“How many more amazing things can I say about Artists Without Walls? It’s an amazing community and an incredible lineup of diverse artists. Thank you for the plug on my show and for the major hugs of support. I love these people.” Erin Layton


“Yes! Last night’s Artists Without Walls Showcase was exhilarating as was evidenced by the energy and smiles at The Cell . Thanks for putting together another evening of performances for the memory book.” Marty Plevel 


Honor Molloy began the evening by reading “What’s Taken,” an expressionistic segment that was dropped from her novel Smarty Girl – Dublin Savage. This piece features Noleen O’Feeney and her father trapped in the ruins of her childhood home. Afterwards, someone asked Honor why it was taken out of the book. “Because it was far too abstract for the audience I wanted…but not too abstract for the gang at AWoW.”


Honor Molloy
Honor Molloy


The silvery voice of Jenai Huff  combined with the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Eugene Ruffolo in a performance of two original tunes written by Jenai and one by Eugene.  Eugene followed with a song written in Italian, which will be part of his next CD scheduled to be released in the fall.  His beautiful timbre and romantic language delighted the audience.


From the moment Yvonne Cassidy began to read from her latest novel How Many Letters Are in Goodbye? she held the audience spellbound. Cassidy read the first letter from the novel title, a letter from seventeen-year old Rhea Farrell to her mother, Allison who died when Rhea was only three. Writing from Penn Station, Rhea begins to share with her mother her homeless experience but quickly lapses into questions she has always had, questions she wants her mother to answer. Judging by the book sales at the intermission, the audience members too, were keen to find out the answers to these questions!  For anyone who didn’t get their hands on a copy, click here


A delightful new presence on the music scene in New York has arrived from the heart of Europe, the city of Prague. Martina Fiserova’s humor and energy shone through her music and lit up the room. Her soulful authentic approach delivered an emotional urgency; even a melancholic story felt uplifting. The exciting chord work she does sets her apart from being  “just another girl with a guitar.” We need more of these European invasions.

Martina Fiserova
Martina Fiserova


Dan Yurkofsky premiered two song compositions from his new CD, Hoverhill.  The songs, titled “The Time Zone” and “Walking” featured Mr. Yurkofsky’s melodic singing voice and contemplative lyrics. He was deftly accompanied by two fine musicians, Matt Turk on acoustic guitar and Noah Hoffeld on cello . To learn more about Hoverhill, and  to hear listening examples from the CD you can click here.  



First time performer, Kathleen Bennett Bastis’, opened the second half of the show with an hilarious and “spot on” perspective of internet dating. Kathleen claimed that this was the first time she had been on stage since she performed in Scheherazade in fifth grade; hard to believe given her poise, charm and insouciance.  “As always, a terrific evening of great entertainment and talent,” Kathleen said after the show.  


Ashley Bell was next and she dazzled all with a stirring rendition of the opera staple, “O Mio Babbino Caro.”  She followed up the showstopper with an original composition, which showcased her lower register and displayed another level of her vocal instrument. 


Ashley Bell
Ashley Bell


Digital poet and recent NYU grad, Allison Fichtelberg dazzled the audience with a spellbinding performance of her epic poem “Scroll.”  I am honored to have performed for such a receptive audience and to share the space with such talented artists. That was the first performance I’ve done where I summoned the appropriate chutzpah to make the concluding sword trick work.” (You’ll have to see her perform live to understand that comment.) An absolutely mesmerizing performance.


But Allison wasn’t done for the night.  Lyndon Achee, steel drummer and percussionist began with a piece dedicated to his sister Beatrice who died of breast cancer. Lyndon than circulated a bag of instruments—tambourines, maracas, drumsticks and bells–through the audience who accompanied Lyndon in an upbeat tune, which ended with Allison coming back on stage and dancing to the sweet sounds of a steel drum.  A wonderful, highly spirited, ending to a great night. 


The next Artists Without Walls’ Showcase at The Cell will be on July 22nd at The Cell Theatre, 338 W 23rd St., NYC. For more info on Artists Without Walls write to


Photos by Mitch Traphagen. 


“I’m always amazed at the talent AWoW gathers, and I’m  honored to share the same stage with such talented artists.” Jim Rodgers


Michelle Macau and Ron Ryan
Michelle Macau and Ron Ryan

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.


Matt Turk
Matt Turk

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. 


Charles R. Hale
Charles R. Hale

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
Sasha Papernik

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 or on her official site


The next Showcase at The Cell will be on Tuesday, May 27th, 7pm. For more information about Artists Without Walls contact


All photos were taken by Vera Hoar except Sasha Papernik’s, which was taken by Richard Velasco. 


Vera Hoar’s photos from the Artists Without Walls’ Showcase at The Cell Theatre, April 22, 2014. The names of the photographed appear above the photo.


Michelle Macau and Ron Ryan

Ron in Play

Michel Henry and Charlie Perkalis


Sam Adelman and Ron Vazzano


Deni Bonet and Matt Turk


Annette Homann


Jim Rodgers


Richard Deane


Sasha Papernik


Intermission: Where the collaborations begin

Intermission crowd


Join Artists Without Walls for its next Showcase at The Cell Theatre, 338 W. 23rd St, NYC, on Tues, April 22nd, 7pm. A great night is planned including violinist Annette Homann, recording artist and multi-instrumentalist Matt Turk, actress and playwright Michelle Macau, singer and pianist Sasha Papernik, the “Cajun Duo” Charles Perkalis and Michel Henry, actress and playwright Michelle Macau, and writers Ron Vazzano, Jim Rodgers and Richard Deane. Charles R. Hale, emcee. Matt Turk photo by John Kramer. Jim Rodgers photo by Cat Dwyer. Photo montage by Vera Hoar.