Irish American Writers & Artists

February 26, 2013

Your voice will find you…at an IAW&A Salon

Filed under: Essay,Events,Literature,Music — by johnleemedia @ 7:48 pm
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It is difficult to describe to those who have not experienced it how inspiring and impressive an evening at an Irish American Writers and Artists Salon can be.  The following piece, “Your Voice Will Find You” by Chris Bradley helps make it easier.  On February 5th, Chris, a new IAW&A member, attended his first Salon, held at the Bar Thalia.  The evening made such an impression on him that he wrote the following piece and read it to an appreciative standing-room-only crowd at the next Salon on February 19th at the Cell Theatre. 

Your voice will find you

By Chris Bradley

Eight point two miles is the distance from my humble Bronx apartment above the 99 cent store on Morris Park Avenue to Bar Thalia. Walking there from my front door would take two hours and forty-five minutes. You could take the 5 or 2 train. That would take about forty-two minutes. Driving is an option. On February 5, 2013, here in NYC that would not have been the best option for getting there. It was snowing. Thirty-four minutes of drive time, and then you would have to find parking.

It was the 2 train that carried me across most of those eight point two miles on February 5, 2013. I was seeking my voice. When I arrived at 2537 Broadway – Bar Thalia – I realized I had been there before. Memories of playing Jenga there with a curly black haired woman from Brooklyn who won every game, flooded into my mind. That night, I was not; I was not ready to see it. I was not ready to greet it. I was simply unprepared the first time I had been there at Bar Thalia to meet my voice.

It found me there on February 5, 2013 at the IAW&A Salon. It found me when he smiled and told me “Your voice will find you.”

If you look out the window of Bar Thalia, across West 95th Street, if you look with eyes open and your soul ready to see the view, there is a red awning about thirty feet long. In cursive script, white script, are two words: “Symphony Cleaners.”

That evening, when he assured me that my voice would find me, there was a symphony being conducted in Bar Thalia. It was a large scale work. Somehow, Limerick, Ireland, Brooklyn, New York, those streets, those places, his family, those experiences, they created this maestro. Somehow life had carried him there to that moment where he was assuring not just me, a somewhat Irish boy born on the other bank of the Hudson and raised in Penn’s Woods, but all of the writers and artists on his stage that night, that our voices would find us.

John sang hauntingly beautiful songs. Each song filled with grit. Each song also filled with the love that shines from each pore of his skin. His voice resonated and smiles burst across the faces I saw. He sang one song he wrote for his wife Jessica. She fuels him. It is so obvious when you see them stand together that God got this couple right.

Jeanine read from her novel, her third, which is about to be published. There was a harmony developing. Her voice was comfort personified.

Tom came in with fury. He has found his voice. I picture him greeting it, likely saying, “It is nice to meet you.” “We are going to shout from rooftops together.”

Betsy, and Afric, all the other artists there, we were there together all feeling inspired by this maestro who was born on September 20, 1931, in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Limerick. Somehow the days led him to orchestrating this symphony.

Sometimes a song is not enough. Sometimes only a symphony can convey the expression. Eight point two miles from the Bronx, forty-two minutes on the 2 train, forty-one years since my journey started there across the street from Symphony Cleaners, finally, I was standing before a maestro. And I saw him for the person he is. He was the person I needed to make the introduction. He is a writer, a teacher and he is the Maestro from Limerick, he smiled deeply and told me, “Your voice will find you.” You were right. Thank you, Mr. McCourt. Wait… you corrected me on that already, “Thank you Malachy.”

 malachy-mccourt_1_thumbnail

The next IAW&A Salon will be hosted by comedienne Sarah Fearon on March 5th at the Bar Thalia.  For a full schedule and details on how you can become involved in the Salons as a volunteer or presenter, visit http://www.i-am-wa.org/salons.html.  

 

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February 22, 2013

IAW&A Sponsors “Focus on Ireland and the Women Who Call the Shots”

By Maura Kelly

Over the past 20 years Ireland has played host to a number of very successful international productions from Saving Private Ryan to Harry Potter.  In the last five years alone, Ireland has become a key destination for TV dramas –Games of Thrones, The TudorsThe Borgias to the new VIKINGS on the History Channel.

Photo info -Gabriel Byrne as Earl Haraldson and Jessalyn Gilsig as his wife, Siggy. VIKINGS, History Channel 3/3/13

With this as the backstory, I created Focus on Ireland and the Women Who Call the Shots. I have been involved in New York Women in Film and TV for many years and regularly produce interactive events for the 2000 plus member organization. I am also a member, since its inception, of IAW&A. This event is an opportunity to bring two creative organizations together and explore Ireland’s evolving Film and TV industry; and the women who create compelling programs for screens worldwide. With March being Women’s History Month and also, Irish American Heritage Month, it is a perfect time to shine a spotlight on the players and the country.  The esteemed panel of women I’ve assembled will discuss HOW they do it and WHAT role Ireland plays.  We’ll explore international co-productions and review what Ireland offers with tax incentives, talent and geography.

Focus on Ireland and the Women Who Call the Shots–

March 4th at NYU (20 Cooper Square -7th FL at 6:30 pm)

To register, click  HERE. The special IAW&A member rate is $15.00.

To send in questions in advance email MauraKellyMedia@gmail.com 

The panelists include:

Lelia Doolan is a producer and director who has worked in various roles in Irish TV, film and theatre for the past 40 years. Her recent documentary Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey is the story of Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, a formidable figure in the Irish civil rights movement. Doolan is a former artistic director of the acclaimed Abbey Theatre, founder of the Galway Film Festival, and was the first woman chairperson of the Irish Film Board. She received a PhD in Anthropology from Queens University, Belfast, and has taught community video and adult education in Belfast.

Sheila Hockin is an executive producer on Vikings, the first scripted one-hour drama series for History Channel, and MGM, shot In Ireland. She is also executive producer on The Borgias for Showtime, now in its third season. Experienced in international co-productions and formats, Hockin’s past drama work also includes four seasons of the international co-production The Tudors, starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, also shot in Ireland. All three drama TV series are Irish /Canadian co-productions. She also EP’ed five seasons of the ground-breaking Showtime series Queer as Folk.

Hilary Kehoe is a production executive and coordinator who has worked on major films and TV series in Ireland and the U.S. For six years she worked at Samson Films/Accomplice TV in Dublin with David Collins. Since moving to New York in 2006, she has worked on My Super Ex-Girlfriend and I Am Legend, and has looked after the production needs of the cast and crew on Ugly Betty, Blue Bloods and most recently, Michael J. Fox’s new venture for Sony/NBC, The Henrys, airing fall 2013.

Naomi Sheridan is a film and television screenwriter. One of her first screenplays In America was co-written with her father, Jim, and sister, Kirsten. The screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a WGA award. It won the Critics Choice award and the National Board of Review award. Sheridan’s upcoming projects include an adaptation of the acclaimed novel Galway Bay, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel Rose Madder, and Thirty Eight, an original screenplay which she has written with the support of the Irish Film Board.

Moderator Maura Kelly is an Emmy-winning producer and marketing executive. From developing kids transmedia projects to producing television broadcasts, Maura  has built a rich media career. She has been a TV executive producer, director of marketing, journalist, adjunct professor, and is now principle of Purple Mountain Media. A former executive producer at (WNET) PBS for over 15 years, she developed and produced award-winning programs for a family audience, including Planet H2O with America Ferrera, ZOOM, Close to Home with Bill Moyers, and MythQuest. She is a member of WGA East

Produced by Maura Kelly and Marcia Rock/ NYU – to register go to www.nywift.org

Another SRO Salon at The Cell!

