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


Koro Koroye
Koro Koroye

Join us tonight at The Cell Theatre, 338 W. 23rd St. in NYC for an Artists Without Walls’ Showcase, a great evening of music, theater and readings. A number of the presenters who appeared at AWoW’s Showcase at Lehman College last week, including, singer/songwriter Honor Finnegan, violinist/fiddler Annette Homann, and the trio of Koro, Owen and Moley will be on hand and presenting their work.


Kate McLeod
Kate McLeod

Best selling author Colin Broderick, whose highly anticipated book That’s That, a Random House publication that will be released in May, will also be on hand and reading a short excerpt from his book, a memoir, which details his growing up in Northern Ireland. His first book, Orangutan details his first twenty years living in Manhattan, drinking, working in construction and attempting to formulate his life as a writer. 


Jim Rodgers
Jim Rodgers

And there will be more. Playwright Kate McLeod’s monologue, “The End of Time” will be performed by Hannah Dahm a vocal major at LaGuardia High School for the Arts here in NYC.  Hannah’s worked several times in session at The Actors Studio and read the lead in a new play that she helped to develop (also at The Actors Studio), Trinity.  Hannah’s also a writer, having won a New York city-wide playwriting contest through Stephen Sondheim’s Young Playwrights Institute.


Cherie Ann Turpin
Cherie Ann Turpin



Jim Rodgers, who has participated a number of Showcases, both as an actor and a reader, will be reading from his novel in progress, Long Night’s End; Professor Cherie Ann Turpin, who has extensively written and researched the African Diaspora, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Multicultural American Literature, will be reading and discussing body image and how women see their own bodies, and poet Vince Nauheimer will be reading from his work while making his first appearance with AWoW.


And finally, we’ve learned that AWoW co-founder Niamh Hyland may have a surprise or two up her sleeve. 


Join us for a great evening of entertainment, a glass of wine, and some of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet.