Charles R. Hale Productions and The Cell Theatre are pleased to present “An Evening with Niamh Hyland and Friends,” at The Cell Theatre, 338 West 23rd Street, March 30, at 8pm. Details to follow.
Artists Without Walls’ January Showcase at The Cell Theatre, 338 West 23rd Street, Manhattan, will take place on January 24th. The doors and the bar open at 6:45pm. The presentations begin at 7:30pm. The evenings presenters included playwright Brendan Connellan, actor Faye Franzini, writers Billy Barrett and Suzanne Bernier and musicians Martina Fiserova, Michi Fuji and Maia Nero.
Two and a half years ago, actress Clarissa Hoffmann moved to NYC to study at the Stella Adler Studio. Since graduation she’s been involved in a feature film with Oscar nominated actresses Renee Taylor and Lainie Kazan, several theatre productions, a web series and a number of short films.
You can meet Clarissa and watch her perform with Justin Phillips at Artists Without Walls Showcase at The Cell, Tuesday, 5/24 in a comedic “New York City, pursue you dream” piece: What happens when a 19th century German immigrant meets a 21st century NYC casting director?
After her first experience at a recent AWoW Showcase, Clarissa said, “I love the concept of Artists Without Walls. The performers were so brilliant! I can’t wait to perform.”
Alexander A. Wu, AWoW’s newest member, is as comfortable performing the American Songbook as he is performing classical music. He has given numerous concerts, master classes and workshops on both coasts and he has recently performed in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, David Rubenstein Atrium, Spiegeltent Festival at Bard College and Meet the Artists at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.
Alex has also appeared on the international stage as both a soloist with orchestras, and a chamber player that includes St. Martin in the Fields Church (London) and Academia di Chigiana (Siena).
Alex also recently joined the elite roster of Yamaha Performing Artists; from classical and jazz pianists Abbey Simon, Hank Jones, and Dr. John to pop artists Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Alicia Keys, and Norah Jones.
The Cell Theatre is located at 338 W23rd St, NYC. The doors and bar open at 6:45 and the performances begin at 7:30.
“Broadway is alive and kicking this season. But the best theatrical bargain in the city was last Friday’s show at the Cell, ‘Jazz and the City: The New York Connection.’ This review of America’s great songwriters and their relationship with New York was poignant, engrossing and magical. Charles Hale’s commentary was as relaxed as it was enlightening and insightful. A brilliant evening! Here’s hoping for an encore.” Peter Quinn, novelist
From the best of times to the worst of times, songwriters have captured every corner of New York City through music. For the past 375 years, musicians have paid homage to the city they call home with songs such as ‘New York State of Mind,’ ‘New York, New York,’ ‘Spanish Harlem’ and ‘I’ll Take Manhattan,’ but on Friday night at The Cell Theatre in Manhattan, Charles R. Hale’s Jazz and the City: The New York Connection explored some of the great tunes in the American Songbook through a different perspective. Weaving narrative and sidebars through the music of the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Billy Strayhdorn and others, Hale connected New York City and the songs through their composers and artists who lived here, through the venues in which the songs were popularized and through his own recollection of New York and song.
Joining Hale were a brilliant collection of musicians, David Raleigh on piano and vocals, Tony Carfara, saxophone, Danny Weller, bass guitar and Daniel Glass, drums. From Raleigh’s tender and moving performance of Kern’s “The Way You Look Tonight,” to Carfara’s soaring sax on “Stormy Weather,” to Weller’s killer bass solo in Strayhorn’s “A Train,” all backed by the eminently responsive and tasteful rhythms of drummer Glass, each song was a beautifully, turned out gem.
Hale pointed out that hundreds of musical compositions have been written about New York, but in addition, there are many, while not written about the city, that both evoke and paint a musical portrait of New York, such as Gershwins’ “Rhapsody in Blue.” He tied the songs to the city, introducing tidbits of information from Fred Astaire singing to Ginger Rogers on a foggy ferry deck during a trip from New Jersey to Manhattan, to a scene in which fictional New York City bus driver Ralph Cramden and his wife make up to the tunes of “Our Love is Here to Stay,” to his recollection of sitting in a bar as a young man, closing time, watching an older man, lost in his thoughts, hearing his life reflected in a Sinatra saloon song.
Plans are in the works to do the show again. As actor Jack O’Connell said, “I hope so. It was a great evening. The presentation was original and had NYC savvy. Pianist and vocalist David Raleigh and his musicians were well prepared. Hale was great using that staircase, very theatrical…and all grand. A most convivial after show party as well…I could have hung out all night.” Jack O’Connell, actor.
All photos by Vera Hoar
Manav Sachdeva Maasoom kept the full house spellbound at AWoW’s Anniversary Showcase with his mystical, magical rendition of his opening poem “The Song of Humanity” dedicated to Tagore, from his debut poetry book, The Sufi’s Garland.
A Luce Foundation Poet Laureate, Manav Maasoom, accompanied by the extraordinary fiddler Deni Bonet, matching and making the Sufi poetry even more magical through the wonderful matching renditions of the violin, made sure the evening had a taste of the spiritual, romantic, war, and indeed the whole repertoire of poetic thought represented.
An evening to never forget. Hopefully Manav Sachdeva Maasoom will grace us again with his creations in the not too distant future.
