ARTISTS WITHOUT WALLS’ HOLIDAY SHOWCASE at THE CELL THEATRE, TUESDAY, 12/23, 6:45PM

Jack O'Connell

Jack O’Connell

“This is a note of thanks for supporting my efforts through pictures and words these past two years. I’ve been working as an actor for at least twenty five years now and I’ve never before been involved in anything quite like this.  AWoW is a unique blessing.  So happy to be a member.” Jack O’Connell, actor, New York 

 

 

Ron Vazzano

Ron Vazzano

Ron Vazzano is a writer/poet who has read his work at The Cell on a number of occasions since becoming a member of AWoW. As an actor, at a recent Showcase, Ron performed at a monologue he’d written called, “Ten Totems of Obsolescence in Passing.” Tuesday night he will be reading one, as he says, “Seasonally appropriate, poem.” No doubt, humor will abound. 

 

 

Ed Romanoff and Niamh Hyland

Ed Romanoff and Niamh Hyland

 

Ed Romanoff’s debut album was a Roots Radio Top 100, number 12 in Europe, and its opening song was voted Song of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association. Recently, at fifty years of age, Ed discovered that he’s not Russian as he’d always believed, but Irish. Ed is writing a book about uncovering his true identity as well as recording a followup CD.  He will be performing a few of his tunes with, we’re sure, a story or two thrown in.

 

  

Michael Sheahan

Michael Sheahan

Singer/songwriter/producer Michael Sheahan will be performing Christmas songs from his three-time award winning Christmas Book, CD and Dance DVD “Mr. Holidays Presents The Roof Top Hop,” as well as songs from his latest Christmas CD, “Some Things Never Change.” Looking for some additional holiday music? Look no further. 

 

 

 

Nicholas Garr

Nicholas Garr

 

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“Paper Tigers” is a solo theatrical piece, which is currently being developed by Nick Garr. In “Paper Tigers”, Nick creates, or rather, “recreates,” a variety of characters from the underbelly of the familiar. With them, he explores our shared issues of love, sex, ambition, and self-image, in a world where things are often not as they appear. Nick will be performing a segment that shows Father Rodney, a teacher at an all boys Catholic high school, presenting his final religion class to a group of graduating seniors.

 

 

 

Joe Goodrich

Joe Goodrich

 

Playwright and writer Joseph Goodrich will present “The New Boy”—-a holiday reminiscence set in Minnesota, where Goodrich grew up. In “The New Boy,” Christmas 1970 is fraught with loss, anxiety, and an unexpected guest. We heard Joe present this piece at Ed McCann’s “Writers Read” recently. Brilliant. 

 

 

Honor Molloy

Honor Molloy

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Honor Molloy and Niamh Hyland will present “Christmas on an Island”–adapted from a Radio Eireann script written by Honor’s mother Yvonne Voight. This selection from “Smarty Girl – Dublin Savage” is set in the last days of 1954 when Noleen’s mother heads out to the wilds of Inish Maan for Christmas. Might this include a tune from Ms. Hyland as well?

 

 

Marion Stein

Marion Stein

 

Marion Stein is a graduate of the Sarah Lawrence MFA program. Her work appeared in Gordon Lish’s legendery Quarterly Magazine. You can catch her snarky television recaps at Happy Nice Time People. Marion’s available fiction includes “Loisaida” – a novel of gentrification and its discontents – as well as the new work she will be reading from at the Showcase. 

 

 

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Grainne Duddy

Grainne Duddy

And rounding out the evening’s performances will be a scene from Brona Crehan’s “Moonlight Sonata,” which will be performed by Grainne Duddy.

 

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Brona Crehan

Brona Crehan

A number of artists will have CD’s and books for sale, so if you’re looking for last minute stocking stuffers you’ll find them at The Cell Theatre, 338 W23rd St, tomorrow night,Tuesday, December 23rd, 6:45pm 

 

We hope to see you then. 