Filed under: Events,Literature,Music,Television,Theater — by johnleemedia @ 11:18 pm
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By Mark William Butler

It was “standing room only” and you could feel the energy in the air as an eclectic and electric lineup of presenters and performers ignited the stage at the IAW&A Salon at The Cell Theatre on Tuesday night.  Spirits were high as the full house was treated to an exciting evening of fiction, memoir, poetry, theater, music and film, hosted by John Kearns.  And away we go…

Michele Cetera opened the night with a compelling monologue on relationships, “She Can Still Hear the Music.”  Michele’s character Macy Grant, whom Salon goers have met before, reveals “It feels bad, simple as that”, on her impending breakup.  Macy knows she needs to let go, but even more, doesn’t want to feel hurt.  She mourns for the love that once was and what could have been.  Michele, a dancer as well as writer and performer, beautifully evokes the summer night, the song, the romance.  In the end, Macy realizes she can still hear the music even without him, and letting go is necessary to heal a broken heart.

Ann McCoy read from MEANING Magazine…a short piece about her childhood growing up in the shadow of the bomb testing in the Nevada desert.  She teaches at Yale in the School of Drama, and is a visual artist and theater designer.  She has two pieces in the current Brooklyn Rail for February and March.

Mark Butler brought a little bit of Christmas to February by presenting one of his seasonal songs, “He’s Real,” which was performed beautifully by the lovely and talented Rachel MacRae Bouton.  The tune is from his musical A Bargain Basement Christmas, which was selected for The Players Theatre Short Play and Musical Festival in 2011 and was expanded into a full length play last year.

TJ English read a piece about the death of George Whitmore Jr., an iconic victim of racial injustice in 1960’s NYC.  The piece originally appeared as on op-ed article in the New York Times.

Maura Kelly spoke about the March 4th IAW&A and Women in Film & TV joint event:  Focus on Ireland and the Women Who Call the Shots at NYU.  With March being Women’s History Month and also Irish American Heritage month, it is a perfect time to shine a spotlight on Ireland and women who create stories for multiple screens worldwide.  Maura explained that is the past 5 years Ireland has played host to a number of very successful international TV dramas – from Games of Thrones, The Tudors, The Borgias to the new Vikings on the History Channel – and women are making it happen.  At the same time, Irish and Irish American talent continue to create compelling projects for screens worldwide.  The esteemed panel of women will discuss how they do it and the role Ireland plays.  To register, go to the EVENT section at http://www.nywift.org.  The special member rate is $15.00.

Chris Bradley’s first presentation for the IAW&A was an essay that illustrated his desire to find “his voice.”  Chris’s reading was a celebration of finding his way to the Salon — a room filled with a symphony of voices — and connecting with one of his literary idols, Malachy McCourt, “The Maestro,” who gave the directive “Your voice will find you.”  “Thank you, Malachy.”

Mike Farragher read Off Kilter, a ribald take of his very first experience wearing a kilt. It’s a passage from his brand new book; This is Your Brain on Shamrocks 2: 50 Shades o’ Green, available on www.thisisyourbrainonshamrocks.com.  Mike will also be joining fellow IAW&A author Honor Molloy for an evening of rocking and reading with Brendan O’Shea and the Lost Tribes of Donegal on Tuesday, March 5 at the Irish Repertory Theater (131 W. 22nd St. at www.irishrep.org).  He also runs the New Jersey chapter of The Salon, which is held in Morristown.  Anyone who is interested in presenting or performing there can contact him through iasalon@hotmail.com.

Stephanie Silber showed an excerpt from a film, The Story So Far, which combined interviews with Larry Kirwan and band members from Black 47 along with those of devoted fans of the band; performance footage; and clips from the band’s televised appearances.  Many of the interviews were gathered during a riotous and unforgettable Black 47 tour of Ireland accompanied by three busloads of fans.  The film evolved out of a happy and ongoing collaboration between the band and Home Team Productions, helmed by Stephanie and her partner, the filmmaker and editor, Vic Zimet.

