Vera Maura Hoar’s photos from Artists Without Walls’ July Showcase at The Cell, July 25, 2017

Theresa, Sareo, Amanda Thorpe and Serena Jost
Niamh Hyland
Sam Adelman, Craig Fogel and Maleni Chaitoo
Gary Ryan
Charles R. Hale
Christina Jolie Breza and Gabriel Charles
Ron Vazzano
Michi Fuji
Anana Kaye and Irakli Gabriel


Charles R. Hale and Niamh Hyland

Many thanks to  Artists Without Walls’ cofounders Charles Hale and Niamh Hyland for another great Showcase at the Cell Theatre. The artistic presentations  ran the gamut: Poetry, film, music and storytelling. Playing to a standing-room-only house, the skilled performers generously shared their talents with Artists Without Walls’ members, friends and guests.

David Hofstra, Joel Forrester and Michi Fuji

The Michi Fuji trio, with Michi, violin, David Hofstra, bass and Joel Forester, piano, opened the show. The trio played two of Foster’s original compositions, which had the audience swaying and tapping their feet to the beat. Michi, a Japanese born violinist, who has found her niche in jazz, delighted the audience with her dazzling performances in both works.

Ron Vazzano

Ron Vazzano followed with a poetry reading, a unique and nuanced performance, combining reading and singing skills. Ron either recited or sang a verse from a song, always relevant to the pithy poem that followed. His reading of “Comey Quartet,” incorporated lines from both Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence.” Then, incorporating lines from Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” Ron created the warm sound of singer Nat King Cole. He then wrapped a poem around the music, which described daily life in a nursing home. His reading of the poem beautifully enhanced his poem’s message.

Gabriel Charles and Christina Jolie Breza

Next up was the lovely Christina Jolie Breza, who was accompanied by pianist Gabriel Charles. Christina presented the love story of her life in story and song. Her stories and choices of songs, “Basket Case” by Green Day and “Falling Slowly” from the musical “Once” held deep and special meaning; She was talking and singing about her husband, Gui. Christina’s presence and grace on the Artists Without Walls’ stage is always well received by the adoring audience.

After accompanying Christina on the piano, Gabriel took center stage. In the past, Gabriel has provided piano accompaniment for performers at Artists Without Walls’ Showcases but on Tuesday he made his debut as a soloist, backed up by vocalists Jasmine Brown and Jenna McDonald. Gabriel sang two songs from his recently released, inspirational CD “Free Falling.” It was the first time religously inspired music was presented at an Artists Without Walls’ Showcase and judging by the audience’s receptivity, it won’t be the last.


Amanda Thorpe

A surprise is always an unexpected pleasure and London’s Amanda Thorpe’s appearance was no exception. Backed by vocalists Serena Jost and Teresa Sareo, Amanda performed an impromptu, melodious tune, filled with harmony that was reminiscent of folk music’s heyday. Many thanks to Amanda, Serena and Theresa for this special treat.

Gary Ryan

Gary Ryan followed with a short story filled with vivid details from his childhood on the east side of the Mississippi River, in the hill country of Mississippi. The story centered on a “big old dog” that had been tearing up his family’s back yard at night and their effort to get rid of it. After hearing the story, it’s no wonder that the event has captivated Gary all these years later and that he felt moved to write about it. A compelling story in the hands of a compelling storyteller.

Sam Adelman

Artists Without Walls’ charter member, filmmaker and editor Sam Adelman delighted the audience, presenting an episode from “Don’t Shoot the Messenger,” a comedy series that can be seen here.   The series explores the humorous side of communication between people who use signing as a language and those who don’t. Episode six, which delighted the audience, dealt with the humor that arises when a person thinks they know sign language, but doesn’t.

Deni Bonet, Anana Kaye and Irakli Gabriel

The duo of Anana Kay and Iraki Gabriel, who emigrated from Georgia in the USSR, wrapped up the entertainment portion of the evening. The talented couple presented a video of their work and followed with a song, “American Smile.” Anna and Irakli capped off a wonderful and varied AWoW showcase.

Join us for the next Artists Without Walls’ Showcase at The Cell on August 22nd. The doors and bar open at 6:45 and the performances begin at 7:30.

All photos by Vera Maura Hoar

Artists, Performers, Creators and Emcees



Sasha Papernik and her band
Sasha Papernik and her band on Roosevelt Island in NYC

Two Artists Without Walls’ members, Sasha Papernik and Amanda Thorpe, will be be performing free shows at Rockwood Music Hall this week.  Sasha will be performing at Rockwood tomorrow, Sunday, May 3rd, at 6pm with two original bandmates: Kyle Saulnier on bass and Justin Poindexter on guitar. You can join Sasha for an evening of Russian dances and original songs.