 

ARTISTS WITHOUT WALLS’ MEMBERS “ON THE TOWN”

1622821_10152812230327422_406748820111495804_nViolinist Annette Homann has a Pre-CD-Release show (A casual try-out show for her release performance) on December 22nd, 9pm at Cafe Silvana, 300 W116th St. It’s a free event. 

 

On Christmas Eve Annette will be performing with the Canadian Chamber Orchestra at the Episcopal Church of St James the Less in Scarsdale 4:30 pm, 9:30 pm 

 

 

Sasha Papernik

Sasha Papernik

 

 

On December 23rd at 7:30pm, pianist and songwriter Sasha Papernik will perform holiday classics as part of Swingin’ in The Holiday presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center at the Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center. Show starts at 7:30pm sharp, free admission. 

 

 

 

10422308_787260634667750_7555452341084267342_nArtists Without Walls’ Holiday Showcase is Tuesday, December 23rd at 6:45pm at The Cell Theatre, 338 W23rd St. Performers include Joseph Goodrich, Honor Molly and Niamh Hyland, Brona Crehan and Grainne Duddy, Michael Sheehan, Ed Romanoff, Marion Stein, Nick Garr and Ron Vazzano. 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 9.29.27 AMJoin Tim and Cynthia Neale for their New Year’s Day Ceili, January 1, 2015 at 574 Main St., Hampstead, NH. 603 329-4249. BYOB $10 per person. Musicians free. 

 

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And if you’re planning ahead here’s an event for the end of January:  Deborah Monlux producer of: Bayou ‘n Brooklyn Music Festival, (next years fest is May 8, 9, 10, 2015) invites you to a free event at Jalopy Theatre 315 Columbia Street Brooklyn NY 11231; Saturday, January 31st, 2015, from 2-5PM.

 

Join them for the next session of their traditional Brooklyn Cajun Jam Session at the fabulous Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn. This jam will be led by Jesse Lége.

 

10830101_10203399488163587_4476325946391380429_oThe Brooklyn Cajun Jam focuses on the traditional Cajun & Creole music of southwest Louisiana. Vocals are sung in Cajun French and are backed up by button accordion, fiddle, guitar, and occasionally, ‘tit fer (triangle) bass and mandolin. Since most tunes are played in the keys of C and G, fiddles are usually tuned down a whole step to FCGD. Bring your instruments, join the music session, dance, or just come by and listen to some great traditional Cajun music.

 

Fore more info click here. 

STEREOTYPING, XENOPHOBIA and RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION: THE IMMIGRANT’S PLIGHT

Charles R. Hale’s great great grandfather James Tobin was an Irish immigrant. Many immigrants, like James, took the most dangerous jobs that NYC had to offer. In addition, they were subjected to the worst forms of stereotyping, xenophobia and religious persecution. James’ life ended tragically. Click here for his story in today’s IrishCentral.com

 

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WE ARE AS ONE in OUR JOYS and SUFFERINGS

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Unspeakable tragedies, such as occurred in Pakistan today, remind of a important moment in my childhood:

 

As I approached my teenage years my interest in Catholicism dwindled. I attended Sunday mass, although my once weekly visits to the confessional became infrequent.

 

Despite my indifference, at the age of thirteen I attended weekly religious instruction in preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation. During class I slumped in my seat, gazed out the window, and daydreamed.

 

vicki1One afternoon, the teacher, a nun, told a story of human suffering. I don’t recall the story’s specifics—perhaps she told the story of Job—but my interest was piqued. As the nun neared the end of the story she said, “We are as one. In all of our joys and suffering, we are of each other.”

 

I can’t call to mind what the nun said before or after those words, and although I sensed the nun’s phrasing was filled with wisdom, I could not ascribe meaning to her words or my thoughts. I was captivated by a powerful story; I knew it was profound.