Jack O'Connell

Jack O’Connell

 

John Kearns was thrilled to have two short pieces performed by the accomplished actor, Jack O’Connell.  The first was a monologue called, “The Surf Fisherman/Poet” about an angler’s casting his line into the sea as a poet casts into the unknown for inspiration.  The second was a poem called, “The First Little Fish of the Morning,” about a small fish caught under the roughest, unlikeliest conditions.

Seamus Scanlon read “On Her Birthday,” the last story from his collection, As Close As You’ll Ever Be.  “On Her Birthday” was shortlisted for a Hennessy Award in 2009.  The Library Journal starred review said “This collection is an ode to human truth found in violent desperation.  Highly recommended.”

Seamus Scanlon

Seamus Scanlon

Marni Rice performed 3 of her original songs (voice & accordion). While living in Paris she performed mostly old French songs on the streets and in cabarets. However, when she moved to NYC, she started composing her own songs inspired by poetry and music heard in Irish Bars.

Marni Rice

Marni Rice

Pat Fenton read from his play on Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac, which is called Jack’s Last Call, Say Goodbye to Kerouac.  It was a scene from Kerouac’s last night in Northport Long Island as he gets ready to leave the east forever, and move with his mother to St Petersburg Florida.  On this last night at the end of a small farewell party, his old On the Road days come back to him as he reflects back on his young years driving across America with his buddy Neal Cassady.  The play has been released as a public radio drama available on CD, and has been nominated for an Audio Award.

Tom Mahon read one entry called, “Emmett Garrity” from a larger work, The Wide Valley.  Emmett is the youngest son of Dan Garrity who had to flee Ireland with his wife and two small children.  After a difficult start in the New World, he prospers and stakes his children to farms to set them up.  His youngest has imagination and confidence the others don’t and go on to become a lawyer, then a politician, but when he fail at winning the governorship, he caves and moves to Paris and becomes a dandy in an enclave of exiles all hiding from something.  Emmett becomes the best of the false, pretentious lot and lives a life of illusion.

Singer/songwriter Tara O’Grady and musician Russell Brown treated us to a familiar song performed in a new style.  Tara will be recording her new album A Celt in the Cotton Club in a few short weeks, and performed one of the tracks, “Too Ra Loo Ra – An Irish Lullaby,” as a blues, with Russell on piano.  Initially the piece was supposed to be performed with Russell on harp, but the improv on piano was a delightful surprise, to both the audience and Tara.

Salon regular Guen Donohue then commandeered the spirit of our absent “Maestro” — Malachy McCourt — by regaling the audience with an unscripted wild childhood tale fully loaded with wit and imagery involving her Grandma Bridget, her brother, and a suspicious looking plant that was growing in their new upstate yard.  Having produced waves of bellylaughs from the audience, Guen happily confessed that this was her debut as a “raconteur,” and did a wonderful job in closing the evening’s festivities by leading the crowd in singing a rousing rendition of “Here’s a Health.

And finally, one for the road… “Speak your mind, even though your voice shakes.”

― Maggie Kuhn

larry-stephanie mark-mike-farragher

See you next time!   (Salon at Bar Thalia, Tues., Mar. 5)

mark-rachel marni jack oconnell michelle-tom-mahon

 

B&W photos by Mark Butler, color by John Kearns

February 21, 2013

Seamus Scanlon, Author of “As Close As You’ll Ever Be” in a Reading TONIGHT!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 9:06 pm

EARSHOT! FEBRUARY 21 WITH SCOTT, IAW&A Member SEAMUS SCANLON, WIMBERLY, VALENTE & BENDECK!

February’s EARSHOT is on 2/21 at Lolita Bar in the LES, and it’s going to be as exceptional as ever. Plus, it’s our 8-year(!) anniversary, so come on out for a lil’ extra celebrating. Here’s our lineup of featured readers and MFA candidates:

Jordan Scott (Night Errands)
Seamus Scanlon (As Close As You’ll Ever Be)
Matthew Wimberley (NYU)
Joanna C. Valente (Sarah Lawrence)
Geoff Bendeck (Sarah Lawrence)

As always, admission is just $5, which gets you a drink.

