Irish American Writers & Artists

September 22, 2015

Jubilant 100th IAW&A Salon 9/15: Celebrating Our First Four Years

Filed under: dance,Essay,Film,Literature,Music,Theater,Uncategorized,Visual Arts — by scripts2013 @ 8:56 pm

  
”…a fine green thread binds us together…” Colin Broderick

By John Kearns and Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

We had much to celebrate at the Cell Theatre on September 15. Our 100th Manhattan Salon featured readings and performances of works developed over the Salon’s first four years and a retrospective of IAW&A Salon photographs by Cathleen Dwyer.

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Audience enjoying Cat Dwyer’s photos

annaDeputy Irish Consul General, Anna McGillicuddy

The Consulate General of Ireland/New York, represented by Anna McGillicuddy, Deputy Head of Mission, congratulated IAW&A on the occasion. Origin Theatre Company’s Artistic Director George C. Heslin welcomed the IAW&A Salon to its prestigious 1st Irish Theatre Festival this year.

georgeGeorge C. Heslin

And Salon founder Malachy McCourt returned after a brief absence this summer. Malachy’s presence and performance meant a lot to everyone in the SRO house, as he truly is our guiding spirit.

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Malachy McCourt

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John Kearns

IAW&A Treasurer John Kearns produced and hosted the 100th Salon as a curated program of fiction, memoir, poetry, music, dance, visual and performance arts. Cathleen Dwyer, special events, portrait and urban landscape photographer, has taken photographs at the Salon since the early days. Tonight we enjoyed a slideshow of over 100 striking pictures from the first four years. Cat also photographs concerts and does headshots for performers. She is always available for hire and offers discounts to IAW&A members. To purchase prints and see more of her work, go to CatsEyePix.com.

sarahSarah Fearon

Sarah Fearon has shared her comedy routines with us since the beginning of the IAW&A Salon. Her play, “Ted Talks NYC” was developed from her comedy and won first prize at the Short Play Festival at the Players Theatre this summer. From tonight’s sample we can see why: Sarah was fiery, funny and profound.

tomTom Mahon

Frequent Salon reader Tom Mahon has presented fiction, poetry, film and even a children’s book. He credits the Salon with helping him complete his novel. “Unforgivable,” a tragic story with a shocking ending, is a vignette from his collection Tomorrow Never Came. Tom told it with his usual dramatic force.

mpkMary Pat Kelly

Mary Pat Kelly is author of the best-selling novel Galway Bay, and award winning documentary filmmaker. She charmingly described her Chicago Irish roots and her research for her latest novel, Of Irish Blood, excerpts of which she had debuted at salons.

colinColin Broderick

Author and filmmaker Colin Broderick delivered a knockout piece about his development as a writer. He has written two memoirs, Orangutan about his first twenty years in New York City and That’s That about his early life in Northern Ireland. He is now editing the collection The Writing Irish of New York.

honorHonor Molloy

Speaking of knockout pieces, Honor Molloy described her childhood journey from Dublin to America and finding encouragement for her work in NY’s Irish American community. Author of Smarty Girl: Dublin Savage, playwright, instructor, Honor has been a regular contributor since the start of the IAW&A Salon.

cathyCathy Maguire

Cathy Maguire originally from Dundalk, Co. Louth, showcased her talents as a singer/ songwriter. Her beautiful country song “Portrait” looks at an old wedding picture and wonders how the couple’s life turned out. In addition to her country album made in Nashville, her Ireland in Song explores the top ten most famous Irish ballads. Guitar virtuoso, Irish born Damien Kelly accompanied Cathy and we hope to hear more of his work. Find him at http://www.damienkellyguitar.com

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Damien Kelly and Cathy Maguire 

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Backstage at the Cell….

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Karen Daly, with Malachy on the laptop screen

aud    Full house enjoying Salon 1oo

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Mary Lou Quinlan

At a fall 2011 Salon, Mary Lou Quinlan read her earliest work on The God Box, a loving tribute to her late mother. She turned that book into a New York Times bestseller, website and mobile app. And with theater veteran, Martha Wollner, a one woman play “The God Box, A Daughter’s Story” Performances around the US, Ireland and at the Edinburgh Fringe 2014 have raised over $300,000 for charities. Brava, Mary Lou!

meg  Megan O’Donnell

Poet Megan O’Donnell describes her poems as “…attempts to deal with the complexities of gender, race, violence, and survival through the lens of poetry.” They were “Letter to a Young Man,” “ Survival Guide,” “Window Shopping,” “Make Waves,” and a haiku “When. ” The multitalented Megan is award-winning writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction and lyricist for the jam band, Sofus.

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Maura Mulligan and Patty Furlong

In another example of work debuted at a Salon, Maura Mulligan performed sean nos stepdancing for the first time at a Bar Thalia earlier this year. Just a few months later, in August, she won third-place medal in the All-Ireland sean nos competition in the Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo. Trad musician Patty Furlong accompanied Maura on the button-accordion. Patty is a winner of All-Ireland titles and founding member of the world famous Cherish the Ladies traditional music group.