 

img_0002My interest in organized religion faded over the years. Still, I’d often think of that afternoon. I couldn’t capture the essence of the phrase or attach the right words to the feeling, but I knew it was significant. I held onto that moment. Now these many years later the meaning presents itself. I see joy in the eyes of a mother and father looking at their new born baby; I see the suffering in the eyes of a homeless mother trying to feed her children; I see the horror borne of  the massacre in Pakistan and I understand: We are as one in all our joys and sufferings, we are of each other.

ARTISTS WITHOUT WALLS MEMBERS “ON THE TOWN”

Tara O'Grady

Tara O’Grady

This afternoon, Sunday, December 14 at 4:30 at Swing the Teapot, 6 Verbana Avenue, Floral Park, “Swinging Holiday High Tea” with Tara O’Grady. All your holiday favorites while you enjoy three tiers of treats, mince pies and tea. $10 music, plus tea service. Reservations required. 516 488-2180

 

Every Monday Tara performs at LOCL in the NYLO Hotel lounge 7:30-10:30pm at 77th & Broadway.

 

Saturday, December 20th Tara is performing at Brasserie Magritte for An Evening of Christmas at 9pm – 1463 Third Ave, NYC. Enjoy Rene Magritte’s artwork displayed on the walls and a superb Belgian menu of food and spirits. 

 

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Honor Finnegan

Honor Finnegan

Also tonight, Honor Finnegan will be the musical guest in a night of great stand-up comedy hosted by Fiona Walsh and Ann Design at the Irish Arts Center, Sunday, December 14th, 7pm Located at 553 W. 51st St, New York, NY, 10011 Price: $12 non members $10 members.

 

Honor Finnegan also has a FREE online concert this Monday at 8:00pm EST. Click link below to attend.There will be a couple of musical guests, and Aviv Roth will be on guitar. New songs and lots of fun!  Click here for details. 

 

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Martina Fiserova

Martina Fiserova

Coming up on Saturday, December 20th, Prague’s singer/songwriter Martina Martina Fišerová will perform her original music at Rockwood Music Hall, stage 1 (196 Allen street) December 20th at 6pm, no cover.

 

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Vic Zimet and Nenad Bach

Vic Zimet and Nenad Bach

Wednesday, December 17th at 7 PM, a one-time showing of the next CT Film Festival selection, Everything is Forever, with Nenad Bach. Bethel Cinema, 269 Greenwood Ave, Bethel CT.  Q&A With Home Team Productions Filmmakers Director: Vic Zimet and Producer: Stephanie Silber  (The Directors and Producers of “Random Lunacy”)

 

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Annette Homann with the Bergen Sinfonia

Annette Homann with the Bergen Sinfonia

Annette Homann has two shows coming up:

 

The Bergen Sinfonia, December 19th at 7:30, Ciccone Theater Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus, NY
Tickets: $35, $20, $10

 

Annette also has a pre-release show for her CD, kind of like a casual try-out show!   December 22nd at Cafe Silvana, 300 W 116th street in Harlem9 pm and it’s free!

 

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2013 AWoW Montage by Vera Hoar

2013 AWoW Montage by Vera Hoar

 

 

Artists Without Walls’ Holiday Showcase will be at The Cell Theatre on Tuesday, December 23rd, 6:45pm. (Fifteen minutes earlier than usual.) 338 W 23rd St. Join us for a great holiday event. Free. 

NYC: ASHCAN ART, EDWARD HOPPER and MY GRANDFATHER

NYC: ASHCAN ART, EDWARD HOPPER and MY GRANDFATHER

by Charles R. Hale

 

When I began researching my family history I discovered that there were few mementos from the past. There were no letters, only a few old photos—one may have been taken in the 1890’s, and only a few before 1930–a 1913 funeral receipt and one oil painting. The painting captures a nighttime ritual, three NYFD firemen from Engine Co. 14, including my grandfather, sitting around a table, playing poker.

