by John Kearns
Photos by Cat Dwyer
It was a hot, muggy night on Manhattan’s 23rd Street for the latest IAW&A Salon at the Cell but an enthusiastic crowd joined us anyway for an evening of prose, acting, poetry, music, and video.
Rosina Fernhof performed the first ten minutes of Av Inlender’s solo play, Shadows, which gives voice to Russian choreographer, Nadia Arkadina’s saga of war and years of hiding, political purges, and tyranny, of her grandmother’s cryptic messages, and the suppression of her faith as an individual and a creative spirit.
Ray Lindie read from his screenplay, Mad Dogs Of August, introducing 7 new characters two of which are principals. These pages show how the criminal element just does whatever it wants and damn the consequences. More to come from Ray’s screenplay.
Poet and adjunct professor at the College of New Rochelle, Bernadette Cullen, showed her versatility with a short story. She read Listen, just Listen, a short story, with a touch of the surreal.
Reading at the Cell amongst so many talented people is always a humbling yet invigorating experience for Tony Pena who sends a sincere thank you and appreciation for those who gave him kind words of support. Tony read two gritty poems . “Eddie Ozone” was a piece about a a hot summer weekend in the fast lives of a group of young men in Alphabet City and their sad epilogue . “Twinges and Twangs” was a piece about the trials and tribulations of a mechanic’s daughter in a life akin to a sad country song.
Glasgow-born traditional guitarist, Alan Murray impressed the crowd with two songs, one a happy-ending variation on the story of the wandering stranger and the guileless young lass.
Mike Farragher debuted his new book, A Devilish Pint, at the IAW&A Salon. In the book, the narrator has many discussions over his favorite beverage with the devil, who apparently does cite scripture for his purpose.
Neither Irish nor American, London-based novelist, Lauren Miller, shared some of her prose with us before dashing off to LaGuardia to pick up her brother.
Since August is the month of Leo the Lion, Margaret McCarthy read her poem “Advice from The Lion At Noon” from her poetry collection Notebooks from Mystery School, now out from Finishing Line Press. A finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, the collection is available at Amazon.com; For a signed copy, contact Margaret or order from www.notebooksfrommysteryschool.com
Having gotten a strong response to the first part at the last IAW&A Salon, John Kearns read the second part of an episode from his novel in progress, Worlds, in which the relationship among the three characters driving through Manhattan’s courthouse district is transformed into a courtroom drama. With Laura as the judge and the Englishman, Gavin, as the prosecutor, Paul Logan, acting as his on defense attorney, presents his opening statement. Accused of being more interested in Guinness than in love when he comes to the bar where Laura works, Paul reminds the court that it is Laura who always insists on staying at the bar after her shift is over. Nearly losing his white wig, Gavin objects several times, only to be overruled.
Accompanied by video, John McDonagh performed the latest segment from his one-man show, Cabtivist, about his adventures as a cab driver and activist, leaving the audience laughing and amazed.
Our next IA&A is on Wednesday September 2nd at the Thalia.
Our 100th Salon Celebration will be on September 15th at the Cell!
Don’t forget the O’Neill Award for Patricia Harty, editor of Irish America magazine on October 19th!
See you soon!