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Mary Lannon

More congratulations to Mary Lannon.  Her story, “Frank N. Stein,” first presented at a Salon became her first publication in www.storymagazine.org The story tells of a young woman’s quest to leave an imagined monster behind her, for those imaginary monsters can the hardest to shake!

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Maxine Linehan

“Fiercely talented “ (NY Times) Maxine Linehan introduced her song “I Think of You” by Andrew Koss and Bob Stillman at a Salon. The song, about the trials and tribulations of life in NYC is now a standard part of her repertoire. Accompanied on piano by her husband Andrew Koss, Maxine also performed a tender rendition of U2’s “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own.”   You can catch her solo show on October 17 at

http://54below.com/artist/maxine-linehan/

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Composer and accompanist, Andrew Koss

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Larry Kirwan

Larry Kirwan, IAW&A President, premiered a beautiful new song, “Floating My Way Back to You”, written about his great grandfather, a Wexford sea captain, whose ship went down off Cornwall in 1898.

malMalachy McCourt

And it was only fitting that the great Malachy McCourt, author and raconteur brought the 100th Salon celebration to a close with story and song. Recently sidelined with a leg injury, Malachy, as Tom Mahon notes, was “…in rare form last night after escaping his current confinement.”

Numerous other artists credit the IAW&A Salon with encouraging and offering a supportive environment to present their work and fostering a sense of community. Some of them include John Brennan, John Cappelletti, Kathleen Donohoe, Kathleen Frazier, John Kearns, Maura Knowles, Margaret McCarthy, and Vivian O’Shaughnessy.

On the occasion of 100th IAW&A Salon, may we take this space to thank all IAW&A members and Salon goers and volunteers for their participation, encouragement and support. Special thanks to the hardworking staff at The Cell Theatre. More about IAW&A Salons at http://i-am-wa.org/salons/

Please note the next Salon is WEDNESDAY, 10/7 at 7pm at Bar Thalia.

And get your tickets now for our big annual bash. For fast and easy ticket purchases:

2015 Eugene O’Neill Award Honoring Patricia Harty of Irish America Magazine

Monday, October 19, 2015 at 6:00 PM

The Manhattan Club, Upstairs at Rosie O’Grady’s, New York, NY

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-eugene-oneill-award-honoring-patricia-harty-of-irish-america-magazine-tickets-17926140569

May 11, 2015

IAW&A Salon 5-5-15: Members Debut New Songs, Stories, Plays and Talents

Filed under: dance,Events,Film,Literature,Music,Theater — by scripts2013 @ 4:22 am

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

The early May Salon at Bar Thalia was a merry and mellow affair, with members introducing brand new compositions, fictional works, and theater pieces. We were also introduced to a centuries’ old fiddle tune and Irish dance form.

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DJ Sharp

Actor and writer, DJ Sharp started off the proceedings with a reading from his screenplay.

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Thom Molyneaux

Playwright Thom Molyneaux read from his new play Miller Kazan HUAC… and Marilyn Monroe that tells the story of the creative partnership of Elia Kazan and Arthur Miller. That partnership was destroyed when Kazan “named names ” for the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950’s and they confronted each other, not directly, but via their art — Miller striking first with The Crucible; Kazan hitting back with On The Waterfront. Thom will be off soon for the world premiere of his play White Ash Falling 9/11 at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, the oldest professional theatre in Michigan.

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Maureen Hossbacher

Maureen Hossbacher gave a delightful reading from her untitled novel-in-progress. Set in a small parish in the midlands of Ireland, this section introduces two of the main characters, Fr. Thomas Doyle, a local priest, and his childhood friend, Desmond Long, a psychiatrist returned to his home town after years abroad. The priest’s housekeeper, Maude, steals the scene, as she contrives a subtle revenge against her employer, the supercilious, alcoholic pastor of St. Fintan’s.

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Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon’s short, dramatic story was about a black family who move into a white neighborhood, and whose young son is beaten for no reason. His parents refuse to allow anything to stop them from loving and supporting their children. After years of working steadily, the black kids go to college on scholarships and make something of themselves, while the white family next door slide deeper into the cesspools of pride and prejudice.