 

Edward Brady, “Engine Co. 14: Firemen Playing Cards”

Edward Brady, “Engine Co. 14: Firemen Playing Cards”

The painting hung on a wall in my grandparents’ NYC apartment. I didn’t know much about it other than it was the work of a fireman named Edward Brady. My grandfather would make up stories about the painting, “It was painted the night we saved your grandmother from the clutches of King Kong,” and similar riotous tales. But other than that, I never gave the history of the painting much thought.

 

As I searched for links to the past–events that would elucidate my ancestors’ space and time–I began considering the painting. I imagined, given my grandfather’s appearance, that it was completed in the nineteen-forties. Once I learned that Edward Brady was a fireman at Engine 14 during the early forties, I was confident in my dating of the painting. As I studied “Firemen Playing Cards” and American art and artists of that period, I also learned the history behind the style in which Brady painted. It was a school of painting, very different than a generation earlier, and a style that enabled Brady to capture this singular moment in my grandfather’s life.

 

George Bellows, “Cliff Dwellers”

George Bellows, “Cliff Dwellers”

At the turn of the 20th century American Artists and photographers rebelled against the predominating art of aristocratic portraiture. A new style of painting developed, which was loose and impressionistic, and based on a new subject matter: modern life. Artists developed an interest in human elements, every day subjects in dramatic light. Art became a revelation of life’s experience, both the exciting and the mundane. This school of painting became known as Ashcan Art and included artists such as Robert Henri, John

John Sloan, “Night Windows”

John Sloan, “Night Windows”

Sloan and George Bellows. Two artists who were greatly influenced by this style of painting, both of whom were associated with New York schools of art during the developmental period of this style, were Edward Hopper and Guy Pene du Bois.

 

As I studied “Firemen Playing Cards” in greater detail I noticed that there was a similarity in style or at least a suggestion of Edward Hopper’s painting, “Nighthawks.” Deliberate and spare, each painting captures a singular New York

Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks"

Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks”

moment: Nighthawks” captures a moment in which three patrons of a New York diner seem lost in their thoughts, anonymous and uncommunicative; “Firemen Playing Cards” captures three firemen staring at their poker hands, singularly within themselves, absent of any sentiment or theatrics. The diner’s harsh electric light sets it apart from the dark night outside, as does the softer light emanating from the hanging lamp over the poker table. The light in each painting enhances the mood and subtle emotion of the participants; the interaction is minimal.

 

Guy Pene du Bois, “Mr. and Mrs. Chester Dale”

Guy Pene du Bois, “Mr. and Mrs. Chester Dale”

Brooklyn born, Guy Pene du Bois who, like his good friend Hopper, depicted narratives of inaction and themes of emotional disengagement, differed in style. While Hopper was interested in capturing moments of solitude, using bold, simplified forms to infuse his scenes with drama, du Bois used smooth curves striking a balance between abstraction and realism. And while at first glance there appears to be no similarity in Brady and du Bois’s work, there is one commonality: the hands.

 

Brady's "Hands"

Brady’s “Hands”

I’d always believed that Fireman Brady could not paint a pair of human hands. The firemen’s hands are nothing like I’d expect them to be, strong, large and rugged, but rather they look childlike and small.

du Bois's "Hands"

du Bois’s “Hands”

But then I look at the style in which du Bois painted hands and I wonder if Brady was familiar with du Bois? The hands are almost identical. Was Brady familiar with the school of painters who had studios on 14th St. and Union Square,  a few blocks from Engine Co. 14, which is located on 18th Street. Did he take lessons at any of these art leagues?

 

I don’t remember hearing Edward Brady’s name when I was a child. I noticed his name on the painting after his art was bequeathed to me a number of years ago.  Looking through old firehouse logs of Engine 14 I was able to determine that Brady and my grandfather were fellow firefighters. And now I stare at the painting every morning, grateful that my grandfather’s friend, a man with whom he risked his life fighting fires, captured this singular moment in my grandfather’s life.