Hosted by Peter Bogart Johnson

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LOLITA BAR is located at 266 Broome Street in NYC, between Allen and Orchard. Visit their website for directions: lolitarbar.net

Stella’s “Shrimp Shells” Sells for Savings…to IAW@A Members

Filed under: Theater — by johnleemedia @ 8:58 pm
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Sunday, March 3 at 7 pm

SHRIMP SHELLS IN MY CLEAVAGE
Ever stood on a hill in the middle of Europe waiting for the Blessed Virgin to appear? Gutted rabbits in Macedonia or sold eggs and potatoes door-to-door in Brussels? Been a bag lady outside Victor Hugo’s house in Paris? What about sitting on a wine tasting panel in the Hungarian mountains or vacuuming roaches from the apartment of a Dolly Parton look-alike? Stella Pulo has done the lot and, with shrimp shells in her cleavage, she tells it all.

RESERVATIONS Online: http://www.abingdontheatre.org and use “Shrimp” as the code when you call, go online or roll up at the Theatre, for tickets discounted from $20 to $15.

312 W. 36th Street Sixth floor 

New York, NY 10018-7570
p:  212.868.2055

February 15, 2013

Mary Lou Quinlan brings “The God Box” to the stage in NYC this weekend

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 12:10 am

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February 8, 2013

Focus on Ireland and the Women Who Call the Shots!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 3:47 pm
Irish American Writers and Artists in partnership with New York Women in Film and Television invite you to a special event: 

Focus on Ireland and the Women Who Call the Shots.
Date March 4th at NYU – 6:30pm.
Great films, dramas and documentaries continue to be made in Ireland year after year, and the world is watching. Titles include: Vikings (2013), The TudorsAlbert Nobbs and The Summit (Sundance 2013). In collaboration with New York Women in Film and Television and in celebration of Women’s History Month, we shine a spotlight on women who produce and direct in Ireland and the US; and tell stories connected to Ireland. The producers discuss Ireland as a location destination, and review the wide range of incentives and tax credits available to co-productions.
Photo info -Gabriel Byrne as Earl Haraldson and Jessalyn Gilsig as his wife, Siggy. VIKINGS, History Channel 3/3/13

Photo info -Gabriel Byrne as Earl Haraldson and Jessalyn Gilsig as his wife, Siggy. VIKINGS, History Channel 3/3/13

Panelists include: Shelia Hockin, Executive Producer of Vikings (History Channel) and The Tudors (Showtime); Oscar nominated screenwriter, Naomi Sheridan (In America), currently adapting the novel Galway Bay for TV; Lelia Doolan, Producer/ Director (Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey) and former Irish Film Board Chairperson; and Hilary Kehoe, major production roles in Ireland (Samson Films) and the US (Blue Bloods and Michael J Fox).
Moderated by IAWA member Maura Kelly
RSVP info will be on www.nywift.org
IAWA members will receive same rate at NYWIFT members!
UPDATE  Irish Women & Film panel – March 4 – registration NOW open. Special discount for IAWA members.

Heady Brew of Poetry, Song and Fiction at IAW&A Salon at Bar Thalia

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 2:31 am

jim_guen_mark

By Karen Daly,

We filled another cold night with warm spirits, camaraderie and our brew of poetry, song, and fiction at the Irish American Writers & Artists salon at the Bar Thalia on February 5, 2013.

Arnine Weiss led off with a piece from her new novel SHE AIN’T HEAVY, a story of friendship, loyalty and second chances. Teddy Warner, the proverbial girl from the wrong side of the tracks moves from her small Pennsylvania town to Philadelphia to live with a childhood friend. A carbon monoxide accident the first weekend leaves Teddy with no money, no friends, and no place to live.  Arnine’s book, published by Academy Chicago is available as an ebook; the hardcover is slated for release in April. Early readers call it “a triumph” and “feisty and fun.”

