Happy Bloomsday everyone! June 16 may be the most famous date in literary history -- it's the day Leopold Bloom made his epic journey around Dublin in James Joyce's hugely influential novel, Ulysses. To commemorate the fictional event, every year famous performers gather at NY's Symphony Space to read excerpts from the Joyce novel. Among the readers expected this year are such Broadway names as Dana Ivey (The Last Night Of Ballyhoo), Jason Robards (Park Your Car At Harvard Yard), Blair Brown (Arcadia), Peter Riegert (An American Daughter) and Stephen Lang (The Speed Of Darkness). NY radio station WNYC 820AM, will carry the five-hour ceremony live, 7 PM to midnight. This year's "Bloomsday" event, conceived by Isaiah Sheffer and Robert Fagles, will specifically concentrate on the parallels between Leo Bloom and the protagonist of Homer's The Odyssey.
Broadway-philes have a special love for Bloom because Zero Mostel appeared on Broadway in the adaptation of a passage from the book, Ulysses In Nighttown, and later appeared in the Mel Brooks film, The Producers. His co-star, Gene Wilder, played a character named...Leo Bloom.
--By David Lefkowitz