By Karen Daly
Photos by Dan Brown
The mid-February IAW&A Salon at the Cell was a joyous night, even though it included stories of ghosts, dark family secrets and one not-quite- sane character. The joy came from the audience appreciation of the talented presenters and wonderful musical offerings, put together by host Maureen Hossbacher.
Longtime former IAW&A Board member Kathleen Donohoe is launching her second novel, Ghosts of the Missing, about the disappearance of a twelve-year-old girl during a local parade in a Hudson River town. The book explores how the tragedy reverberates throughout the town and connects to haunting traditions of its early Irish American inhabitants. Brendan Costello, our newly elected VP interviewed Kathleen about the novel’s overarching themes as well as the publishing process. If you loved Kathleen’s first book, Ashes of Fiery Weather, run to buy Ghosts at your local bookseller or here.
Natalie H. Rogers stirred up the night with two sensual poems with Valentine vibes in honor of the date just passed. One describes a younger man who “plays havoc with my righteousness” and the other about an erotic dream. Founder of Talkpower: A Panic Clinic For Pubic Speaking, Natalie is currently updating her book Talkpower: the Mind Body Way to Speak Without Fear with Skyhorse Publishing.
Playwright and actor Martin Alvin returned to the Salon to read from his one-act play: Brothers, with the always compelling Maurice Kessler and Rosina Fernhoff. A one-act play in a series of one-act plays with recurring characters, Brothers features two brothers revealing startling secrets to each other. Attend a reading of Martin’s full-length play: The Other Uncle Nicky, with a stellar cast including Rosina Fernhoff and Maurice Kessler, on Thursday, February 27th, 7pm at St. Malachy’s Church/The Actor’s Chapel, 239 West 49th Street. Admission is free.
Since meeting Eric Poindexter at Symphony Space, where he is a teaching artist, host Maureen Hossbacher has been inviting him to perform at a Salon. Her efforts paid off thrillingly tonight when he sang “Summertime” and “The Party’s Over.” An accomplished actor and singer who recently worked on the Broadway bound musical Mandela, Eric notes that the songs are a taste of his upcoming cabaret this summer, and he’ll keep us posted.
Derek Dempsey, known to us as an exciting musical entertainer, has completed a novel, Anthony’s Aria: The Story of a Working Class Opera God with the intriguing premise: Could an Italian/Irish kid from Dublin be as good as Pavarotti? The audience loved Derek’s first public reading.
A young woman in therapy develops a fascination with another client in Dan Brown’s latest monologue, Mr. 5:15. Actress Jolynn Carpenter gave a brilliant performance that explored the fine line between right and wrong, and sane and insane.
Fresh from her wonderful performance in Honor Molloy’s The Round Room, Maeve Price brought singer Molly Watson and pianist Gene Rohrer from the Turtle Bay Music School to share hilarious musical offerings. Maeve parodied the song “Memory” from Cats, dedicating it to everyone who has ever walked into a room and forgotten why they were there. And the “chicken” song from the children’s opera The Ballad of the Bremen Band brought the house down. A Salon first, the group wearing squeaky rubber chickens and elegant chicken hats closed the evening on a joyful note.