 

Edward Brady, “Engine Co. 14: Firemen Playing Cards”

Edward Brady, “Engine Co. 14: Firemen Playing Cards”

 

 

UPCOMING AWoW MEMBERS’ EVENTS

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 7.43.49 AMJoe Davidson presents a staged reading of his play “Looking for Cans” on Dec 12th, 1:30pm at the Manhattan VA’s atrium on 23rd Street and First Ave. Included in the cast are AWoW members Mary Tierney, John Moran and David Sharp.

 

 

 

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On Sunday, December 14 at 4:30 at Swing the Teapot, 6 Verbana Avenue, Floral Park, “Swinging Holiday High Tea” with Tara O’Grady. All your holiday favorites while you enjoy three tiers of treats, mince pies and tea. $10 music, plus tea service. Reservations required. 516 488-2180

 

 

10342918_569001113214437_3284431173582218967_nComing up on December 20th, Prague’s singer/songwriter Martina Martina Fišerová will perform her original music at Rockwood Music Hall, stage 1 (196 Allen street) December 20th at 6pm, no cover.

 

 

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Artists Without Walls’ Showcase at The Cell Theatre, Tuesday, December 23rd, 6:45 pm.  338 W23rd St, NYC

 

 

AWoW MEMBERS AROUND TOWN

BrothersLotHolohanOn Wednesday, December 3 at 6pm, Kevin Holohan, author of The Brother’s Lot, will be flight-testing some work from a new novel with Maggie Paley, Jenifer Levin and Beth Bosworth at the Cornelia St Cafe, 29 Cornelia St. in Greenwich Village. $8 admission, which includes a free drink so it’s as good as free for an airful of new fiction in this hallowed literary venue.

 

 

10455031_10152496195369013_2295806760242392598_nFriday, December 5th, 2014. Outpost in the Burbs. Honor Finnegan opening “An Evening of Song and Conversation” with Peter Yarrow – 8:00 pm.Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, 67 Church St., Montclair NJ, NJ 07042 973-744-6560 Price: Tickets are $28 in advance/$32 at the door

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 7.43.49 AMJoe Davidson presents a staged reading of his play “Looking for Cans” on Dec 12th, 1:30pm at the Manhattan VA’s atrium on 23rd Street and First Ave. Included in the cast are AWoW members Mary Tierney, John Moran and David Sharp.

 

 

ED SULLIVAN, TOPO GIGIO and AWoW

Singer/songwriter Ed Romanoff said, “If you were to put Ed Sullivan, Oscar Wilde and TEDTalks into a blender you’d get Artist Without Walls. The Showcase is a friendly environment for artists to share their work and start unique collaborations in a remarkably intimate setting. One of the most receptive and fun shows I’ve been a part of…”

 

And now we know who can step into the Ed Sullivan role if we take the the show on the road…Ron Vazzano. 

 

Ron as Ed SullivanRon Vazzano as Ed Sullivan 

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This from Ron, “When you mentioned Ed Sullivan this past Tuesday night, it reminded me that I once played him at a church fund raiser on two different occasions. They were variety shows that went on for two hours. Two hours of having to stay in character as Ed Sullivan introducing these various acts performed by locals and members of the parish. I also did a bit with Topo Gigio, a puppet I still have.”

 

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Ed Sullivan and Topo Gigio

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Ron’s still at it. Here he is at a recent Showcase. We’re expecting a “Flying Wallenda” circus act from Ron during December’s Showcase. Okay, maybe not a high-wire act, but what about Topo, Ron?

