October 26, 2012
Singer Mary Deady returns to the West Bank Cafe on Tues., Oct. 30 at 7 pm to take her audience on another musical journey from Ireland to New York through the American Songbook – songs by Burton Lane, Cole Porter, Alan Jay Lerner, Sondheim, and more. Her last appearance there drew rave reviews; we recap one of them below.
Mary Deady’s American Songbook at the West Bank Cafe
By Cahir O’Doherty, Posted in IrishCentral.com on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 07:39 AM
Some singers are so good you can literally hear how much a song means to them as they perform it. It doesn’t happen very often, but it did last week at the West Bank Cafe on 42nd Street as Irish singer Mary Deady unveiled her latest musical journey at the Broadway hotspot.
A familiar face on the Irish scene in the city, it felt as though we were being collectively re-introduced to her since she is perhaps best known for singing Irish music. For many, including myself, this was our first introduction to her as a singer of the American songbook.
Aided by the utterly flawless musicianship of pianist and musical director Jeff Cubeta, Deady’s show From Ireland to America: A Musical Journey In Song was a marvel from the opening number.
It was Deady’s good fortune to be born in Co. Kerry, holy ground for generations of world-class singers and musicians. There she learned to play the harp, and later she left for Dublin for classically trained singing lessons that would eventually take her far from home on the musical journey that was her own life.
Deady chose songs that conveyed the immigrant love (and sometimes secret pining for) the homeland, and this she did as well as I have ever had the good fortune to hear. But the show has wider ambitions than merely relying on all too easy sentiment. Deady has a compelling tale to tell, and that is part of what takes this performance to the next level.
What I did not anticipate was being so moved by the deep connections between her life and the music that she took ownership of, each time from the first note.
Deady also sang songs in praise of the fairly demonic energy of New York City itself, and her version of the 1930 Cole Porter classic I Happen to Like New York seemed to conjure the whole damn city in a tribute that delighted the hard bitten New Yorkers in her audience. Believe me, that takes some skill…
To read the rest of this post, please go HERE
The Irish Lark
From Ireland to America: A Musical Journey in Song
traces Mary’s origins from a small village in County Kerry,
to traveling the world,
finding in time a home in New York City.
Although Mary is known for singing Irish music,
she has yearned to sing from the American Songbook
– from Porter to Sondheim –
where the heart and soul of this journey unfolds.
Mary is accompanied by Jeff Cubeta, Musical Director.
West Bank Cafe, The Laurie Beechman Theatre,
407 West 42nd
Street & 9th
October 30th at 7:00 pm
$15 food/beverage minimum
Call 212-695-6909 to reserve
October 23, 2012
IAW&A New Jersey Salon…Thurs., Oct 25 at 7 PM
Appearing at the Irish American Writers & Artists’ New Jersey Salon in Morristown, NJ is “Highway Star” Billy Barrett.
Billy is part of the rising tide of new age neo-beat authors.
One writer said, “His prose has the effect of Dylan Thomas crossing paths with the lyrics of the first three Springsteen albums.”
October 20, 2012
A reminder: This Tuesday, October 23, there will be a Salon at The Cell, 228 West 23rd Street at 7PM.
Normally, there would be a salon on the first Tuesday in November, but since this is election night that date will be changed. More info
Also, this Thursday, October 25, Mike Farragher will be hosting the second Irish American Writers & Artists’ NJ Salon in Morristown, NJ. For more info click here:https://www.facebook.com/events/452476801465748/
October 19, 2012
…Moderated by the first IAW&A president Peter Quinn
presented by the Irish Arts Center in association with Irish American Writers and Artists
Tuesday, October 30th | 7:30 pm
“Kennedy, master of the Irish-American lament in works like Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game and Ironweed, proves here he can play with both hands and improvise on a theme without losing the beat.” -THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Celebrate with us the paperback launch of Changó’s Beads and Two–Tone Shoes. Kennedy will be joined in conversation by author Peter Quinn.
Changó’s Beads and Two–Tone Shoes is a an unforgettably riotous story of revolution, romance, and redemption, set against the landscape of the civil rights movement as it challenges the legendary and vengeful Albany political machine. Journalist Daniel Quinn’s epic journey carries him through the nightclubs and jungles of Cuba and into the newsrooms and racially charged streets of Albany on the day Robert Kennedy is fatally shot in 1968. The odyssey brings Quinn, and his exotic but unpredictable Cuban wife, Renata, a debutante revolutionary, face-to-face with the darkest facets of human nature and illuminates the power of love in the presence of death.
Reserve your free admission HERE
October 15, 2012
October 12, 2012
Guenevere Donohue began Tuesday night’s IAW&A salon at the Thalia Café with a dose of history and a shot of soul…Irish style. Singing the Sean Nos, “An Raibh Tú ag an gCarraig?” (Were you at the rock?) Guen spoke of the love songs use as a “code song” during the days when Ireland’s invaders suppressed the practice of religion. Guen followed her explanation with a stirring rendition of this powerful song. Great way to open the evening.
