Superb night of entertainment at Artists Without Walls’ Showcase this past Tuesday night at The Cell Theatre. Some familiar faces as well as some new and all extremely talented. Singer/songwriters Izzy Levine and Ella McDonald, high school students from Montclair New Jersey, made their New York City debut, displaying beautiful vocal harmonies and poise. The talented team performed three songs in front of an enthusiastic, full-house audience. Remarkable musicians! I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about them in the future.
Ron Vazzano opened the night with a series of seven poems, collectively entitled Notes on Slumming Through the Continuum, which was accompanied by a dramatic visual presentation. The poems were said to be inspired by a quote of his own making, “Time waits for no man in its mad rush to infinity” (to which he noted, “Yes, in a ‘Trumpian’ fit of self-adoration I’m actually quoting myself”), it was highly applauded by an audience that seemed to hang on every word.
The Mountain Maidens, including Lorraine Berger, Candice Baranello and Marie Mularczyk O’Connell, captured the Awow audience with tight modal Appalachian harmonies wonderful energy and spirit. The room soon became a magical “sing along,” with old familiar mountain tunes and high energy remincent of a Pete Seeger concert. The audience loved the ancient sounds, particularly the “magical two sisters’ sibling rivalry” and its funky lyrics.
Laughter filled the room as David Loughlin and Mary Tierney took the stage in David’s play, THE SENIOR CASE MANAGER. Mary’s touching, yet comedic portrayal of a woman’s desperate need for love, and David’s beleaguered civil servant, who clings to his sanity in a world where the sane don’t always survive. Their quest for love touched our hearts, and made us laugh—what more could one ask for on a cold winter night?
Multifaceted performer Richard Stillman and guitarist Flip Peters gave us a wonderful taste of Jazz Age Vaudeville. Richard started off with a story about Moishe Fiedlespieler and the All Star Klezmer Hot Shots and then went into a tap dancing hat trick dance. Then he wove the narrative into an Irish theme and broke into an Irish step dance while simultaneously playing jigs and reels on the mandolin. The final song was about an old time song and dance man in need of a bit of rejuvenation. Richard’s mix of storytelling, singing, instrumental music and tap dancing always leaves AWOW audiences with a warm glow in their hearts. Richard and Flip will be performing their Spirit of Vaudeville show in Brooklyn, NY on Feb 16, in Montclair, NJ on Feb 21 and in Watchung, NJ on Apr. 16. For details click here.
Craig MacArthur, actor and Fitzmaurice voice work instructor, made his AWoW debut on Tuesday with a riveting performance from “Misterman” by Enda Walsh. Using multiple voices and dialects Craig held the audience rapt with a stunning performance. The full show, which runs 85 minutes, had its Western Regional premiere in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, last year. Upcoming roles for Craig include Kaffee in A “Few Good Men” by Aaron Sorkin.
The next Artists Without Walls’ Showcase–its Anniversary Showcase, which will be a great evening of entertainment–is on Tuesday, February 23rd at The Cell Theatre. Also, next Thursday, February 4th, keep in mind “Marty Plevel and Artists Without Walls presents “A Night at Sid Gold’s.”
Photos by Mitch Traphagen.