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Memoirist and dancer, Maura Mulligan, accompanied by fiddler, Marie Reilly introduced us to Sean Nós dancing – the oldest style of dancing in Ireland. Long before Set, Céilí or the formal Step dancing, Sean Nós was popular all over Ireland. Like the Irish language, the form was stamped out and only survived in the very far corners of the country, the Gaeltacht, the Irish speaking areas. Often danced on half doors and on tabletops, this loose and free style form of dance is now enjoying a huge revival. There are no specific steps and so individual dancer must improvise. An accomplished step dancer and céilí teacher, this was Maura’s debut as a Sean Nós dancer. Check her website: www.mauramulligan.com Follow her memoir, Call of the Lark on Facebook: Follow Call of the Lark on Facebook

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Marie Reilly and Maurs Mulligan

Marie Reilly followed with a lively march tune known as “Conmachne” which she told us is untitled in the manuscript dated 1846 of Thomas Kieran, a nineteenth century fiddle master from Drumlish, Co. Longford. Marie told the fascinating story of the tune’s discovery. In 1962 Pierce Butler, a fiddle player and carpenter happened to be working on the removal of a thatched roof and found the manuscript hidden in the thatch. It seemed to be a manuscript Thomas Kiernan used in teaching in the period 1844-1846. Kiernan taught widely, travelling on foot from house to house, lodging at night in the houses where he taught. The accommodation was part of his payment along with a noggin of whiskey for breakfast and a plentiful supply of his favorite tobacco. Marie’s music can be found on her website: http://www.mariereillymusic.com

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Maura Megan Knowles and John Kearns

Back from L.A where she is shooting a film, Maura Megan Knowles debuted a brand new, very powerful song, “Shamed & Silent No More,written with composer Kevin McNally and accompanied on guitar by the talented John Kearns. Maura has been busy in L.A., where she did a pilot with Danny Trejo and the new ABC Family Series, Stitchers. She’s also recording songs and writing. Please visit www.mauramknowles.com for more.

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Mark Butler

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Christian Zabriskie

Mark Butler, producer of IAW&A’s fundraiser to benefit Urban Librarian Unite introduced ULU’s Executive Director
, Christian Zabriskie. ULU is grassroots advocacy group of librarians from all over the city. They bring Mini Libraries and public storytelling to the streets and parks, sponsor a 24 Read In to promote reading, and they ran a hugely successful campaign to distribute children’s books after Hurricane Sandy. ULU embodies IAW&A’s mission of fostering access to the arts and education. We think this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Some of the artists scheduled to appear in The Amazing Library Variety Show: Maxine Linehan, Jon Gordon, Richard Butler, Marni Rice, Hammerstep, Honor Molloy, TJ English, Larry Kirwan, Karl Scully and several beloved Salon presenters.

The Amazing Library Variety Show. May 19 at 7pm at The Cell. Donation $25; all proceeds will go to ULU. Reserve now at amazinglibraryshow@hotmail.com

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John Kearns

Salon host John Kearns shared a brand-new excerpt from his novel in progress, Worlds. Writing in his journal, Paul Logan tells the story of meeting a childhood friend, Joe Boyle, at his mother’s wake in Ardmore, PA and then running into Joe again at Bowling Green in New York.  We’ll get to hear about the encounter between these two old friends at the next IAW&A Salon.

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Kevin R. McPartland

Novelist and short-story writer, Kevin R. McPartland held the Salon crowd in rapt attention as he told a tale of old Brooklyn meets new Brooklyn with a looming eviction from a basement apartment at stake, a story that indeed had an interesting, comical, and poignant plot twist at the end.

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John Paul Skocik

We got to enjoy John Paul Skocik performing three original tunes, two of them performed for the very first time anywhere. “Masquerade,” a happy sounding pop piece attempts to musically conceal the sardonic and self-loathing lyrics of an unrequited love. Next was a snippet of the unfinished “Cocktail Hour,” sung a capella, and inspired by Frank Sinatra’s contribution to the great American songbook. John premiered the rough, comical and lyrically sentimental punk styled tune “My Place.” It tells the brief tale of a man frustrated that he can’t be more to the woman he loves, yet he is also frustratingly content that he at least has what he has. Find John’s songs on iTunes and other online outlets, under his former band Girl To Gorilla.


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Guenevere Donohue

Guenevere Donohue sang a gorgeous new composition that she wrote for the children of Palestine. Guen was inspired and moved by hearing that one of those children said “I have never seen the sea,” and she composed a song with that title. You can see the kids’ painting for Rogue Foundation’s I Am Palestine: “I Have Never Seen the Sea” Exhibit at the Chelsea Fine Arts building.

Prompted by Guen’s lovely song, Malachy McCourt recounted a not-so-lovely childhood memory of a promised trip to the sea that didn’t happen. He closed the night leading us with, “The Sea Around Us.”

 

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Malachy McCourt

“The sea, oh the sea is the gradh geal mo croide.
Long may it stay between England and me.
It’s a sure guarantee that some hour we’ll be free.
Oh thank God we’re surrounded by water!”

Don’t forget: The “Special Edition Salon” The Amazing Library Variety Show. May 17 at 7pm at The Cell. Donation $25; all proceeds will go to ULU. Reserve at amazinglibraryshow@hotmail.com.

April 26, 2015

4.21.15 IAW&A Salon and Book Party: Festive doubleheader of readings, performances, and song!

Filed under: dance,Essay,Events,Literature,Music,Theater — by scripts2013 @ 9:18 pm

By Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

“…the amazing worlds that you all create…”  Karl Scully

A lively celebration for the launch of IAW&A President and Wexford man Larry Kirwan’s new book, A History of Irish Music brought out an SRO crowd to the Cell. Malachy McCourt gave a moving introduction to Larry and his book.  Larry enchanted the crowd by reading a chapter about the iconic blues guitarist, Rory Gallagher. Our Salon followed, with producer John Kearns hosting topnotch presentations that included music, memoir, poetry, fiction, and humor. mary

Mary Tierney

The actress Mary Tierney started the Salon with a scene from an untitled novel-in-progress by writer Joseph Davidson. In 1966, a young woman named Bobby Joe Lang is hitchhiking from Kansas to San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury in search of love and peace. She is picked up by a stranger in a truck and her life is soon threatened. Mary’s dramatic reading brought both characters to life. jk

John Kearns

christy

Christy Kelly

Poet, screenwriter, and novelist Christy Kelly read from his novel-in-progress called, Nobody Said. He dedicated this section to Larry Kirwan. In Nobody Said, two cops cruise the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx (Bruckner Boulevard) in the Olympic Year of 1976, when, Christy says, “The sky was pink with arson.” bernadette

Bernadette Cullen

Poet and professor Bernadette Cullen read “Ruminations While Standing on the Edge of the Precipice” which she describes as a longish poem on uncomfortable ‘truths’…. sean

Sean Carlson

Sean Carlson has serialized chapters from his yet-untitled family memoir of emigration at previous Salons. Tonight, he showed another side of his writing with excerpts from a travel series recently shortlisted as a finalist in a contest judged by the editor of the Paris Review. “Notes from Cambodia” is scheduled to publish this summer in Nowhere Magazine.

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Larry Kirwan enjoying the Salon

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 Stephanie Silber

Stephanie Silber gave a powerful reading from her first novel, Other People’s Houses, a coming of age story set in the early seventies. Pregnant teenager Queenie has been shipped off from her humble roots for the duration to live with a wealthy family on Long Island. Complications ensue when their foundering son returns unexpectedly from Harvard. This scene plays out on a beach and on a boat, in a haze of heat one Fourth of July; a high school friend of Queenie’s has come to visit — and has set her sights on the troubled, glamorous, son. Feelings run high. larry_book

Larry Kirwan

We had more enchantment from Larry Kirwan when he read another passage from A History of Irish Music. You can purchase Larry’s book at www.black47.comor Amazon.com. Find the schedule for his upcoming solo solo gigs iwww.black47.com karl

Karl Scully

Karl Scully, one of the world famous Irish Tenors, graced us with a song, “My Lagan Love.” Karl has appeared in movies, performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and around the world. So we appreciate his appreciation of the Salons. Karl was delighted to enter “…the amazing worlds that you all create…” crowd

A full house for the IAW&A Salon and book launch party

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Marie Reilly on fiddle and Maura Mulligan

Accompanied by the fiddler Marie Reilly, Maura Mulligan presented an excerpt from her memoir, Call of the Lark. The piece, depicting school days in Ireland of the 40s/50s will be part of a performance at the Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo this summer. Maura is honored to work with Marie in preparing to introduce passages from the book with musical interludes.You can find a video of their performance, courtesy of Dee Nolan, on https://www.facebook.com/CallOfTheLark brendan

Brendan Costello Jr.

IAW&A board member and frequent Salon contributor, Brendan Costello Jr. read the opening of T.S. Eliot’s famous poem “The Waste Land.” Brendan reworked that section as a Buzzfeed lifestyle article, proving that April may still be the “cruellest month,” but at least it’s user friendly.  “What I’ve found in this handful of dust might just haunt you for years to come!” Brendan also edits the IAW&A “Weekly” newsletter. He encouraged members to share news of upcoming events, gigs, performances and publication, or other events that may be of interest to the group. Send your news or send an email to subscribe to iawaweekly@gmail.com mun

John Munnelly

Singer/songwriter John Munnelly says: “Thank you for the love, artistic freedom and support I receive regularly from the IAW&A and friends…” John played two original compositions. His new song about love, from a distance, was inspired by the title of Theresa Lennon Blunt’s memoir, “I Sailed the Sky in A Silver Ship.” The melody for his second song came from a dream he had one morning while in Dublin attending a launch event for his soccer supporters song “King of Cambridge.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9brCB-5A6Y John asks for your vote on the song’s title. He’s wavering between “No More Than A Boy” and “Through the Passing of the Years.” Find him at http://johnmunnellymusic.com/fans-contact-social-upload/ malachy

Malachy McCourt

Malachy McCourt brought the night to a rollicking close, with a story about his days as a gold smuggler. Saying he wasn’t sure about remembering the lyrics, he delivered verse after verse of the Noel Coward (a Salon first?) song about British officers in India. “I Wonder What Happened to Him?”