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“UNBRIDLED SPIRIT and JOY” at AWOW’s LATEST SHOWCASE

Gregory Harrington and Leon Boykins

Gregory Harrington and Leon Boykins

“I am always so impressed by the level of talent I witness at any Artist Without Walls’ event. It is rare to witness a room filled with that kind of unbridled spirit, charisma and joy even in NYC. An incredible ensemble of artists are represented at an AWoW showcase!” Erin Layton, actress/playwright

 

Gregory Harrington began the evening with a stirring performance of the Prelude from the Cello Suite by J.S. Bach, which he arranged for violin and is on his upcoming CD – Bach: Transcriptions and Variations on CDBaby. Greg was then joined by Leon Boykins on double bass and for a virtuosic performance of U2’s “With or Without You. “Had a great time and really loved the space,” Greg added.

 

DJ Sharp

DJ Sharp

DJ Sharp took us back to Tennessee Williams’ days at New York City’s historic Elysee Hotel with a scene from his one man show, “Tennessee Williams.” Here’s what an audience member said, “Tonight I saw D J Sharp knock it out of the park–no, much farther than that. He knocked it out beyond the parking lot, past the interstate and well into the corn fields of Nebraska. A performance to be seen.” I’m flattered,” DJ said.  “Thanks again to Artists Without Walls for creating a evening with great performers and a wonderful audience!” 

 

Devon McCarthy, Terry McCarthy and Andy Sandel

Devon McCarthy, Terry McCarthy and Andy Sandel

Terry  McCarthy  tore into the room with four of his brashly melodic original songs. In honor of his wife’s first attendance at an AWoW Showcase, he opened with “Queen of the World” a tune recounting the second time they met and marking the thirty years they’ve been together. He then performed “And a Little Girl Closes Her Eyes” an anti-war song in the Celtic folk tradition. Next was a rocking version of “Down For The Day” a tribute to the people of the Rockaways who are rebuilding their lives after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. He closed with a fan favorite “Sorrow Salsa,” a Tejano flavored tune of triumph over depression. Terry was joined by the brilliant guitarisist, his nephew Devon McCarthy who wowed the audience  with his talent and a special guest, Andy Sandel, who proved why he is known as the “Master of the Squeezebox.” All of these songs and many more are available @ TerryMcCarthymusic.com as well as ITunes and Cdbaby.com 

 

Maeve Price and Don Creedon

Maeve Price and Don Creedon

Irish playwright, director and actor, Don Creedon, presented his very funny short play “Divine Intervention.”  In this charming, revelatory, two-hander, we meet Grainne, a woman with an extremely colorful past, who goes to Confession for the first time in thirty-one years.  Maeve Price was both hilarious and touching as Grainne, a woman with a delightfully anarchic sense of what’s right.  Don did a wonderful job as Father Divine, a priest caught between following his true heart’s desire and the dictates of the Catholic Church.

 

Robin Pahlman

Robin Pahlman

Singer/songwriter Robin Pahlman played three original songs “Miss Lonelyhearts,” which is the first single off his debut solo EP, out on Monkey Records click for video, “Man Overboard,” also on the EP  and a previously unreleased song called “Rain Clouds”. Robin’s been moving around a great deal in the past few years–he’s lived in Seattle, WA; Helsinki, Finland; Vienna, Austria; and now New York City), and he tends to write songs about how places and memory define us, and what “home” really means. Musically, Robin owes a lot to the American folk/country/roots tradition, even though as he says, “A certain element of melancholy probably comes from my Finnish heritage, as Finnish music traditionally is very sad and minor-key.  Click here for Robin’s Facebook band page. 

 

Jim Hawkins

Jim Hawkins

Jim Hawkins has spent decades telling stories. On this night, Jim combined story and song–both American and Irish–to tell a folksy and witty tale of two young men–Jim and his friend Billy–coming of age in the early 1970s. Just like the seanchaís of old, Jim told the story, “Driving Across America with Billy Zuckerman” with a gentle, easy-going manner and warmth, which he says is his contribution to keeping this wonderful art-form alive and well. 

 

For more information about Artists Without Walls contact info@artistswithoutwalls.com. AWoW’s next Showcase will be at The Cell Theatre, 338 W23rd St., December 23rd, 7pm.

 

All photos by Vera Hoar.