Irish American Writers & Artists

December 30, 2013

IAW&A Night at Larry Kirwan’s “Hard Times” at the Cell, January 23rd, 8 pm

Filed under: American Politics,Events,Irish Politics,Music,Theater,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 9:11 pm

Larry Kirwan’s Hard Times, last year’s smash-hit musical about Stephen Foster and NYC’s Five Points neighborhood during the Civil War, returns to the Cell Theatre on January 9th and runs Thursdays through Sundays until February  2nd.

Join us for Irish American Writers and Artists night on January 23rd at 8 pm, with a talkback with the cast and playwright after the show!


The Cell Theatre is at:

338 West 23rd Street, between 8th & 9th


See you there!


Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 7:14 pm

The year ends with our own MALACHY McCOURT, appearing on CBS This Morning on Tues. Dec. 31 between 8 & 9 AM to talk about (& sing about?) the centennial year of “Danny Boy.”

Malachy wrote extensively on the “Danny Boy” in his recent book of the same name.

danny boy

Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes, are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer’s gone, and all the flowers are dying
”Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
“Tis I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny Boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

Everyone can hum this haunting Irish ballad that inevitably brings a tear to the eye. For all its popularity, the most requested “Irish” song and its origins still remain an enigma. Is it even Irish? Did the song initially grace the Irish countryside as the winsome ballad of an itinerant piper, or did it first take form as a blind musician’s bow danced across the strings of a fiddle? Travel with Malachy on his journey for the truth as he interviews musicologists, historians, academics, celebrities, and Irish icons. Join the expedition and trace the complex evolution and enduring mystique of “Danny Boy” in an unforgettable tribute that brilliantly weaves history with folklore.


December 23, 2013

IAW&A Salon Celebrates Christmas with Poetry, Music, Fiction, and Singing!

Filed under: Events,Literature,Music,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 11:20 pm

by Mary Lanon
Photos by Cat Dwyer

Christmas made an appearance in several presentations Dec. 19th as Irish American Writers and Artists celebrated the holiday with a salon at the cell and much merriment at the after party.


Bernadette Cullen

Early on in the evening Christmas featured in Bernadette Cullen’s reading of her own three poems and one of the Nativity poems by Joseph Brodsky, the  Russian poet.  Arriving in the U..S. as an involuntary exile  in 1972 Brodsky began writing a nativity poem every Christmas.


Maura Mulligan with Marni Rice on accordion

Also in the first half, memoirist and Céilí dance teacher Maura Mulligan presented “Oíche Nollag” (“Christmas Eve”) by Eoghan Ó Tuairisc. As well as poetry, Ó Tuairisc wrote a number of novels in Irish including L’Attaque about the French military adventure in Mulligan’s native County Mayo in 1798. He also wrote verse in performance-friendly style such as “Oíche Nollag,” which Mulligan recited in both English and Irish. Accordionist Marni Rice, who composed music depicting, lines such as . . . “the sharp nails of the rain on the roof, fingering a tune,” accompanied her. During the recitation of the original Irish- language version, Rice played the traditional Irish carol, “Don Oíche Úd i mBeithil.”


Marni Rice

Noting the connection of the season and peace, the versatile Marni Rice also read two poems about peace from a collection entitled, It’s Not the End of the World, which she began writing on December 21st, 2012.  She also sang an original song called “Pub Tune” from her EP,  Songs for a Small Chamber.


Enjoying the break

After the break , Guenevere Donohue got the crowd into the holiday spirit with her very own Christmas song, “Green and Red Stuff.” She also sang Jackson Browne’s “Rebel Jesus,” accompanied by our extraordinary MC John Kearns on guitar. This was John’s Salon debut on guitar.


Guenevere Donohue with John Kearns on guitar

Continuing the holiday theme, the estimable Honor Molloy brought to life the sounds and the smells of Christmas Eve 1966 on Moore Street—Dublin’s open-air market where market women hawk their wares. Her character, Noleen O’Feeney, goes wandering among the stalls. Honor brought the house down with her reading of the shawlie’s tale of the Baby Jesus and the little oranges!


Honor Molloy

Other presenters offered gifts of their work on other themes.

