Saturday, June 16, 2007

"yes I said yes I will Yes"

Photo credit: Berenice Abbott, 1929

It's Bloomsday! The title quotes Molly Bloom, the female protagonist of James Joyce's Ulysses, which is being celebrated today. The action of the novel, considered by many to be the most influential of them all, and certainly the most influential of the twentieth century, took place in Dublin on June 16,1904, the date on which Joyce, left, first dated his wife Nora Barnacle.
Some of the Bloomsday celebrations have already taken place. For example, the American Friends of James Joyce earlier this month honored Milo O'Shea as one of Ireland's Best; the Irish Repertory Theatre's Ciarán O’Reilly and Charlotte Moore received the Veronica Lally Kehoe Award for Cultural Achievement. We congratulate them - the awards are well-deserved.
In Dublin, Bloomsday lasts an entire week, commemorated with readings and plenty of pub crawls. For the centenary, in 2004, celebrations lasted five months.
Here is a sampler of some of the more local events:
The big one is Bloomsday on Broadway XXVI, at Symphony Space, Broadway at 95th St. Approximately 100 performers, including Frank and Malachy McCourt, and the incomparable Fionnula Flanagan as Molly Bloom, will read from the book in shows at 12, 3, 6, and 9 p.m. Between 7-8 pm, Bloomsday features The Antient Concert:The American premiere of a new opera, with libretto by Paul Muldoon and music by Daron Hagen. Tickets can be purchased for: Full day: $25, Members $20; Per 3-hour segment $20, Members $14. This will be simulcast over the web.
Also in New York -- Bloomsday OutLOUD, Saturday, on Staten Island at at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 7:30pm. This is a more mobile version, as Staten Island becomes Dublin, and the action takes place downtown. OutLOUD’s Bloomsday celebration begins at foot of the Armajani Bridge, overlooking the harbor (Bay Street and Borough Place, next to the Ferry).
Philadelphia has its own special Bloomsday traditions, with walks, readings, a childrens' performance sponsored by the Rosenbach Museum and Library, which is the repository for Joyce's handwritten manuscript.
Chicago's Irish American Heritage Center presents readings, music and song from notables in the Chicago theater community; it's called Rattlin' of the Joists at Centerstage, 8 p.m., $10.
Buffalo, NY has been celebrating for a week, but will conclude with a 5-hour reading on the 16th at the Andrews Theatre home of the Irish Classical Theatre Company, 625 Main Street in Downtown Buffalo (5:00 pm - 10:00 pm) . In the morning, the action commnces at Bidwell Parkway at 11 a.m.
At Boston College, events will commence at 11:30 and run through the day to 6 p.m. Readers will include David Barry, the Consul General of Boston, and author Elizabeth Shannon.
Elsewhere in Massachusetts, the Arts and Society group will present its 29th annual Bloomsday celebration at 8 p.m. at the Katherine Cornell Theater,Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard
Tickets: $15 general, $12 senior & studentSold at the door.
Natuonal Public Radio has an extensive website devoted to Bloomsday and Joyce.
The city of Melbourne, Australia also has a celebration.
Santa Maria, Brazil, kicks off at 9 a.m.
So don't tell me there's nothing to do this Saturday!
Patricia Jameson-Sammartano
Culture Editor, WGT

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