As an Irish-American in good standing, of course I knew about and was proud of James Joyce?s monumental and mammoth book, Ulysses.? And that it is in many ways one long run-on sentence, detailing one day in the life of the Jewish Leopold Bloom in his and Joyce?s fabled city of Dublin.? So I knew about Bloomsday, June 16, and plan to be at the Irish Heritage Center here in Cincinnati to celebrate it this year.
But I had no idea there was so much sex in it!? The only book of Joyce?s I have actually read is Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which I will likely go back and read, as a result of seeing Ulysses.? I have a feeling I must have missed a great deal the first time.
It?s all sex, a very physical play, with the bones of Joyce?s writing showing through all the preening and bullying, linking and unlinking, weaving the past and the future.? Powerful, raw in feeling, that stage and ladders in the black box theater at CCM were so well organized that everything made sense, was well used and quite clear.
My playwright friend Alyson’s adaptation was as direct as she and her work always are – and the healing quality in her work was palpable.? Her steely-eyed compassion for those characters was distinct.? I loved that Leopold Bloom was played by an African American student – and played well.? And of course my friend Michael Burnham, the director, took all of this and made it real on the stage.
What a Wow! evening.