It’s the playoff season, which means Yankee baseball here in New York City (until tonight at least) and in keeping with the spirit of the season, Jim Rodgers read a baseball memoir about an underdog little league team of forty years ago, a squeeze play seemingly gone wrong, and a teammate trying to get over the loss of his mother. With the townspeople in the stands, the field illuminated by lights acquired from the dismantled Polo Grounds, and the bewitching hour of 1o PM approaching, the crowd and the players awaited the return of the ball as the errant bunt hung in the night sky and then began it’s fall to the diamond and an almost sure out. Only Jim, and those who attended the reading at the Thalia know the outcome of that rogue bunt. As Jim said, “Another reason to join us for our readings at the Salon!” True.
Tom Mahon read the second half of a short story that took place in Bayonne, NJ in the 50′s. The story’s about a kid, a wise guy, who loves imitating the old, Italian shoemaker for his pals—is imitation the greatest form of flattery?—and who soon finds himself working with the old man, delivering the shoes customers forget to pick up. When Tony is hit by a car and killed, the kid is devastated. He discovers he loved the old man, and he isn’t consoled knowing his friend is in heaven. A well-read, well-written story on the loss of life and innocence, and the pain of living as an adult.
Four salon “regulars” followed: IAW&A Treasurer John Kearns read a new episode from his novel in progress, Worlds, about four generations of the Logan family. In this episode, set in 1950′s Philadelphia, Janey Dougherty is having an affair with the head of the Logan Construction Company. When James disappears on a business trip without warning, Janey struggles with the loss and with the temptation to board a train to join him. Playwright/screenwriter Sheila Walsh, with the assistance of Kevin McPartland, read the beginning of Sheila’s screenplay, Gateway. In the early 1960′s, Nora Quinn drops out of college to live with her boyfriend Louie, a racetrack hustler. It’ll be enjoyable watching this story of first love, loss of innocence and loss of soul unfold. And what would be a salon be without the brilliant Honor Molloy, always a salon favorite. Honor read—that word doesn’t do Honor justice—or rather performed Backassed, a memoir of NYC in the early 80s.Bestselling author Jeanine Cummins followed Honor and read from her new novel, The Crooked Branch, which comes out in March. After she read a particularly vivid excerpt about childbirth, one man in the audience introduced himself to herthis way, “Hello, I was just pregnant with you.”
And then, from the throes of childbirth to the lighter side of life, beginning with Sarah Fearon riffing on a wide range of subjects. Putting a humorous spin on subjects from researching our roots, the economy, yoga, relationships, hoarding, real estate, and introducing the idea of the “Smart Clone,” Sarah had the crowd roaring. And if that weren’t enough, she was followed by “Malachy time.” Malachy McCourt that is. And picking up where Sarah left off, Malachy read a hilarious essay from a recently published anthology entitled Exit Laughing. Malachy sent everyone into the break laughing (no one exited, though) riffing on the funny side of death and plane flights with “Angela’s Ashes,” a reference to his beloved mother and his brother’s book of the same name. No shortage of material in this family.
Kathleen Vaughan closed out the readings sharing a chapter from her upcoming book The Fatal Call. Cancer was a transformational experience, Kate says. “I am grateful that I had the wake up call and grateful for all the awakening I have done because I had this illness. Anything is possible when you align with your spirit.” Bravo, Kate.t
Charles Hale and Malachy McCourt
And the evening ended on a high note, in fact, a number of beautiful high notes. Combining Billie Holiday’s gift for meticulous but effortlessly poetic phrasing with Anita O’Day’s swingin’ sassiness, June Christy’s cocktail coolness, Patsy Cline’s rural romanticism, and Sarah Vaughn’s sophisticated sultriness, New York jazz/blues singer Tara O’Grady is indeed a musical force of nature to reckon with. Sarah sang her rendition of Billie Holiday’s 1957 recording of “Stars Fell on Alabama,” a song she is currently translating into Irish, along with other jazz standards. Brilliant ending to a grand evening.
And this note from Philomena Forde. “Thanks for a great night of fun and fellowship. I felt good reading my piece as it brought back many happy memories, and contained a few historical bits and pieces also. The variety of comedy—Sara was great—playwriting, short stories, and of course Malachy’s wonderful presentation was just fantastic. That’s Limerick for ye!” And that about says it all.
The next salon will be at The Cell Theatre located at 338 W 23rd St, on Thursday, October 23 at 7PM. For more info on the salons contact Charles R. Hale at email@example.com
October 9, 2012
A reading of IAW&A member Mark Donnelly’s complete play about Mother Jones will be held at the Dramatists Guild in Manhattan on Friday, October 12 at 7:30. The Dramatists Guild is located at 1501 Broadway between W. 43rd