The talented Tom Mahon read Chapter 10 of his novel in progress American Mastery.The Fenton brothers are given round-trip tickets to Tokyo, but Vietnam War veteran Charlie is petrified of flying and can’t sleep.  He remembers back to 1970 when at mass his brother Raymond denounced the congregation and the priest for letting Nixon bomb Cambodia without a word of protest. He can’t reconcile what he did in the war and what he knows is still happening and getting worse. Kudos to Tom for coming to present at the IAW&A Salon after having partial knee replacement surgery!


Tom Mahon

Presenting a brand-new excerpt from his novel in progress,WorldsJohn Kearns read about Father Sarsfield Logan’s return home for his father’s funeral.   Sarsfield’s youngest sister, Kitty, complains to her Jesuit brother that their siblings had begun taking items belonging to their father before he passed away.  Though Kitty couches her outrage over this in terms of its immorality and shamefulness, it soon becomes clear that she is worried that she has not gotten her fair share of her father’s belongings.


Mary Lannon

Mary Lannon read the beginning of a short story, “The Key to Catastrophe Management,” about art weather, and young love(they really are all related!).


Kathy Callahan

Kathy Callahan read from her recent IAW&A blogpost about Sinead O’Connor’s recent concerts in the3 New York are and told a story about a pedophile priest from the parish she grew up in.


Kevin R. McPartland

Member Kevin R.McPartland read an excerpt from a short story entitled,” Lost Loves.” In the story, we are taken to a small town just south of Atlantic City and introduced to a cast of fascinating characters whose lives intersect in a local bar called the Anchorage Tavern. All in attendance loved the story and Kevin promised more to come in future salons.


Don Meade

The versatile Don Meade, leader of the Blarney Star concert series and the Landmark Tavern sessions, ended the night playing a slow air on harmonica followed by a set of reels. He then concluded the evening with an a capella version of, “Muldoon, the Solid Man.”


Don Meade and the appreciative Salon audience

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  See you at the Thalia on January 7th!

December 10, 2013

Discount Tickets to Play from our friends from the Cell Theatre: “COCKTALES-Confessions of a Nymphomaniac,” 12/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 11:46 pm

Our friends, Tjasa Ferme and Kira Simring, from the Cell Theatre have a play performance coming up this Saturday night. Please come out and show your support and enjoy a $4 discount with the code LOVE911.

COCKTALES-Confessions of a Nymphomaniac

A two woman farce with a three man parade, Cocktales follows Eve’s escape from the Garden of Eden to Dr. Truth’s TV show where she begs Dr. Truth to treat her predilection for erection. The reluctant analyst forces Eve to look her twisted sexuality in the eye.


158 W. 72nd Street

Saturday, December 14th at 7pm


$12 and two drinks minimum



Tjasa Ferme

“Inspired direction with absurd innovation by Kira Simring…  Raw, funny, and totally entertaining…”
– Richmond Shepard

“Tjasa’s concentration and energy are enviable, her highly polished craft is remarkable, her delivery is exceptional. All around impressive!”
– Peter Klein, touring agent

More Information:
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December 9, 2013

Sinead O’Connor’s American Kindness Tour…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by johnleemedia @ 10:00 pm
…Takes NY from City Winery NYC to Tarrytown Music Theatre.

