Radio Bloomsday: 16 June 2010

A worldwide broadcast of James Joyce's Ulysses
June 16th from 7pm to 2am EST on wbai.org

Artists including Jerry Stiller, Alec Baldwin, Paul Muldoon, Charles Busch, T. Ryder Smith, Paul Dooley, Bob Odenkirk, Marc Maron and Caraid O'Brien perform excerpts from James Joyce's Ulysses for Radio Bloomsday on Wednesday June 16th from 7pm to 2am on WBAI 99.5FM in New York City and wbai.org.

Radio Bloomsday continues the 32-year WBAI tradition of broadcasting marathon performances of James Joyce's Ulysses every Bloomsday as New York's leading artists gather in the WBAI studio on Wall Street to interpret this classic of modern literature.

The Broadcast

The broadcast opens at 7pm with an invocation to the goddess of Irish poetry as Barbara Vann performs the ninth century Gaelic poem, The Hag of Beare. The first hour is devoted to the character of Stephen Dedalus, school teacher and aspiring writer. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon performs Stephen Dedalus' inner thoughts as he wrestles with his mind while walking on the beach in the complete Proteus episode.

The eight o’clock hour introduces the audience to Leopold Bloom as Jerry Stiller performs Leopold Bloom’s morning ritual which includes his dreams of literary greatness while sitting on the toilet. Amy Stiller reads the words of Milly Bloom, Leopold’s daughter. Other Bloom excerpts include performances by Zeroboy as Bloom at the cemetery, Jim Fletcher as Bloom mellow on wine, Paul Dooley as Bloom contemplating lunch and comedian Marc Maron as Bloom in church.

At 9pm, we debut our new writers segment as poets Merideth Finn and Mac Barrett read from their new work . Tara Bahna James performs an original tune based on the Irish revolutionary song The Night Before Larry was Stretched.

At 9.15 we return to Ulysses to explore the dozens of literary styles sampled by Joyce throughout the novel (and throughout our broadcast) from Dickensian prose to penny dreadful romances, from Celtic legends to school primers. Alec Baldwin performs in the style of a Celtic legend, Judy Graubart is a psychic conducting a séance, Bob Dishy performs in the style of sentimental gentlemen’s prose. Janet Coleman and David Dozer perform the verbal overture to the Sirens episode.

Starting at 10pm, we enter Ulysses in Nighttown as Stephen and Bloom stumble through Dublin’s redlight district in the Circe episode which is written in the form of a play and captures the similarities between artistic creation and drunken revelry. Playwright and female impersonator Charles Busch plays the whore mistress Madame Bella Cohen, T Ryder Smith is the narrator and Aaron Beall is Bloom.

Around 11pm, we turn our sites to Molly Bloom, the singer, the woman, the artist in bed. This three hour segment begins with real life couple John O'Callaghan (Stargate Atlantis) and Jaason Simmons (Baywatch) reciting Lord Byron’s poetry, which Bloom used to woo Molly when they were courting. Alec Baldwin then reads James Joyce's love letters to his wife Nora, the inspiration for Molly Bloom.

As always, the evening ends with the complete Molly Bloom monologue, performed by Galway native Caraid O'Brien, as she thinks about her lovers, her husband, her children and her stalled artistic career.

Other performers who will be featured in the broadcast this year include Brian O'Doherty, Kate Valk, Mara McEwin, James Kennedy, Richard Maxwell, Tory Vasquez, Anna Goodman-Herrick, Mara McEwin, Rosie Goldensohn, Jay Smith, Barika Edwards, Emily Mitchell and many more.

Radio Bloomsday is directed by Caraid O'Brien; and produced by Larry Josephson, Peabody-Award-Winner and President of The Radio Foundation. The Artistic Director is Janet Coleman, host and producer of Cat Radio Cafe and former WBAI Arts Director.

More information:
Also at A Piece of Monologue: