Irish American Writers & Artists

October 12, 2016

10.6.16 IAW&A Salon: Provocative mix of monologues, a dynamic man from Mullingar and one lovely soprano

Filed under: Uncategorized — by kdaly321 @ 1:15 pm

By Karen Daly

Photos by Christopher Booth and Cat Dwyer

 The audience at the first October IAW&A Salon at Bar Thalia was rewarded with mighty performances. First time host and frequent contributor Tom Mahon presided easily over a bill of stunning monologues, new fiction, an essay and phenomenal spoken word poetry.

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Tom Mahon warms up the crowd

Musical interludes were supplied by actor and singer Annalisa Chamberlin who performed a selection of contemporary and classical songs, including “Songs My Mother Taught Me” by Antonin Dvorák in her lovely soprano.

DSC_0056.JPGAnnalisa Chamberlin

We had a mostly male slate, and many stories about, well, men. Mark Donnelly’s original story/monologue “Pale Green Walls” is about a middle-aged man who moves upstate from Long Island after getting divorced. Alone, he faces a new job and a new life. In Mark’s effective telling, the audience saw the pale green walls in his empty apartment.

DSC_0020.JPGMark Donnelly

Gordon Gilbert, Jr. read three pieces from a series he’s calling “The Dick Monologues,” the message being “Love may be true; lust is ever fickle.” He also gave an original bawdy limerick, especially for the man from Limerick, Malachy McCourt.

dsc_0231Gordon Gilbert, Jr.

Jack DiMonte chose a monologue from David Mamet’s Oleanna. A college professor on the verge of receiving much-coveted tenure must deal with an obstacle, an ambiguous charge of harassment from a female student. Jack portrayed him trying to reason, cajole and finally pleading with her to withdraw her complaint.

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Jack DiMonte

In an explosive monologue, actor Thom Molyneaux took Eddie Harrington, a Vietnam vet with a devastating secret, from the pages of Tom Mahon’s new play Closing Civelli’s to the mini-stage of the Thalia. Explosive performance, too, notes the author Tom Mahon. “I can’t believe what he did with the character I wrote.”

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Thom Molyneaux

In the fiction department, two Salon regulars shared new installments of work-in-progress. Short story writer and novelist Kevin R. McPartland read from Brooklyn Rhapsody. In a brief, entertaining piece, he described a relationship about to go on the rocks in newly gentrified Park Slope, Brooklyn. Kevin appreciated its enthusiastic reception.

dsc_0218Kevin McPartland

IAW&A Board member John Kearns read from his novel, Worlds. Nora Logan, mother of Reverend Sarsfield Logan, S.J., tells how she came to America from County Cork and it’s a clever story. Unwilling to go along with an arranged marriage, the young Nora asked for a bicycle as an engagement present and then she cycled to Dublin and boarded a boat to New York.

dsc_0196John Kearns

Another work-in-progress was a candid, thought-provoking essay by IAW&A Board member Brendan Costello Jr. In “On Making an Entrance,” Brendan writes about Boris, a friend who had a huge impact on his adjustment to living life in a wheelchair.

bcBrendan Costello

Marty Mulligan from Mullingar, storyteller and spoken word artist, was visiting New York and performing poetry in America for the first time. Salon producer John Kearns invited him to the Salon, and result was thrilling: two spoken word pieces, rhythmic and furiously fast. “My Idea of Poetry” explains what poetry means to him and “I’m Sorry” explains what to do when arguing with a loved one, namely apologize for everything. Marty sends his thanks for “a great night’s entertainment” and hopes to return and perform stories from Ancient Ireland.

DSC_0180.JPGMarty Mulligan

Malachy McCourt summed up the night with his appreciation for all those “words” and added a few of his own, with hilarious stories from the Irish courts. He sang us out with “I Don’t Work for A Living.”

csc_0270Malachy McCourt

We’re counting down to the big night Monday, October 17, when Malachy receives IAW&A Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award. Don’t miss this event. Get your tickets now

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-eugene-oneill-award-honoring-malachy-mccourt-tickets-26863949797

And see you next WEDNESDAY, October 19 at The Cell, 7pm

Scene at the Thalia

 

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