Insights and Highlights from Four Knock Out Performances, November 9-13, 2013
By Kathy Callahan
Sinead O’Connor walked onto the stage and stood her ground at a landmark full service dining and concert hall, City Winery NYC There’s no mistaking Sinead O’Connor for anything less than a charismatic and triumphant -barefoot Irish Warrior.  Radiating the conscience of Ireland in all her humanity through words that soar into incandescent songs. She took us along for a rollicking roller coaster of a ride that is much like life itself.
Before the artist hit the first pitch perfect note, and the band joined her on stage, ‘Hallowed Ground’ a track from her recent CD collection, 2013, ‘How About I Be Me (and you be you??)  filled the air in my head. “Take Off Your Shoes You’re On Hallowed Ground. Even You Can’t Lie When I’m Around Take Off Your Shoes. You’re on Hallowed Ground.”  From a ringside seat, I followed O’Connor’s eyes, down on the ground right before her feet and read a big and bold visual cue: Breathe.  During the course of a 90 minute set packed to the brim with songs that span the entire course of her career through today; and delivered with a full range of transparent emotions.  ‘How About I Be Me (and You Be You)??’ CD Collection, 2013
Pausing long enough to Breathe in a deeply felt song filled experience is good for BOTH the artist and her audience.
“The Wolf is Getting Married”  is no grim fairy tale of a song. Each, and every show, Sinead O’Connor transforms the iconic big bad wolf into a larger than life buoyant presence to behold and learn a lot from.  The artist spoke movingly about her four children, the youngest being nine years old.  As she sings, “The Wolf is Getting Married”, you can hear the artist (and yourself) at home singing to and along with the kids that she (and you) love the most.
Lyric, “Even When Something Terrible is Happening -You Laugh and That’s the Thing I Love About You Most.  Even When Something Terrible is Happening -You Laugh and That’s the Thing I Love About You Most.  Your smile makes me smile. Your joy brings me joy.  Your hope gives me hope. The sun is Beaming Out of the Sky Where There Use To Be Only Gray/ The Wolf is Getting Married and He’ll Never Cry Again. Never Cry Again…’
I can fall asleep to that tune.
The Rasta jamming intro to the masterpiece, “VIP” final track on,  ‘How About I Be Me (and You Be You)??  Says it all and so much more about -ever mysterious Irish resilience,
“Someone say, “Boldness”(Congregation)


“The Bible says in Proverbs 28 Verse 1 “The righteous shall be bold like a lion.” Bold like a lion. Bold like a lion. The righteous shall be bold like a lion.
Sinead O’Connor, kicks off the song with a question, “What is a real VIP?” and closes on a never ending note about the mystery of faith and intention, in a world without end. Amen.
On the fourth night in Tarrytown, I could see the songs in and through Sinead O’Connor’s eyes.  She took off her sunglasses for the entire show. Previously, at show 1, 2 and 3, O’Connor, spoke disarmingly about feeling shy and overwhelmed by the entire experience. Alas, the sun glasses.
I carried a press pass into City Winery NYC and a photo pass into Tarrytown Theatre, happily. With the help of Robert L Fischer and Paul ‘Pablo’ C  we captured telling photos of the show.
Sinead O’Connor is touring in full support of “How About i Be Me (and you be you)??” And that’s a very good thing. Don’t you think?
Available at Sinead O’Connor.Com and Amazon.Com. Rumor has it she’ll be back in the U.S. in 2014 for more shows.
It was here, in NYC that Sinead O’Connor collected her first Grammy Awards. I was in the room at Pete Townsend’s public 50th Birthday Party concert at Carnegie Hall, 1994, when Sinead O’Connor joined the Chieftains on stage along with Roger Daltry, Irish National Orchestra, step dancers, Simon Townsend on drums for the ecstatic and extended version of  ‘Baba O’Riley’. Roger Daltry, roared, ‘All Pete Townsend wants us to do tonight is sing “Baba O’Riley” to him on his 50th birthday, and so we will.”  The song was written for and on behalf of his Irish family.
It was also here, two years before, in 1992 when Sinead O’Connor ripped up a picture of the pope on Saturday Night Live. Some critics, said, and still say, Sinead O’Connor, committed career suicide that night. But I never believed that for a minute. It was a self sacrificing artistic act of sublime courage and resolve that immediately called attention to crimes against humanity on worldwide TV and it’s still playing on the internet.
A massive, far and wide, underground crime syndicate and Vatican cover up, on behalf of felonious pedophile priests, on the run, in and around the country and coming soon to a parish near you! Ongoing for decades, and never investigated or prosecuted by state and or federal law enforcement agencies, while enabling pedophile priests to serve mass, teach and counsel youth in the privacy of their office. What? Huh.
In that prescient, moment, Sinead O’Connor was transformed into a whistleblower in a state of justifiable rage, while feeling so much and being utterly fearless. But like all effective whistleblowers, she was vilified, scapegoated and demonized by the Vatican establishment, enforcers, far and wide, while children, teenagers and adults were experiencing and reliving in isolation, horrendous crimes against humanity. From Ireland to Boston to Jersey City to Minnesota to Los Angeles, in Ridgefield, NJ and back, on the alter, again.
Full disclosure: There was a thick file of decades long pedophile complaints about former Father Peter Cheplic of Ridgefield, NJ, tucked away in the Archdiocese of Newark NJ.  The investigation of Father Cheplic a former Ridgefeld NJ priest, heated up and became increasingly public in the early 2, 000’s a.d. via North Jersey Newspapers, such as the Record.  As late as, 2012, one of my all time favorite Record newspaper columnists, Mike Kelly, told another, ‘Cheplic fall out story’, That’s what I call them sometimes, ‘fall out redemption stories’
Now onto 
Back Stories: On the eve, of the church trial, prosecuting Monsignor Peter Cheplic, he resigned, took off his collar, gave up his pension and went into hiding, living on the run; and he hasn’t been seen or heard from, since.  But I know where he is going.  I never liked Father Peter Cheplic or the other ‘revolving door priests’ who came and went so quickly…and in such a flurry from the church and school formally called Saint Matthews. I wondered a lot about that as I stared out the window of my Catholic School classroom through the -third grade. I was outta there, too.  As I grew older my convictions remained unshakable. “I don’t think this is what Jesus, Mary and all the Saints had in mind. And I said so, telling my artistic mother Helen, over and over, again, ‘Father Cheplic and or the other ‘Fathers’  are really giving me the creeps, again. Please come and take me home! Always patient, and loving nurse Lucille Walsh, a former, Sister of Charity, who believed in me, made seemingly never ending calls home to my mother from the sanctuary otherwise known as the nurses office.  And so she did take me home and out in the third grade.  To this day, I take immediate solace in Peter Gabriel’s (Roman Catholic by birth) song, ‘Solsbury Hill’, song and lyrics,
Elevated, Monsignor Peter Cheplic served on the alter, at my mother Helen’s funeral mass, one month before my twelfth birthday and Confirmation, May 1970.
“Wasn’t it in History -The Artists Always Spoke Their Peoples Needs.”  from the song, VIP, “How About I Be Me (and you be you)??”  Somehow, O’Connor always manages to call to mind a triumphant Molly Bloom in the last Chapter and line in Ulysses by James Joyce.
The crowd at City Winery NYC and Tarrytown Music Theatre have not forgotten and will never forget why Sinead O’Connor, stood up, said and did what what so many could not or would never dare say or do. I interviewed many concert goers, in the decidedly chatty and friendly, ‘free associating crowd’ in between songs…As we paused, on all four nights, they said so. ‘Thank you, for being Sinead O’Connor.’
Please Link to My FB page and to ‘protective saint of the whistleblowers’.  I need that.
Copyright, Kathy A Leddy Callahan, 2013

December 8, 2013

A Perfect Mix of Talent and Creativity at IAW&A Salon on 12/3/13

Filed under: Events,Irish Politics,Literature,Music — by scripts2013 @ 3:55 am

By Karen Daly
Photos by John Lee

Variety and originality were on tap at Tuesday’s IAW&A salon at Bar Thalia. Host Sarah Fearon warmed up the crowd with her comedic riffs and smoothly led an evening that was a perfect mix of fiction, memoir, music, and laughter.


Sarah Fearon

We welcomed Eamon Loingsigh who read from his forthcoming historical novel set in the Irish controlled Brooklyn waterfront of the early 20th century, Light of the Diddicoy. Although the book is not slated for publication until St. Patrick’s Day, 2014, Three Rooms Press has scheduled some pre-publication readings, due to early interest in Eamon’s work. If you saw Eamon at the salon, you’d know why. Beautifully written, sensitively delivered.  Visit Eamon’s blog for Light of the Diddicoy at:  and the Facebook page:


Eamon Loingsigh

At earlier salons, Karen Daly has presented work about her family and about New York Irish history. Tonight’s reading was a little more personal. Years ago while going through a tough time, she surprisingly took up bicycling. Karen shared what she’s learned and what’s she gained during these years, and hopes the title says it all: “Miles:  How One Broken Heart Led to Two Broken Arms, A Colorful Lycra Wardrobe, Great Friends and Adventures, and Maybe Even God.” Karen tweets @KDaly321about what she loves beyond cycling: books, music, Irish Americana, New York.