Whatever became of old Tucker?
Have you heard any word of young Mills
Who ruptured himself at the end of a chukka
And had to be sent to the hills?
They say that young Lees Had a go of D.T.’s’
And his hopes of promotion are slim. 

Next IAW&A Salon will be May 5, at Bar Thalia. Join us and see what surprises are in store.

December 19, 2014

12.16.14 IAW&A Salon at The Cell: Our One-of A Kind Holiday Extravaganza ‪#‎iawasalon

Filed under: dance,Essay,Events,Literature,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 9:47 pm

“Excellent. So moving and so much fun. A true variety show!”

by Karen Daly
Photos by Cat Dwyer

The IAW&A December Salon at The Cell has become a don’t-miss event on the Holiday Calendar. Salongoers know they’ll find an array of talented artists bringing their gifts of music, language and dance, genuine good cheer and a unique setting in the Chelsea performance space. This year, the high-energy SRO crowd got all that, plus some Christmas treats. Santa made an appearance in black sequins; we sampled Wren Day, right here in NYC; environmentally conscious elves, award winning songs, jazz riffs, laughs and a tour de force by Honor Molloy were on the program.

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We congratulate John Kearns on his two-year anniversary as Salon producer and thank him for his excellent, generous work. (He’s probably blushing by now.)

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First time IAW&A presenter Gordon Gilbert Jr. braved the leadoff spot with poignant monologues about loss and growing old. They included “Heaven” in which a woman enjoys life after the death of the husband who had abused her verbally for over sixty years and “I Do Not Fear the Dark” in which an elderly jazz musician has just learned he has Alzheimer’s. Gordon read his lyrics to a song about facing the holidays alone, “Waking Slow.” Currently at work on two novels and poetry, Gordon performs regularly at spoken word events. In February, he will resume hosting monthly events celebrating Beat Generation writers at the Cornelia Street Cafe.

To learn more, contact him at gordonagilbertjr@usa.net Gordon’s comment about the night – “What a wonderful evening! What wonderful people!”

sarah_jon

A merry combo, comic performer Sarah Fearon teamed up with world-class jazz musician Jon Gordon to present “The Real Holiday Letter.” A spoof on the classic year-in-summary Holiday bragging letter, Sarah’s version shows what the letter would really say if it were truthful. Jon Gordon’s twisty saxophone accompanied Sarah with “We Wish you a Merry Christmas,” “Jingle Bells” and other Christmas standards. Jon finished the set with famous tune “Christmas Time is Here.”

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Playwright John Cappelletti brought two professional actors, Barry Sacker and Maura Knowles to play elves in his vaudeville “What’s Bode?” Concerned with the polar caps melting at an unprecedented rate, (thus causing the oceans to rise dangerously and eventually end civilization as we know it) Santa’s tiny helpers think they can save the world. They plan to prevent jolly St. Nick from making his annual journey and shut down Christmas. The elves hope to teach us to respect Mother Nature, the environment and her people and animals. Christmas stockings will only have dirty lumps of coal, along with crude, shale and nuclear waste. John says the situation is nothing to laugh about, yet the audience couldn’t help laughing at his clever dialogue.

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kearns

Salon producer and tonight’s host-with-the-most John Kearns chose a Christmas themed excerpt from his novel-in- progress, Worlds. In Center City Philadelphia in the early 70s, Janey Logan takes her children to meet their father, James, and to see the Christmas light show and Santa Claus at John Wanamaker’s department store. During the show, which depicts many of the famous Christmas stories like the Nutcracker, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman, the children, Kitty and Paul, alternatively bicker and look out for each another.

honor

Honor Molloy’s gift to us was her reading of “Sixpence the Stars”–a story from her novel Smarty Girl – Dublin Savage. http://www.smartygirlthebook.com Often referred to in our wee community as The Little Oranges, this jaunty trip winds its way through Dublintown on Christmas Eve, 1966. There’s the nativity tale as told by a fruit dealer on Moore Street–Dublin’s open-air market. Molloy takes the audience back through time, when mechanicalized toys and Cheeky Charlies were hawked with wild cries and even wilder abandon. Watch Honor perform it here and share her gift with friends: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1y1jAmgRCE 
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sheeahan

Singer songwriter Michael Sheahan charmed us with his award winning Christmas songs from his three-time award winning Christmas Book, CD and Dance DVD “Mr. Holidays Presents The Roof Top Hop.” If you need a gift for a youngster, purchase by calling 1-800-2476553 or www.bookmasters.com/marktplc/03080.htm Michael also performed songs from his latest Christmas CD “Some Things Never Change,” available here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/some-things-never-change/id572999634

larry

Before the break, IAW&A President Larry Kirwan greeted the crowd and described the origins of the IAW&A and the growth of the Salons. Larry encouraged the audience to introduce new people to the group. Where else can you find such community and experience an evening like tonight that’s free? We do take voluntary contributions to cover expenses at The Cell.