“Were you only obeying when you ignored the cuts and scars on the boys’ bodies, ignored the blatant evidence of caned flesh on backs and backsides? The classless children of Dachadoo didn’t deserve your concern, did they, Doctor McNulty?” There was a deep silence, then sustained applause, as Tom Phelan gave a passionate and emotional reading from his novel NAILER, in which a former industrial school inmate seeks justice—or is it revenge? —for the children betrayed by the Irish church and government.  Books Ireland calls NAILER “a hard-hitting thriller.”  For more information, go to www.tomphelan.net and www.facebook.com/tomphelannovels.

Singer Jack DiMonte treated us to one of his favorite songs,Love Came on Stealthy Fingers,” written by jazz legend Bob Dorough.  Jack has performed at the salon several times and he educates us with his interesting musical choices.

Christy Kelly held the crowd spellbound as he read from his developing collection of poetry.  The poems included
Lazy October with Cows
Empty Page
Cliff-Walk, Greystones
Dear Father
Listen

Christy, a poet, screenwriter, and novelist is writing a novel titled NOBODY SAID.

Guenevere Donohue thrilled the group with a story from her theatre piece, Killer Is My Name, about growing up in the Bronx as one of six wild American-Irish kids whose father was an ex-Marine, a poet, an iron-worker, and spy.  Salon regulars who have followed this particular work got serious payback for being there, and await more stories.

John Kearns read an excerpt from his generational novel in progress, WORLDS.  In this chapter set in New York City in 1910, Father Sarsfield Logan, S.J. goes to Washington Square Park seeking news about the young woman, Esther, whom he had found beaten in the street and had taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital.  To his great surprise, he finds Esther not at home recuperating but giving a passionate speech to her fellow strikers in front of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. When Sarsfield approaches Esther to compliment her on her speech, the young woman decides to enlist the older Jesuit in her cause.

John is multi-faceted; he hosted the evening and also authored the poem read by Mark Butler. In honor of James Joyce’s birthday on February 2nd, John played a recording of “Bid Adieu to Girlish Days Joyce’s only known musical composition.

After the break, Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy announced the St. Pats for All Parade on March 3, 2013 in Sunnyside.  Details at:  http://www.stpatsforall.com   

john_jessica

Then novelist Jeanine Cummins captivated the crowd with an arresting excerpt about the first terrifying moments of the Irish famine from her new novel, THE CROOKED BRANCH.  The story is told alternating historical and contemporary chapters, set in the west of Ireland in the 1840s and in modern-day Queens. Penguin is publishing it just in time for St. Patrick’s Day; it goes on sale March 5th.

Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon read two pieces from The Wide Valley, his work of prose-poems which tell the stories of settlers of upstate New York’s Mohawk Valley—from the first trappers to the Irish immigrants who came to dig the Erie Canal and build the New York Central Railroad. In Young George Kelsey, a farmer is murdered by his worker but the man avoids prison because George testified on his behalf. When Peace Comes describes the promises people make to themselves, what they’ll do when peace comes after World War II.  Despite the promises, prayers and hopes sent aloft, peace never comes to the valley. There’s always a war or one brewing and the Mohawk Valley, like the rest of the country, must sacrifice again, again, again.  Sensitively read and well received, Tom.

Mark Butler gave a rousing reading of John Kearns’s poem “Let Words Be Slaves,” a clever, passionate homage to love poems, contained within… a clever, passionate love poem.  This poem was used in John’s play In the Wilderness, co-produced by Mark.

Jim Rodgers returned to read from his novel LONG NIGHT’S END. The protagonist, Johnny Gunn, returns to his flophouse on the Lower East Side, having been banished from Sunnyside by his wife because of his drinking and his affair with Molly Farrell. Back on Ludlow Street he repairs to his local bar, where we meet Olive, the sensual Lebanese bartender who, while serving him his “tonic,” seeks to save him from himself. The scene ends with Johnny and his friend Frankie headed to yet another dusty gig with their over-the-hill rock band. We’re eager to see if redemption really will find Johnny and to hear more of Jim’s work.

