Thom Molyneaux started us off with three pieces from his one-man show, “Me and the Monologue,” a lyrical blank verse, part eulogy, part confession from Willian Alfred’s Hogan’s Goat, a riveting speech from Paddy Chayefsky’s Network, and Holden Caulfield’s contentious taxi ride with Horowitz the cabbie in Catcher in the Rye.
by Brendan Costello
Photos by Gordon Gilbert
The first Irish American Writers and Artists salon for the month of March, on Thursday the 2nd at Bar Thalia, featured an engaging mix of regulars and newer presenters, including a few international guests.
Nina Sokol, an American Danish poet and translator read several of her well-crafted poems. She has been published in various American journals, among others, Miller’s Pondand The Hiram Poetry Review. Last year a collection of her poetry, Escape and Other Poems, was published by Lapwing Publications in Belfast, Ireland.
Cartoonist and illustrator Anne Gibbons read from the memoir she’s writing about being oldest daughter in a family of nine children. An exhibit of of her work entitled “Paintings of Old Family Photos and Cartoons for Today’s Crazy World” will be on display for the month of April at An Beal Bocht Cafe in Riverdale, with a reception on Saturday, April 8th, 4-6 pm. Email Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.annegibbons.com for more information.
Poet and playwright Gordon Gilbert read several selections, including “When I’m Gone,” wherein a father explains a plan to sustain his family after his passing.
Mikelle Terson is an artist and writer who made a long-awaited return to our stage. When asked what fuels her poetic musings, Mikelle says she enjoys exploring the mysteries of the “why” and the wonder of the “is.” She read a trilogy about the loss of her parents. In “death and taxes,” “today I bought my mother a red dress,” and “about the after,” Mikelle shared heartbreak, paradigm shifts and the small details that mark a life now gone.
IAW&A board member Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy announced the annual St. Pat’s for All Parade, for which she is co-chair, happening on March 5th. She also promoted the benefit concert on the 3rd at the Irish Arts Center. As regular readers know, Kathleen was honored in December, along with co-chair Brendan Fay, with the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad by the President of Ireland for their work organizing and producing the annual parade.
Bodhran player, playwright, and actor Brian Fleming rounded out our first set with some music. Brian was in New York to participate in the St. Pat’s For All Parade and the fundraiser. Direct from County Clare, Brian is a percussionist and author of three one-man shows, and professed to sing nearly as well as Malachy McCourt. In 2016 he was nominated for best new writing at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards and three Oscars at the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.
Bringing us back from an intermission, salon regular Jack DiMonte sang “Midnight Sun,” a jazz standard that began life as an instrumental by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke. The great lyricist Johnny Mercer was driving along the freeway and heard the instrumental on his car radio. He added the beautiful lyrics that overflow with imaginative triple rhymes.
Poet and artist John K. Lawson read a few selections from his collection, A Map of Sorts, including “someone other than me,” which touched on some of his experiences and issues of others, like him, who were affected by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Superstorm Sandy in New York.
Richard Stone performed a comic monologue as a character named Harry of Sinai, who shows up at the last supper in an effort to market the Jesus phenomenon and join the apostle entourage.
Salon producer and IAW&A Treasurer John Kearns read an excerpt from his nearly complete novel, Worlds. In 1890s Philadelphia, Seamus Logan has begun a new relationship with a Cork woman named Nora. At first, while talking to his cronies at Boyle’s Bar, he is in no hurry to make a commitment to the young woman. However, when he begins to fear that Nora is showing an interest in a humorous local man, Seamus heads to Philadelphia’s Jeweler’s Row at 8th and Walnut.
Another IAW&A board member, Sarah Fearon, covered comedic material on Lent, social media and mindfulness. Clearly the material to keep developing is Jitney on Broadway…not the play running now but “Jitney the Musical” about the Jitney bus line that goes to the Hamptons. Think Jitney meets a Chorus Line and Westside Story, you’ll laugh you’ll cry…get tickets now, one seat, one snack, one beverage included!
Alice Smyth, Celtic Harpist and Vocalist, and 2016 “People’s Choice NY Rose” in the New York Rose of Tralee festival closed out our evening with music, sweetly contemplative and then lively. Alice played and sang, “The Fields of Athenry,” an Irish folk ballad set during the Great Irish Famine/Great Irish Hunger and finished off her set by playing two slip jigs, “Fig for a Kiss” into “The Butterfly.” To learn more about Alice’s work or are interested in having her play and sing for you, check out her website.
Join us for our next Salon on March 21st at the cell theatre! Sign up to present at http://bit.ly/IASalon.