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marni

A uniquely talented artist, a vocalist, accordionist and writer, Marni Rice, gave a thrilling rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Marni sang a lively original song called “The Market” and an Edith Piaf song, “Fais-moi Valser” (Let Me Waltz) Find Marni at www.dejouxmusique.com

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Padraig Murphy read a thrilling excerpt from his novel Placebo, a story about loss and recovery that gave us a peek into the backwater places in the Caribbean rarely seen by tourists. We come face to face with the remote, startlingly simplistic birth of a force 4 hurricane. We see Padraig’s protagonist pass unaware into harm’s way, leading to major consequences. You can find the book on Amazon and find Pat on FB at Padraig Murphy Writer.

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An IAW&A Co-Director, Kathleen Donohoe read from her essay about growing up in Brooklyn and becoming a writer, long before ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘writer’ were synonyms. We’re excited to see Kathleen’s novel The Ashes of Fiery Weather, the story of six generations of women in a family of firefighters, that will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

marcia

Marcia Loughran presented three poems– a new one, “Bargaining with God at the Price Chopper,” and a couple on one of her favorite themes, Marriage: What Nobody Told You. Marcia says she was honored to be at the Cell and enjoyed her fellow readers, dancers, singers and performers immensely. And we’re honored to share her work.

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wren dancers

Dressed in bright ribbons and traditional disguise, Maura Mulligan and her dance students Bill Duggan, Deirdre Batson, Ryan Cahill, Hara Reiser and Vera Wrenn recreated the traditional Irish and Welsh celebration Wren Day. On Wren Day, December 26, young people in colorful costumes went from house to house performing. In old times, a wren was sacrificed but over the last 100 years, the holiday has been celebrated with music, song and dance and no murder victim. Maura and company expertly danced “Peeler and the Goat” and “The Galway Reel” and Maura performed a sean nós (old style) dance known as “The Brush Dance.” Ryan Cahill and Vera Wrenn told the story through their lovely singing of “The Wren Song.”

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The talented fiddler, Marie Reilly who recently released a second CD, “The Road to Glannagh,” accompanied the group. Maura’s memoir, Call of the Lark is available from http://www.greenpointpress.org Her spring session of weekly dance classes begins Friday, February 6. More at: http://www.mauramulligan.com

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Another ensemble, Mark William Butler and his band of merrymakers closed out the festivities with three of his original Christmas songs and one naughty bit of comedy business. With ace accompanist Tyler Knauf on the ivories, Elizabeth Inghram started things off with a beautifully mournful rendition of “The Christmas I Remember” from Mark’s show Christmas Anonymous. Richard Butler then shimmied down the chimney, donning a dress and flashing his gams as an angry, cross-dressing, not-so-secret Santa, and then bringing the house down with the rousing neo-burlesque number, “Look At Me.” Then Mark joined Elizabeth, Richard and Tyler, wrapping up the party with the uplifting holiday anthem, “Christmas Is You,” also from Christmas Anonymous.

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How ‘bout a Christmas shout-out to Mark? He’s another tireless IAW&A contributor; he helps stage manage the Salons, and edits the popular IAW&A Weekly. (iawaweekly@gmail.com).

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half_king

As you can see from the pictures, the merriment continued at the Salon afterparty at the Half King restaurant. No posts about the party, though. What happens at the Half King, stays at the Half King.

Merry Christmas from IAW&A!

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Hey, how much for that star?

See you January 6 at the Bar Thalia.

February 24, 2014

As they say on Broadway, “A Boffo Night!”: The 2/18 IAW&A Salon at the Cell

Filed under: dance,Essay,Literature,Music,Social Activism,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 1:59 am

by Karen Daly
Photos by Alexandra Jakstas

What do you call a night that featured poems, plays, a world-renowned fiddle player, a percussionist/clown, fiction, memoir, an Irish ballerina, a sly Sinatra tribute, and the massive charm of Malachy McCourt?

Just say it was the Irish American Writers & Artists Salon at the Cell on Tuesday, February 18.

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Ray Lindie

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Mary Tierney, Ron Ryan

actor
Michael Burrell 

First up, Ray Lindie presented short scenes from his play, Pearl’s Paradise, set in a famous bar/restaurant/writers’ hangout in NYC. These scenes introduce the principal characters, Pearl and Neil, partners in the business and the bartender, Michael. The play is seen from Michael’s perspective. The roles were expertly played by the pros: Mary Tierney, Michael Burrell, Ron Ryan, respectively. The author, Ray, who took the part of Fredo, once worked at Elaine’s, the former famous bar/restaurant/writers’ hangout in NYC.

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Gary Cahill

Gary Cahill returned to the salon after a short absence with a reading from his newly published short story. A spooky, noir crime tale, “Sirens” is about misguided love, sex, death and madness at the south Jersey Shore. You can enjoy the shocking story for free at http://www.plan-b-magazine.com/sirens-by-gary-cahill/. Soon there will be a free audio posting at the Plan B site. Please post a comment at the end of the story on Plan B. You can reach Gary at garycahill66nj@yahoo.com.

