“I’m always amazed at the talent AWoW gathers, and I’m honored to share the same stage with such talented artists.” Jim Rodgers
The Showcase opened with Michelle Macau and Ron Ryan bringing to life a slice of Joe Davidson’s new play, The Rekindling. In the scene, Michelle ‘s Jean Thompson manipulated, seduced and cajoled Ron’s paranoid and confused Barney Morris to agree to murder his wife. Great scene, well served.
Two core members of Church Point Riot, Charles Perkalis, accordion, and Michel Henry, vocals and guitar, joined by Deborah Monlux on the ‘tit – fer, (triangle), gave a snippet of what it would be like sitting on a Louisiana front porch playing Cajun Country and Blues music of Southern Louisiana. They played four traditional French Cajun Music pieces, swinging deflty between two high-energy two-steps, a sultry waltz and a blues. Church Point Riot Kicks off its 4th Annual Bayou ‘n Brooklyn Music Festival at 8:30PM on May 9th, produced by AWOW member Deborah Monlux.
Unplugged and acoustic Matt Turk opened his performance with the chicken picking country blues original “Hobo Boy.” Matt got the crowd joyfully scat singing in “call and response. ” Next he brought his friend and fiddler Deni Bonet to the stage to join him on fiddle in performances of “Cold Revival” and “When a Boy.” “Cold Revival” featured Matt on the mandolin and “When A Boy” had an uplifting audience singing the chorus to round out the showcase.
Jim Rodgers returned to The Cell and read from his novel, “Long Night’s End.” Jim read the opening chapter of the novel, which, in a very fast-paced and visceral manner, illustrates the origins of the demons that haunt the protagonist, Johnny Gunn. The scene, which takes place in a downtown club as Johnny performs his guitar solo, sets the stage for the moral and emotional battles that Johnny must endure in the months to come. Switching from humor to heartbreaking tragedy without allowing the listeners to catch their breath, the narration left no doubt that Johnny Gunn is steaming through some very dark and dangerous waters. The only question that remains is whether or not Johnny will survive those waters. Jim has a way of getting the audience involved in his readings. That’s a talent. Great read, as always.
Violinist Annette Homann, who has performed from the classical repertory a number of times at The Cell, took a different performing route. Annette performed two songs for solo violin/voice. She opened with a humorous version of “When I’m Sixty-Four,” during which the audience hummed and sang along. Her second tune was “If We Go” by the band Youth in a Roman Field. The second tune, a love song, was accompanied by a strummed violin, a unique and unusual way of using the violin. Everyone loves Annette.
First time presenter Richard Deane read a scene from his novel-in-progress “When Yesterday Comes”. The scene poignantly explores the existential conflict between a cabdriver’s skittish trepidations and the allurement of his prurient desires as he drives two menacing street pimps uptown to Harlem on Christmas Day.
Sasha Papernik, classical pianist, singer, and songwriter closed the evening performing two original songs: “Carolina” from her sophomore album, Love in a Box, and a brand new song called “Not The One in the Footage that You See.” She was thrilled to play on the Cell’s beautiful piano, which was moved onto the stage just for the event. Sasha will be appearing next at Carnegie Hall for eight shows the week of May 5th as part of their popular school series, Musical Explorers. For more music and information about future performances, you can find her on facebook at facebook.com/sashatheband or on her official site sashatheband.com.
The next Showcase at The Cell will be on Tuesday, May 27th, 7pm. For more information about Artists Without Walls contact email@example.com.
All photos were taken by Vera Hoar except Sasha Papernik’s, which was taken by Richard Velasco.