Food and Things

All about food and the way people eat it.


Bloomsday is Feast for Joyce Fanatics

I was late  last Tuesday to the 28th annual James Joyce orgy, Bloomsday on Broadway, Symphony Space’s 12-hour tribute to the Irish novelist. This year the theme was food.

People scampered in and out throughout the 12-hour marathon that began at 6 p.m. and ended at midnight. I spotted a lot of gray heads dotting the audience at this iconic Upper West Side event as a parade of veteran actors and celebs read passages that charted Joyce’s foodiest moments.  These included descriptions in Ulysses of Bloom’s fried kidney breakfast-yes, he was an organ meat guy- and of the items like potted beef that occupied Molly’s larder. I walked in on the reading of a passage from Ulysses in which Bloom recounts the agony and ecstasy of his a.m. bowel movement.  Maybe that was appropriate given the median age of the listeners, not to mention of the readers which included Robin McNeil former host of PBS’ News Hour and battle-scarred Broadway actresses, like Marian Seldes.

Bloomsday on Broadway celebrates June 16, 1904, one of the most famous fictional dates in literature, when Leopold Bloom walked around Dublin in the pages of Joyce’s Ulysses.

To get the right Irish vibe going on the hamish Upper West Side, lamb stew and soda bread were dished up during intermission.

What did you think of this year’s Bloomsday on Broadway?

Related: Symphony Space: Bloomsday on Broadway Dips Into Food

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