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Vivian O’Shaughnessy

In the first of the night’s three poetry offerings, translator and artist Vivian O’Shaughnessy read a charming poem “Colors,” which she translated from the French. “Colors” is from the collection Woman, I Am (Je La Femme, Enfin), 70 poems about women by French/Italian academician Giovanni Dotoli. Vivian will be presenting the poem at the poetry fair, Saint Sulpice Marché de la Poésie in Paris in June 2014. Vivian is often at the salons at The Cell with her sketchpad. You can see her art at vivianoshaughnessy.com.

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John Kearns

Salon producer and host (and novelist, playwright, poet) John Kearns read two short poems, “Mindsong” about remembering and forgetting and “No Longer a Summertime Self” about internal growth and maturity. Find a selection of John’s poems at http://kearnscafe.com/Poets_Pub/Poet.htm.

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Tom Mahon

Tom Mahon has been serializing his novel, American Mastery. In tonight’s piece, the Fenton brothers are in Japan looking for a manufacturer for their mentor’s products. Just when they’re about to sign contracts, they get the news that their father has had a heart attack back home. Like his father, Charlie Fenton has elevated blood pressure, so he’s thrown by the news. Charlie is beginning to see the importance of good health. Told by Tom, with his usual panache.

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Maura Mulligan

Maura Mulligan served as harbinger of spring with two offerings. First was a spirited passage from her memoir, Call of the Lark that vividly described the procedure of dibbling the spuds. As a child in her native County Mayo, Maura participated in this springtime family farm work. (We noticed she was signing copies of her book at the intermission).

Next Maura introduced the poem, “Anois Teacht an Earraigh” by Antoine Raftery, a wandering 19th century bard from Cill Aodáin, a village near her own birthplace. She read an English translation of this poem by Michael Coady titled, “The Blind Poet’s Vision of Spring” and followed with an enchanting recitation of the original Irish version.

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Brian Fleming

Visiting for the St. Pat’s for all Parade, and literally a one-man band, Brian Fleming, entertainer and drummer, wowed us with a unique performance that showcased his musical and comedic skills, as well as his colorful briefs in an extract from one-man show, Have Yis No Homes To Go To. Brian, who formed the Afro-Irish music group De Jimbe, demonstrated some of the clown skills he learned so he could participate in the charity Clowns without Borders (www.cwbireland.com)

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Enjoying the break

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Fraser Brown

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Monica Loughman

Two charismatic representatives of the Monica Loughman Ballet Company, Ireland’s classical ballet company, Fraser Brown and the ballerina, Monica Loughman, described their efforts to get national arts funding for their program, and to stage a ballet based on the Children of Lir legend, the precursor to Swan Lake. You really need to see their website to appreciate Monica’s unique accomplishments. Monicaloughmanballet.ie.

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Pat Fenton

Writer and storyteller Pat Fenton, told a great tale about tracking down Jack Kerouac’s hangouts in Ozone Park, especially the library where he researched and mapped out the route for the journey that became the classic On the Road. Pat read a scene from his film script Jack’s Last Call that imagined Kerouac consulting the librarian.

A radio version of Pat’s a stage play about Kerouac’s last night in Northport, Long Island was produced on CD by Sue Media Productions, and later nominated for the prestigious Audie Awards.

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Tony DeMarco

World-class fiddle player Tony DeMarco thrilled the audience a few songs. First was a slow air called “The Blackbird” that he played for Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, co-chair of the St. Pat’s for All Parade who invited Tony to the IAW&A Salon. Tony also played some reels. More about Tony and his music at co-www.tonydemarcomusic.net.

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Mike Swift

Playwright Mike Swift made his salon debut in February at the Thalia and returned Tuesday with a second reading from his one man play, First Born, about five generations of men in an Irish-American family over a hundred year period. Tonight he read the monologues of Todd Donahoe, whose father moved the family from New York City to New Jersey. Todd lost his father when he was six so he was raised predominantly by a single mother. Mike describes Todd as “Turnpike Trash” and self- aware, with a mean streak of loyalty. Todd’s story takes place in 1994. Salon goers look forward to hearing more of the Donahoes.

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Karen Daly

Following Mike, Karen Daly read a piece about one hundred years of another Irish-American family. The subject here was Karen’s family, and it dealt with four generations of women. “Finding Nora” describes how she discovered details about her great grandmother, Nora Hogan O’Connor, whose history was hidden by the family. Karen found the location of Nora’s grave in Calvary Cemetery, which she plans to visit in the spring.

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Sean Carlson

In his salon debut, Sean Carlson, read his Irish Times essay, “The Reach of a Single Village,” a reflection on the significance of emigration through the experience of Moyvane, Co. Kerry (near the literary hub of Listowel). Sean has been completing his first book, a nonfictional narrative of love and loss through a family story from Ireland to London and the Bronx. A former manager of global communications and public affairs at Google, Sean was named by the Irish Echo as one of its Top 40 Under 40 in 2012. After such a warm reception, Sean looks forward to taking the stage again at future salons. Here is a link to his essay: http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/generationemigration/2013/04/25/the-reach-of-a-single-village/.

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David Coles

Our friend from Washington, DC, David Coles loves New York, and tonight he read an essay exploring the mix of constancy and relentless change that often greets him on his return to the city. In this case, he laments the remaking of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village into luxury condos, a further unraveling of the city as he knew it in the 1970’s. It seemed like many salongoers shared Dave’s point of view.

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Jack DiMonte

Ever surprising and educating the audience with his song choices, Jack Di Monte sang “The Singer” a tribute to Frank Sinatra written by Vincent Falcone and Joseph Cocuzzo, two musicians who spent many years in Sinatra’s band. The song manages to celebrate the crooner’s impact with perfect clarity without ever mentioning his name, a feat that any writer should envy!

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Applauding the Boffo Night

As a perfect ending to an incredible night, raconteur, wit, singer Malachy McCourt shared his latest adventures, and sent us off with the song, “Carrickfergus.”

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Malachy McCourt

See you at Bar Thalia on March 4th at 7 pm!

January 24, 2014

Maura Mulligan Invites Members to Celebrate Celtic Festival of Imbolc & the Feast of St. Brigid

Filed under: dance,Events,Literature,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 3:55 pm

by Maura Mulligan

You are invited to celebrate the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc & the feast of St. Brigid. February 1st marks the beginning of spring in Ireland. The goddess, Brigid, and the saint are both known as patroness of poets, bards, musicians, midwives, farmers and healers.

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Qualified teachers will offer mini lessons in Irish language, dance, weaving & yoga.
The classes are free. Participants are asked to donate for studio rental & invited to share homemade food offerings.

Guests may share artistic gifts of poetry, song, story, music and dance.

The following teachers are lined up for the event:

  • Mary McIntyre, native of Co. Mayo has taught Irish language both in Ireland and here in New York. She works for the NYC DOE
  • Philomena Connors is a certified Hatha 1 Yoga teacher. She studied at Integral Yoga Institute here in New York and teaches there regularly.
  • Bernadette Cullen is a poet and teacher in New York.
  • Maura Mulligan, Mayo native has taught Irish language & dance in NY for over twenty years. She is a certifiedCéilí dance teacher.

Two rooms are booked at Ripley Grier Studios, 131 West 72nd St (between Broadway & Columbus). 6:30-9:30 pm.

Classes are free. Participants will share the studio rental. At about $15 per person, it’s the best deal in NYC!

In the interest of time, some classes will run concurrently.

1. Yoga (active participation)
2. Weaving St. Brigid’s cross (active participation)
3. Irish language (active participation – two levels offered)
4.Ceílí Dancing (active participation)
5. Poetry (lecture/discussion)

It’s not too late to sign up.

We will have guest presentations at the social hour following the classes. So far, we have the promise of a song from the lovely voice of Vera Wrenn. The vivacious Kathleen Higgins will remind us about good nutrition. Witty comedian, Sarah Fearon has “penciled this in.” I hope that means she’ll share her talent.

We’ll be tempted to taste bones when we sample St. Brigid’s cakes from Deirdre Batson’s amazing kitchen. What else? Oh yes, Nancy Oda says she loves to cook. Yum!

Participants are welcome to bring wine, cheese, fruit and or a favorite dish to share.

The celebration is Friday, Jan 31st from 6:30-9:30 pm.

Location: Ripley Grier Studios, 131 West 72nd St. (between Broadway & Columbus) you’ll warm up climbing the stairs to the 2nd floor. No elevator.

RSVP requested by 1/26.

Email Maura Mulligan at mauramulligan@aol.com.

Phone: 201 869 6717

November 13, 2013

Darrah Carr Dance Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary Season at the Irish Arts Center 11/22-24

Filed under: dance,Music,Theater,Uncategorized — by scripts2013 @ 4:18 pm
Darrah Carr Dance is celebrating it’s 15th Anniversary Season at the Irish Arts Center from November 22 – 24.  Visit http://www.irishartscenter.org/ for details.

Join Darrah and company for the premier of the piece that they performed excerpts from during the IAWA Salon in September.

IAW&A members can get a special $18 discount for the performances.  Just go to https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/926667/prm/IAWA and be sure to use this discount code: IAWA.

A retrospective artist’s catalogue of Darrah Carr Dance’s work entitled, ModERIN: Contemporary Irish Dance Works – Darrah Carr Dance will be available at the Irish Arts Center as well.

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Visit the Facebook event page:

Irish Arts Center – http://www.irishartscenter.org/
553 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-3318

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