John Paul Skocik brought his acoustic guitar to the stage to sing three funny, sad, and touching original songs. The songs were (in performance order) “A Bastard Like Me,” “Post 9/11 Society” and “Ordinary Life.”  His band Girl To Gorilla is recording their new album and each song is to be featured.  Their first album “Super Deluxe Custom Experience” is available on Itunes, CD Baby, Rhapsody, and Amazon. The final song “Ordinary Life” was written for his wife, Jessica, who joined us at the Salon and is expecting the couple’s first baby, Little John, around Saint Patrick’s Day

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In finale, Malachy McCourt announced performances of A Couple of Blaguards at the Irish Arts Center on the weekend of February 15-17 to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy in Breezy Point, NY.  Blaguards, of course, is the autobiographical account of the brothers McCourt (Malachy and his late brother, Frank) and their years growing up in poverty in Ireland.  February 17th is the IAW&A day at the production. (So, please join us!)

Malachy, himself

Malachy, himself

A man of many talents, Malachy charmed us with some stories from the play; recited the Yeats poem The Stolen Child and lead us in a rousing version of Carrickfergus.

For information on the benefit, go to http://irishartscenter.org/benefit_breezy_point.html. IAW&A is planning a group for the February 17th performance. Watch this space for details!

photos by Mark Butler

February 3, 2013

‘A COUPLE OF BLAGUARDS’ RETURNS TO IRISH ARTS CENTER

Frank and Malachy McCourt’s comedy runs for 3 Performances only 

Fundraising benefit for the Hurricane Sandy victims at Breezy Point, NY

 
“rougish appeal” (The New York Times) 
 
 “an unholy amount of charm” (Washington Post)
 
“mixes the sweetness and kick of an Irish coffee” (Newsday)

(Friday February 1st, 2013) Malachy McCOURT will bring his much-loved autobiographical play “A Couple of Blaguards” that he wrote with brother Frank McCOURT to the Irish Arts Center (553 West 51st Street, New York NY) for three performances only from February 15-17th as one of the first events of the Center’s Spring season. All proceeds from the run of the play will aid victims of Hurricane Sandy in Breezy Point, New York where Frank McCourt used to spend time with his mother Angela before he came to worldwide fame with his 1996 Pultizer Prize-winning book “Angela’s Ashes.”

Booking and information can be found on www.irishartscenter.org or by calling  866-811-4111

Last performed at the Irish Arts Center in 1993, A Couple of Blaguards is a comical account of the McCourt brothers’ years growing up in poverty in Ireland. Though times were tough in Limerick, the tales spun by the brothers simmers with bittersweet recollections, ferocious humor and a parade of colorful characters. 

Reviews from previous productions have raved with The New York Times praising the characters’ “rougish appeal”, the Washington Post confirming its “unholy amount of charm” and Newsday writing that the play “mixes the sweetness and kick of an Irish coffee.” The Los Angeles Times wrote “these master raconteurs have laced their combined experiences growing up in Ireland, and their escape to America into a vaudeville of comedy, Irish songs and a gallery of relatives, rogues, fools and petty tyrants — priestly and otherwise.”

The two-character comedy performed by Malachy McCOURT and Mickey KELLY will have three performances in the 99-seat Donaghy Theatre at the Irish Arts Center: Friday February 15, and Saturday February 16 at 8pm and Sunday February 17th at 3pm.

All proceeds from the performances will benefit Breezy Point Hurricane Sandy victims through the Emerald Aisle Immigration Center, whose funds are currently going to aid Breezy Point victims with rent funds, alternative accommodations and building supplies. Any additional donations will aid the entire Rockaway community by restoring basketball courts in partnership with GAA. The Irish Arts Center looks forward to sharing the weekend with new and old friends while raising funds for the community in Queens. 

Work being presented at the Irish Arts Center this spring is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership by the City Council; and Culture Ireland, the agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide. 

 

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