Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Bloomsday in Kansas City 2006
On June 16 in 1904 James Joyce sent an Irish character called Leopold Bloom on a 24-hour odyssey around Dublin in his novel Ulysses (pub. 1922). And Kansas City?
Well, in the 1930s Joyce and Samuel Beckett were motoring somewhere in rural France when they pulled up to an auberge for lunch. Joyce realized during the meal that it was June 16 and they drank (and drank) to celebrate "Bloom's day".
Ever since then, Irishmen over the world have joined in the fun by observing the day with readings, food, drink and music. June 16th falls on Friday this year and once again Kansas City's Bloomsday Books in Crestwood, is the place to be for one of the best parties of the year. It begins with the marathon reading of Ulysses at noon that day.
At 9:00pm the play directed by Sylvia Stoner (as she has done for ten years) begins, and will go until midnight when everyone goes home to recharge. Festivities resume Saturday morning at 10:00 am with continued half hour readings up until 1:00 pm when Molly Bloom finally goes to sleep.
Eddie Delahunt is scheduled to play his live Irish music also - on Saturday at 1pm.
Boulevard Beer has provided the stout for this event every year and will again. And although no one ever does it except for Tom and Nancy, you are encouraged to go as your favorite Joycean character, with Molly Blooms being especially welcome.
I was talking with Tom Shawver at the weekend and the sign-up sheet is taking names for the annual reading of Ulysses. Stop by and commit to a half hour reading at a time convenient for you.
This celebration is a blast. Reading is fun, listening is fun, sitting among the players is fun, and I'm told that drinking is fun. Tom and Nancy put on a great event.
Luka Bloom takes his last name from the character Leopold Bloom. The rest of his name he got from, well, you can find it in here somewhere
Bloomsday Books (816-523-6712) is at 313 E 55th St. KCMO, in the Crestwood shops between Brookside Blvd and Oak.