Irish American Writers & Artists

November 24, 2015

11.17.15 IAWA Salon at The Cell: Theatricality, music, storytelling from newcomers and regulars

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 10:13 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

The late November IAW&A Salon brought gifted actors, comic and serious, great storytellers, two new presenters (one named McCourt), along with musicians, novelists and one poet to the stage at The Cell on November 17th.

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Peadar Hickey

Guitarist/singer Peadar Hickey opened with two songs that told stories about the Irish in America. “Fighting Tom Sweeney” with words by James Kelly and music by Derek Warfield tells of the Cork-born Colonel of the 52nd Missouri who fought bravely in the Civil War Battle of Shiloh. The tender “Lost Little Children” by Tim O’Brien is about two young brothers who sail to America to meet their parents who preceded them to earn the money for the children’s passage.

Peadar is part of the touring group Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones. You can catch him regularly in NYC at Donoghue’s, Times Square, Tuesdays at 8pm and Saturdays at 10pm, the Pig ‘n Whistle, Times Square, W. 46th St., Wednesdays at 9pm, and the Dog and Duck, Sunnyside, Thursdays at 8.30pm and Sundays at 5.30pm

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Suzanna Geraghty and Mark Byrne

Here from Dublin to perform her award-winning solo show, Auditions, Zoe’s Auditions, Suzanna Geraghty treated us to a few minutes of the show, in which a hapless actor tries to demonstrate the full range of her talents in an audition that doesn’t go so well. Suzanna lived up to her description in The New York Times as “…a gifted physical comedian…” Suzanna’s “Auditions, Zoe’s Auditions” won the Best Comedy Award at United Solo 2015!

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David McLoghlin

We welcomed new member David McLoghlin who read from his memoir-in-progress, The Travelled Child.  It describes his family’s emigration from Ireland to Belgium and Darien, CT, in the 1980s, and a young boy’s struggle to belong in a variety of countries, including Ireland, upon his return home with a New England accent.  David is author of Waiting for Saint Brendan and Other Poems (Salmon Poetry, 2012), and recipient of a grant from Ireland’s Arts Council. David notes that the Salon was only the second time he has read from the memoir and was grateful for such an appreciative audience. Visit www.davidmcloghlin.com

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Rosina Fernhoff

Noted actor Rosina Fernhoff performed an excerpt from the solo play Snow People by Av Inlender. Weaving history with personal experiences, the play explores the controversy surrounding Nazi looting of art treasures during World War II and Swiss complicity in the thefts. Rosina played a woman whose daughter confronts her with contemporary questions of guilt and restitution.

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Jon Gordon

Jazz sax player Jon Gordon has played and read from his memoir For Sue at several IAW&A Salons. Tuesday he chose the Malachy McCourt route (“Just tell the story!”) with anecdotes from a book he’s working on titled Jazz Lives. Jon had unique stories about some of great musicians he met as a very young man starting out: Jay McShann, Doc Cheatham, Joe Williams, Clark Terry and Cab Calloway, among others.

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John McDonagh

Another IAW&A member who can tell a story, John McDonagh did a few minutes from his solo play Cabtivist. In this hilarious segment, John is chosen to show British actor Stephen Fry around New York for his TV show, so naturally John brings him to Queens to meet some authentic goodfellas. John graciously thanked IAW&A members for encouragement, feedback and support of his work. After two sold-out shows this fall, John will perform another one at The Cell on December 16.  Get your tickets here: www.thecelltheatre.org/events/2015/12/16/cabtivist

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The supportive IAW&A Salon crowd listens to David McLoghlin

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Thom Molyneaux

Thom Molyneaux’s play about 9/11, White Ash Falling premiered at The Detroit Repertory Theatre in May. Tonight he read two monologues. White Ash Falling is structured as a play within a play. The first dialogue had Richard, an actor, telling the other actors what he did on 9/11 and followed with Richard’s character, Greg, telling his story of that unforgettable day. Pleased with the reception and good reviews, Thom hopes to produce White Ash Falling in or around New York.

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John Kearns

Having returned from a conference in Belfast and a vacation in Madrid, IAW&A Salon producer and host John Kearns read a brief excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds, in which Paul Logan reminisces about an incident that took place when he started teaching at an all girls’ school in the South Bronx. When Paul sends a student to detention, she returns to the classroom and attacks him.  After learns that she will be expelled, two students in his class start arguing about the incident and have to be sent to separate guidance counselors.

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Alphie McCourt

In his first Salon appearance, Alphie McCourt charmed with three selections from his The Soulswimmer, A Collection. Two selections, “Quiet Time” and “The Prose Nose” were in verse. “Albanese” is a story, fictional, we presume, about a returned emigrant farmer whose erotic encounter with his wife is enhanced by a cow’s tail.  More about him at: www.alphiemccourt.com

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Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon’s true story about an incident in Vietnam, “Sergeant Murray’s Problem” is another dramatic vignette from his collection Tomorrow Never Came.  In it, a sergeant dies when he is forced to recover his lieutenant who was injured in ambush.

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Marcia Loughran

The accomplished poet Marcia Loughran was happy to be back at the Salon, sharing three poems, one of which (“Imagine October”) has been published by the Riding Light Review.  The other two were new, one “Allen Ginsberg Goes to Costco” and “Ceasefires.”

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John Kearns, Jack DiMonte, Mark Butler, and Sarah Fearon

The full night came to a close, with an impromptu sing-along of “Let It Be” led by Jack DiMonte, Mark Butler, and Sarah Fearon, with John Kearns on guitar.

Happy Thanksgiving, and don’t forget the Salon at Bar Thalia on December 1st!   See you soon!

