor Molloy closed out the first half of the evening reading from her father’s memoir, Alive, Alive O. In this scene, John Molloy, a well-known Dublin television actor is on the road with Percy the guinea pig tucked under his gansey. “ON TOUR with Ireland’s Fit-Up People. Fit up a curtain, put on a show.” Honor, as only Honor can do Honor. (Gansey? I had to look that one up: … also known as guerney, or a seaman’s knitted sweater.)
During the intermission I had a chance to speak with Ed Farrell who read from his memoir, A Mild Cognitive Impairment: An Unexpected Memoir. Ed said, “This whole process, our time together here, including the intermission and lingering around after the event is so important. I am able to share my thoughts with other writers and they with me. We need to reinforce each other.” Well said and exactly what the salon is intended to be.
Patricia Goldstone, another first time reader exposed the first few pages of a brand-new play. Jim Callahan and John Moss, who were kind enough to volunteer without knowing anything about Patricia’s work, couldn’t have been better. Patricia’s words say it best: “The highly sophisticated audience gave me incredibly positive feedback. When people tell me they want to hear more, that’s the best news I can get!” Perfect.
John Kearns followed with a read from his novel-in-progress Worlds, in which Paul Logan, a drunken Englishman named Gavin, and Stephanie, the beautiful barmaid they are interested in, stop into a bar late one April night in Little Italy. There they encounter Vinny DeAngelis who solicitously buys a cup of coffee for his favorite barmaid every night. John announced that fellow AWA members Richard Butler and Mark Butler are directing and helping produce his play In the Wilderness (whose main character is also Paul Logan). For details and tickets, click here Planet Connections
Billy Barrett walked the gentler side of Highway Star last night. His touching and enlightening boyhood relationship with his foxy, funny guru-lady Charlie shows his versatility, the ability to ski the slippery slope of literary intimacy. Yeah, Billy can do it.
And closing out the evening, up from Washington DC, was David Coles, who first read from his bookIn the Midnight Choir at last month’s Thalia salon. David describes his early days in Greenwich Village in the 1970′s, newly arrived from Colorado, trying to get used to the odd ways of the Easterner and finding his place in the very Irish group of people he’d suddenly found himself among. A well-read, excellent piece of writing, centered on a great slice and time of NYC life.
After this evening of great entertainment I had a thought I’ve had before: “This can’t get any better. Can it?” I guess we’ll find out at the next salon on April 17 at 7PM at The Cell theatre, located at 338 W23rd Street. For more information on the salons or joining the Irish American Artists & Writers contact Charles R. Hale firstname.lastname@example.org