APAP report: Jan. 6

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Amy Conroy, Kia Corthron, Gwen Orel, Deirdre Kinahan

How It’s New York:  The APAP conference takes place in NY, and brings a party with it.
How It’s Irish:  Mingling, talking, greeting and enjoyment!

I’ll be giving you brief write-ups of my interactions with APAP as I go!  I might not get up to much today unfortunately as I have work to get done before what promises to be a very great (and long) day tomorrow; plannning on the 11th Street Session and leaving in the wee small hours.

I picked up my credentials at the Hilton yesterday afternoon (unfortunately they forgot to put in my showcase booklet, though I specifically asked!) and then rushed downtown to have dinner with my friend, playwright Kia Corthron.  Irish playwright and delegate to APAP Deirdre Kinahan (Tall Tales Theatre) was to join us, and she invited Amy Conroy (HotforTheatre).   Deirdre’s play Bogboy was at the Irish Arts Center during 1st Irish (read our review here), and Amy has a play coming up.  Stay tuned!  We met at Khyber Pass, an Afghan restaurant on 34 St. Mark’s Place.  I spent ten minutes next door first– 34 1/2 St. Mark’s Place– thinking, “gee, Afghan food is a lot like Japanese food,” before I figured it out.  Deirdre said she was at a barbecue place across the street.  But eventually we all made it, and though we chose not so smoke hookah (think the Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland) it was pretty great.  Yum for the Boulanee Kadu, pumpkin filled appetizers.

Next stop was a party for the Irish delegation at the Luesther Lounge at the Public Theater, home of Under the Radar.  We couldn’t coax Kia, but the rest of us went in and mingled.   Many old and new friends, including Fishamble’s Jim Culleton, Origin’s George Heslin, Imagine Ireland’s Nik Quaife, flutist Conal Ó’Gráda (Raw Bar Collective; read our review of his gig with fiddler Maeve Donnelly), Edinburgh International Festival’s Christopher Wynn,  Lyric Theatre’s Richard Croxford, Dublin Fringe’s Roise Goan, Playwright Gary Duggan (whose Daedalus Lounge starts this weekend!), The Gate Theatre’s Padriag Heneghan, Project Arts Centre’s Niamh O’Donnell and Cian O’Brien, and Dublin Theatre Festival’s Willie White.

Delegates who aren’t performing are taking meetings and standing at booths at APAP.  I plan to spend some time tomorrow heckling them.

After mingling and drink, Under the Radar’s Mark Russell got up and spoke, introducing Culture Ireland’s CEO Eugene Downes, who then introduced The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, T.D.

Mr. Deenihan talked about the ties between New York and Ireland, then introduced Camille O’Sullivan, the cabaret style singer whose 7:30 show at Joe’s Pub was waaaay sold out.  She sang a piece about a port in Amsterdam with power and heart.  After that the lounge opened up to the general public, and those of us who were going to see Camille’s second show at 11:30 tripped downstairs.

Although we had reservations there was still a long line to get in.  But I appreciated that the show was all seated.  Joe’s Pub has been renovated since I was there last– sightlines are better, the booths in the front no longer have high walls.  And what a performer Camille O’Sullivan is.  She’s highly theatrical, husky-voiced, funny and altogether overwhelming.   I had to leave in the middle of her show Feel to catch my last train (the performance started late, as late night shows often do) but I saw enough to want to see more.

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