Every year for decades, New York theaters, bookstores and Irish pubs celebrate June 16 as Bloomsday, the day in the life of Leopold Bloom that is chronicled exhaustively in James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” — and this year the tradition continues, with some adjustment. Symphony Space is presenting its 39th annual Bloomsday on Broadway, on its YouTube channel with readings from the novel and musical interludes by Stephen Colbert, Brian Cox, Hugh Dancy, Claire Danes, Kate Mulgrew, Cynthia Nixon, Fiona Shaw, Dan Stevens, and many more. It started at 8 a.m.; it’s going on until 9 p.m.
At the Irish Repertory Theater, Aenid Moloney reprises “Yes! Reflections on Molly Bloom,” at 7 p.m. (and every day for the rest of the week) which she debuted in New York to great acclaim last year. It’s an adaptation of the last chapter of Joyce’s novel, the Penelope episode, the one that ends famously: “….I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes,”
“Traditionally that’s seen as a sexual orgasm,” Moloney told me last year. “But it’s not. It’s about reaching pure understanding, and finding the reason to live.”
Blooms Tavern normally holds a Bloomsday Breakfast, but its 7th annual Bloomsdaycelebration is online, beginning at 11 a.m.
This year, Guild Hall in East Hampton is presenting Austin Pendleton in “James Joyce: A Short Night’s Odyssey from No to Yes,” a one-man play by Joe Beck. As Pendleton explains the play on the theater’s website “…here he is, Mr. Joyce, musing in free-form, struggling in free-form, about his writing, about his dreams and his successful efforts to create a literature that represented life as he knew it, in all its astounding complexity and wonder.”
Through the miracle of the Internet, you can even celebrate Bloomsday in Ireland, without leaving home.
Actors, writers and fans of James Joyce are coming together across the world to mark Bloomsday today. The annual event honours the date in 1904 depicted in his novel Ulysses. | https://t.co/5VjJVRT0eU pic.twitter.com/fb7Xo1CiKp
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) June 16, 2020
Alan Gilsenan, who adapted “Ulysses” into a film, discusses the film with Simon O’Connor, the director of the Museum of Irish Literature
Ulysses online — the entire book, courtesy of the Gutenberg Project.