Karen Daly

Tim O’Mara did not read from either of his two well-reviewed mystery novels, Sacrifice Fly and Crooked Numbers. Instead, he did a killer comedy routine that paid homage to the telephone bits that comedian Bob Newhart used to do. Tim thought that a teacher calling Jesus Christ’s home for his contact and family information would be a neat way to do it. Says Tim “I hope to God I was right!” OMG, he was! Visit


Tim O’Mara

A member of Mystery Writers of America NY, Gary Cahill has been entertaining us with his expert short crime fiction. In “On A Two-Way Street” a bagman with a big gun and a bag of diamonds is saved, rather than sacrificed, by a very different sort of femme fatale. The tough-guy is tenderized by the newfound, and lost, love of his life. Gary’s work can be found at Plan B Magazine and Short Story Me Genre Fiction —, and


Gary Cahill

It’s hard to resist the charm of author and singer-songwriter Michael Sheahan. Michael performed his original songs “The Roof Top Hop” and “Jingle Jangle Jingle All Night Long” from his three-time award winning production of Mr. Holidays Presents the Roof Top Hop Book, CD and DVD. If there are children on your shopping list, find it at\


Michael Sheahan

Salon regular and inventive talent Guenevere Donohue shared a brand new folk song that she wrote about the man who ran the carousel in Coney Island. “The Carny Song” is a gospel-influenced poem about a life on the edge of other peoples’ dreams. With her soulful voice and cheese grater in hand (yes, percussion), Guen’s performance brought to mind the ocean waves crashing, and gave us a fantastic moment in another person’s skin.


Guenevere Donohue

Kathy Callahan told a personal story about visiting her grandfather in Hudson County, New Jersey a few days after returning from Dallas after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Her grandfather, a fierce admirer of JFK, would say,  “He’s alive in spirit, Kathy. He is dreaming us all the way to the moon! No one can take the dream or him away from us.” Her grandfather’s stories continue to shape Kathy’s life and inspire her imagination. Author Susan Casey visiting from Venice, CA, called Kathy “ a masterful and thoroughly entertaining story teller…. Kathy Callahan’s story left me wanting to hear the rest of the story and more…” Malachy McCourt roared, “Kathy, you’ve got it all.”


Kathy Callahan

Then Malachy McCourt roared some more, bringing the salon to a rollicking close.  What’s on Malachy’s mind?   Conspiracies;  eloquent, imaginative curses; work (“not his thing”); original sin (Well, all Malachy’s sins are original).  He sang “Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go”  and we reluctantly went — ended another one-of-a-kind salon.


Malachy McCourt

Don’t forget the next salon, Tuesday, December 17 at The Cell, where there will be special Christmas presentations!

December 5, 2013

Reading of Margaret McCarthy’s “THE SACRIFICIAL KING: A PLAY FOR JOHN LENNON” at Ryan’s Daughter, 12/9, 8pm

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 11:17 pm

On Monday, December 9, 2013, IAW&A member and frequent Salon presenter, Margaret McCarthy, will have a staged reading of her play, The Sacrificial King: A Play for John Lennon, at Ryan’s Daughter. Come out and support Margaret and her play, a day after the anniversary of Lennon’s assassination.

The Sacrificial King: A Play for John Lennon

by Margaret McCarthy


350 E 85th ST  [BTW 1ST & 2ND AVE]

8:00 pm * $10 admission [includes drink!]

This play about art, creativity and imagination parallels scenes from the life of John Lennon and a young girl who is a Beatle fan and an aspiring artist herself, as she comes of age during that explosive era. Family relationships and loyalty to friends compete against commitment to one’s artistic path, amidst the social and political turbulence of the time. Each confronts what fame, or its lack, means to them. Does fame create an aura of obscene ownership?  Was it ever different? The play’s over-riding question: What in our nature causes us to build up and then tear down our heroes? The play suggests it’s an ancient part of the human psyche that we all must confront- hence the ritual of the Sacrificial King in ancient societies, and the play’s title.


Irish Amarican Writers and Artists Salon Reading, The Cell Theat

Dreamcatcher Entertainment’s Talent on Tap Reading Series is graciously hosted in the upper lounge of Ryan’s Daughter Pub in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  We put together Staged Readings of new works with professional actors, director, and a featured designer.  Following the Reading, there is an open talkback with the audience.  Tickets $10 and include a complimentary cocktail.

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