When will it be Bloomsday?" cries the plaintive Leo Bloom in the hit musical, The Producers. Mel Brooks' joke is a punning reference to June 16, 1904, the single day on which James Joyce's novel Ulysses takes place. (Leopold Bloom is the central character in the book.)
For the past 21 years, Symphony Space has celebrated Joyce and Bloomsday by devoting its stage every 16th of June to a marathon reading of the novelist's work. This year, the day also happens to be Father's Day. As a tribute, the event will focus on 18 passages in "Ulysses" that dwell on themes of fatherhood.
As per usual, a variety of stage figures (many regulars at Irish Repertory Theatre) will take turns reading from the mammoth tome. Among those expected are Philip Bosco, Kathleen Chalfant, Jack Davidson, Terry Donnelly, Larry Josephson, Larry Keith, Stephen Lang, David Margulies, Charlotte Moore, Terry Moran, Aideen O'Kelly, Ciaran O'Reilly, KT Sullivan, Fritz Weaver and Harris Yulin.
Actress Fionnula Flanagan will perform the final steam-of-consciousness "Penelope" episode—a feat which will begin after midnight and take about three hours.
Symphony Space is at 2537 Broadway. Call (212) 864-5400. —By Robert Simonson