Manhattan-based Symphony Space is welcoming summer with its annual Bloomsday performance dedicated to celebrating James Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses.
For the uninitiated, Bloomsday refers to the date--June 16--during which the events of Ulysses take place and the day is observed worldwide with readings and celebrations.
As in years past, Symphony Space's Bloomsday event features authors, actors, and self-proclaimed "Joyceans" who will perform readings from sections of the book considered to be the most heretical, sexual, and political--in other words, the very elements that got Ulysses declared obscene in the United States from 1922 until 1933, during which time the U.S. Postal service seized and burned nearly 500 copies of the book. Federal Judge Judge Woolsey finally lifted the ban in 1933, saying that "The words which are criticized as dirty are old Saxon words known to almost all men, and I venture, to many women....If one does not wish to assoicate with such folks as Joyce describes, that is one's own choice."
Presented in collaboration with the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and co-produced with the Irish Arts Center, this year's Bloomsday on Broadway is hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon and stars Criminal Minds actress Kirsten Vangsness, Malachy McCourt, Valorie Curry, and others.
Malachy McCourt. Reproduced with permission from Symphony Space
Considered to be one of the most challenging books for even the most dedicated Jocyeans to read cover to cover, Bloomsday on Broadway is partnering with the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club to bring in experts and authors to help audience members unlock Joyce's wit and wisdom--attendees are invited to join the Facebook Group to participate in the discussion before and after the performance.
"Bloomsday on Broadway XXXVI: One Book Called Ulysses" takes place on Friday, June 16 at 7 p.m. at the Peter Jay Sharpe Theater at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street in New York. General admission tickets cost $26.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.symphonyspace.org/home