By Karen Daly
Photos by W. Jay Wanczyk
Irish American Writers & Artists April Salon at The Ellington Restaurant featured an ideal mix of new presenters and familiar faces. Original music, superb storytelling, tributes to Irish forebears, and glimpses of a grittier New York were on tap. And IAW&A Vice President Brendan Costello was at the helm.
As a former journalist (Associated Press, The Boston Herald and The NY Daily News), Pat Mangan covered everything from politics to murders. Her story tonight was a personal one and by turns, funny, surprising and sweet: a portrait of her mighty Irish grandmother. Born in Co. Mayo in the 1890’s, she came to America in 1912, having had the good fortune to pass up a spot on the Titanic!
David Gilna, award-winning playwright, producer and performer from Swords, Co. Dublin delivered stunning moments from his solo play, Bolt from the Blue. Working on a construction site a few years back, he was struck by lightning, and flatlined. Having premiered the work at the First Irish Festival, David promises to bring it back to a NY stage. Don’t miss it.
Photo courtesy of David Gilna
In her Salon debut, Kathleen McKitty Harris brought to life members of her Irish Catholic family —and a family secret – with a piece of her memoir. A fifth generation native New Yorker, Kathleen is a writer whose essays are widely published and a superb storyteller, who has performed at The Moth Radio Hour and at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater. Sharing the Salon with Malachy McCourt, Kathleen said, “This is everything.”
Malachy with his daughter Siobhan