Deni Bonet and members of her band made a special Artist Without Walls appearance at AWoW’s Fourth Anniversary show, this past Tuesday evening at The Cell Theatre. Deni premiered four songs off of her soon-to-be-released rock instrumental album. Deni wowed the AWoW audience with her virtuoso violin performance, along with her band of accomplished musicians: Ado Coker on piano, Jonathan Linden on guitar, and Andy Mac on drums.
Deni kicked off the show with the title track of the record, “Bright Shiny Objects” – an up-tempo piece that reminded us of a cross between Aaron Copland and Disco Inferno.
Next up was “Primal Dream,” a song written years ago when Deni was a member of NPR’s Mountain Stage Radio Show, which started with solo acoustic guitar and surprised the audience as it built to a powerful climax.
“Einstein’s Brain” was a crowd favorite with its interesting time signature and infectious melodies. Following the performance of this song, one audience member exclaimed out loud, “This is my new favorite song EVER!”
Deni and her band finished off their tremendous set with the exciting tune, “Red Dog”, where Deni’s violin pyrotechnics left the audience breathless and wanting more – which is what they will get if they come to the Bowery Ballroom on March 23rd at 7:30 to catch her full show. Click here for more info and tickets.
Poet Liv Mammone returned for her third feature with AwoW to celebrate the anniversary. She debuted a collection of sparkling and smarting new poems, including open letters of love to Frida and of hate to Kylie Jenner that were more like open wounds.
In a night full of collaboration, both planned and unplanned, Liv had no one to pass the ball to but the audience, which she successfully drew into her experiences with a humor both generous and biting and an honesty that continues to shake us.
Desdemona’s death scene in Othello always comes with a high degree of difficulty and expectation. In the hands of Alessia Sushko and Sedly Bloomfield the audience was witness to a beautiful, passionate and moving scene. Love and fear was on display. Ms. Sushko’s beauty and Mr. Bloomfields’s presence left us wondering, “What would have happened if Desdemona had lived…?
Photos by Vera Hoar
Join Artists Without Walls on Tuesday, February 23rd, at The Cell Theatre for an evening of great entertainment as it begins its fourth year.
“We’ve always been inspired by the flowering of artistic achievement, which often arises when cultures come together. Jazz is one of the great examples. As a result, we were inspired to create a dynamic environment that allows for and promotes cultural collaboration and artistic achievement. We are excited that we have created a laboratory where people can experiment with their ideas in a safe space and collaborate with their peers in new untapped ways.” Charles R. Hale and Niamh J. Hyland, Artists Without Walls cofounders and artistic directors.
The Cell Theatre is located at 338 W23rd St, NYC. The Cell’s doors and bar open at 6:45.
Join Manav Sachdeva Maasoom and a great collection of performers at Artists Without Walls’ Anniversary Showcase, Tuesday, February 23 at The Cell Theatre, 338 West 23rd St., NYC.
Manav is an international poet and diplomat, and has worked or traveled through forty-five countries. Manav was born in India and currently divides his time between Kyrgyzstan and New York. He studied Poetry and Policy Studies at Columbia University for his Masters of International Affairs and is the Luce Foundation Poet Laureate for the US for 2015. Manav has worked on an Afghan film, “Camp Victory,” as a subtitle interpreter and editor, and written a book, “The Sufi’s Garland”, dedicated to his time in Afghanistan. He speaks Dari, some Pashto, Urdu, Panjabi, Hindi, English, and some Russian, Spanish, and French. Manav worked with the United Nations and other international NGOs and development bodies over the last two decades.
The Cell’s doors and bar open at 6:45.
Alessia Sushko and Sedly Bloomfeld will be performing a scene from Shakespeare’s Othello at Artists Without Walls’ Anniversary Showcase on Tuesday, September 23, at The Cell Theatre, 338 W23rd St, NY. Alessia’s film and television credits include House of Cards, Mysteries of Laura, Sex & Drugs & Rock&Roll, Billions. In New York theatre she has appeared in Death, Please! (Theatre Row Theatre) and MacBeth (The Players Club). Alessia was raised in Belarus where she began her acting and ballet training.
Sedly Bloomfield grew up in Brooklyn, where his development was stimulated by a Brooklyn’s unique melting pot of culture. After graduating from Erasmus Hall High School, Sedly attended Lee Strasberg and ran his own dance and acting club in Brooklyn NY. He has appeared in stage roles as Oscar Charleston in Cobb, Captain Davenport in a Soldiers Play and Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy, and on television he has appeared in All My Children, Torchwood and The Guiding Light.
The Cell’s doors and the bar open at 6:45
Join Darrah Carr and a great collection of performers at Artists Without Walls’ Anniversary Showcase, Tuesday, February 23 at The Cell Theatre, 338 West 23rd St., NYC.
Darrah is the director of Darrah Carr Dance, a Bessie-Award nominated Irish dance company that specializes in ModERIN: a unique combination of traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance. NYC performance highlights include: a return appearance on NBC’s “The Today Show,” a guest performance with The NY Pops at Carnegie Hall, a benefit engagement at Jazz at Lincoln Center, “Victory Dance” at The New Victory Theater and “The Yeats Project” at the Irish Repertory Theatre.
The company has performed at venues throughout the US including MASS MoCA, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard, the San Jose Fleadh and the company’s annual New York season at the Irish Arts Center. Darrah is also a respected scholar of Irish dance and has presented her research findings at the Congress on Research in Dance, the World Dance Alliance, and Dance Research Forum Ireland.
The doors and bar open at 6:45