In other news, Sasha is very excited to share that her arrangement of the Russian Folk Song “Vo Pole Bereza Stoyala” (In the Field Stood a Birch Tree) has been licensed to Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program and will be orchestrated and played by orchestras across the country! She will be performing the song live at Rockwood.


image1On Thursday night, May 7th, 7pm, Amanda Thorpe, AWOW’s member abroad, will be back in NYC and performing Bewitching Me: The Lyrics of Yip Harburg. Harburg, born and raised on the Lower East Side, is the oft unknown wordsmith of some of the most popular songs in America.  Two of Harburg’s most famous lyrics form brackets around the 1930s: “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” written for the musical Americana, told from the point of view of a WWI vet who’s standing in a breadline, wondering where his slice of the American dream is, and “Over The Rainbow,” sung by a girl clutching her dog, gazing into the heavens, wishing she could get the hell out of Kansas.


Amanda’s CD, Bewitching Me: The Lyrics of Yip Harburg has received wonderful reviews. Here’s what Tom Semioli,writing for the Huffington Post, said of Amanda’s singing. “Amanda’s organic rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” turns subtly anthemic upon the arrival of the chorus…and (guitarist) Scherr’s exquisite solo on “Adrift on a Star” deeply echoes Thorpe’s seductive pathos.”


Amanda is looking forward to returning to New York City from Paris to perform these and other Harburg tunes at Rockwood. 


Rockwood Music Hall is located in Manhattan at 196 Allen Street.




1508010_10206194379677520_1046217525645611344_nThe Cell Theatre invites you to a developmental reading of “Crackskull Row” by Honor Molloy with some of the best Irish actors this side of the Atlantic. It’s Dublin, 1999 and the Celtic Tiger’s roaring, but no one hears it on Crackskull Row – where Dolly and her darkclan are caught in ould sins and ancient lusts. Where ghosts return, nothing is forgotten – to hell with forgiveness.


Directed by Joe Hendel, this AEA-Approved Staged Reading features: Terry Donnelly, Jo Kinsella, John Charles McLaughlin and Aidan Redmond. Thursday – feb 5th – 4pm at The Cell Theatre, 338 W23rd St. NYC  RSVP –


Melissa Ritz
Melissa Ritz

Melissa Ritz’s award-winning one-woman show, Journey of a Bombshell: The Ina Ray Hutton Story, will run for one night only at the Triad Theater/Stage 72, on Sunday, Feb. 15th at 9pm. Located at 72nd & Broadway.



Artists Without Walls’ Showcase at The Cell Theatre, 338 W23rd St. Monday, February 16th, 6:45pm.




Erin Layton
Erin Layton

Erin Layton’s one-woman show “MAGDALEN will be presented by the Irish Studies Dept. of Hofstra University on Wednesday, February 25 at 7:30PM at The Spiegel Theatre on campus. Free Admission! Click here for directions to the Spiegel Theatre at Hofstra.




Amanda Ritz
Amanda Ritz

Amanda Thorpe will be back in New York with a rare performance of songs from her latest album, Bewitching Me: The Lyrics of Yip Harburg at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3. March 2, 7:00pm Advanced tickets $8. Door $10.


“Leave it to a British artist to once again to remind us Yanks of a neglected American musical treasure through an album before and after its time: Amanda Thorpe’s Bewitching Me. … Ms. Thorpe’s artistry traverses folk, rock, jazz, cabaret, and every conceivable variation thereof.” — Huffington Post



Serena Jost
Serena Jost

Serena Jost returns to Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3, her favorite downtown venue, on March 12, 8:30pm. Come hear new songs, some favorites and hang out with Serena after the show. Special Guests.

Here’s what New York Music Daily said about Serena’s 2014 Rockwood Concert: “…a lush, sweeping, richly enveloping, tuneful show by the art-rock cellist/multi-instrumentalist singer (Serena) and her band.” Click here for tickets, which are $10.



Nancy Redman
Nancy Redman

Nancy Redman won Best Comedian Award United Solo 2014 for her one woman play “THE DOCTOR IS NOT IN” directed by Austin Pendleton. She will be performing “THE DOCTOR IS NOT IN” Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 7pm at Abingdon Theatre Company
Dorothy Strelsin Theatre, 312 W36th St. 6th Fl., NYC


Nancy recently performed “The Doctor Is Not In” at the United Solo Theatre Festival 2014 and received the award for “Best Comedian.”


Click here for tickets, which are $20.



Tara O'Grady
Tara O’Grady

Tara O’Grady is releasing her 4th album Irish Bayou, a tribute to New Orleans with original songs in a gumbo of genres, from zydeco and rockabilly, to folk, funk, swing, jazz and blues. Special guests joining her on stage will be AWOW member Sasha Papernik on piano and vocals, as well as Pete Kennedy of The Kennedy’s on guitar and ukulele, Justin Poindexter of The Amigos on lap steel and vocals, and Tara’s full swing band – bass, drums, trumpet, sax, clarinet, washboard and all!


Irish Bayou CD Launch Party
Thursday, March 26 @ 7pm, doors 6:15pm
Metropolitan Room
34 West 22nd
Click here for reservations