 

 

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November 9, 2015

11.3.15 IAW&A Salon at Bar Thalia: Rich Brew of Music, Drama, Humor & More

Filed under: Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 5:25 am

“Wonderful night that evolves each time out of goodwill and fun…” Tom Mahon

By Karen Daly
Photos by Tom Mahon and Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy

Musician/writer/ singer Marni Rice graciously hosted the early November IAW&A Salon at Bar Thalia that was a rich brew of story, song, humor and poetry.  As that sage Tom Mahon says, “Even when it gets serious, it’s still fun”.

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Mary Pat Kelly

Fresh from her success hosting our Eugene O’Neill Award for Irish America magazine co-founder and editor-in-chief Patricia Harty, Mary Pat Kelly was first up. She described the research for her next novel (following Galway Bay and Of Irish Blood) and took a show of hands as to where the plot should go. Mary Pat found sharing her ideas and the feedback from fellow writers and artists “very helpful.”

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Sarah Fearon

Comic performer and IAW&A Board member Sarah Fearon also shared work in development — new ideas and comedy notes. After her terrific performance at 100th Salon and her efforts in helping organize the O’Neill event, Sarah’s gone back to the drawing board to find the “new funny.” And she did.

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Jack DiMonte

Singer and frequent Salon contributor Jack DiMonte showed his comic side by imagining how celebrated actor Richard Burton would have played Vegas. Jack’s impression of Burton doing a segment from this nightclub act started with a brief soliloquy from “Hamlet” that segued into the Billy Strayhorn jazz classic “Lush Life.”

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Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon read a dramatic story about one man’s hypocrisy. In “Elite Only,” a group of well-off men in a small town drink and swap stories.  When they leave, one of them comes upon an accident involving two women. Gerry Simmons, a country judge, elects not to help and the women die. In the aftermath, his wife divorces him; he marries his young assistant; moves to Florida and doesn’t stand for re-election. Why didn’t he help them?  He was drunk and a judge known for being tough on crime.

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Kevin R. McPartland

Salon regular, novelist and short story writer Kevin R. McPartland read from a recently completed short story titled “The Cruise,” a tale of magic and moonlight on the high seas. Kevin left the audience eager to hear the rest of this delightful tale.

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Mary Deady

Singer Mary Deady, who wowed us at the O’Neill Award, wowed again tonight with two very different songs. The first was a traditional Irish air, “On the Brink of the White Rock Air” (Ar bhruach Na carriage).She followed with a funny, sophisticated Cole Porter song, “The Physician”

Once I loved such a shattering physician,
Quite the best-looking doctor in the state
He looked after my physical condition
And his bedside manner was great!

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Gordon Gilbert, Jr.

Still in the Halloween spirit, Gordon Gilbert, Jr. read “I Know Why You Are Here Tonight” from his as-yet-unpublished book of vampire poetry: The Vampiricals, Book of Waters. He read two short pieces: a stand-alone monologue “Summers Are the Hardest Time” and “A Kiss for Miss Ellie”, which will be included in the seventh production of his play “Monologues from the Old Folks Home” when he produces it again in the spring.

Gordon hosts monthly celebrations of the Beat Generation writers at Cornelia Street Cafe, and he performs regularly there in Monologues & Madness on the first 1st Monday of each month. http://corneliastreetcafe.com

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Jordan Ortega

Jordan Ortega, a recent graduate of CUNY, shared an excerpt from his short story  “Ever Watchful Eyes,” a tale about a mysterious man following and watching a young girl from a distance throughout an eventful night. Jordan has presented several times at the IAW&A Salon, and is “always invigorated by the experience and feedback.”

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John Paul Skocik

A crowd favorite, John Paul Skocik played a few songs including a new one called  “Making You Mine.”  His  “We Should Go Home” is performed with John’s former band on the self-titled album “Girl To Gorilla,” available on ITunes and at ♫ Girl to Gorilla – Girl to Gorilla. Listen @cdbaby John’s last tune was a poppy punk original, “The Phone Song” about the self-doubt and inner turmoil of a young man trying to get a young lady to answer her phone.  John is busy writing new songs and working on a short play, as well as beginning a novel, which he hopes to share at the Salon sometime in the near future.

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Rosina Fernhoff

Actor Rosina Fernhoff mesmerized the audience with a monologue from The Piano Teacher, a three-character play by Julia Cho.  Mrs. K., a retired piano teacher who lives alone, reminisces about her husband and the children she taught long ago. One day she feels compelled to call her old students. Is it out of loneliness or some darker need?  It may not be what we cannot know what troubles us most, but what we cannot bear to know. The Piano Teacher will be presented in February at St. Malachy’s.

We’ll keep you posted on the details.

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Marni Rice

The night’s host, Marni Rice, presented a poem from her new theatre piece “Magdala: Stories from the Net & The Sea,” co-created by The Xio Evans Marni Rice Experimental Dance Theatre.  It’s an original interpretation about the life of a woman named Mary from a fishing village called Magdala, Mary Magdalene The original text by Xio Evans and Marni Rice is in Spanish and English; choreography by Xio Evans (from Costa Rica) and original music by Marni Rice (from NYC). “Magdala” was produced at the WOW Café Theatre in October 2015 with additional dates TBD in 2016.  You can see an excerpt of this piece at the Riverside Church Latino Ministry meeting on Sunday, November 15th at 1pm. For additional details, please visit: http://www.dejouxmusique.com.

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Malachy McCourt

We said it was a night of story, song, humor, and poetry and Malachy McCourt combined them all in his wrap-up, talking about “the freedom and eloquence” of the Salon, offering a clear-eyed assessment of The Quiet Man, and just a few riffs on politics.  He questions the politicians who talk about taking back America —Malachy didn’t know America had been taken away and to make his point, started us singing “This Land is Your Land.”

See you at our next IAW&A Salon at the Cell Theatre at 7 pm on November 17th!

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