Bloomsday, an evening of James Joyce


Celebrate the world and life of the influential Irish novelist and poet James Joyce with the Arts and Society’s 35th annual production of Bloomsday Celebration of music, drama, and dance at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven on Sunday, June 16, at 8 pm.

This year’s show features 20 performers, dancers, actors, and musicians. Island physician, part-time actor, and man of letters Gerry Yukevich and local musician Phil Dietterich headline the show with support from George Ricci, Nathaniel Horwitz, Buck Reidy, Katrina Nevin, Claire Baione, and Martha Hudson, among others.

Bloomsday is celebrated by Joyce fans around the globe on June 16, the day in 1904 when the events in his enigmatic novel “Ulysses” occurred. Joyce lived from 1882 to 1941.

The events of Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” follow the adventures that take place in a single day in the life of Leopold Bloom. “Ulysses” was voted the finest English novel of the 20th century by a jury of scholars and writers, according to The New York Times.

“This year’s show includes segments from most of Joyce’s work,” said John Crelan, producer and director of the event. He said there will be more dancing and music than in past years and many new actors presenting new pieces. Sections of “The Dubliners,” “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” “Ulysses,” and “Finnegans Wake,” are among the pieces on the bill.

The first Bloomsday celebration was held in Dublin in 1954, and is now held in cities all over the world. The concert produced by John Crelan and Arts & Society, first staged in Boston in 1979, is the oldest continuous public celebration of Bloomsday in the United States, and perhaps in the world. The first Martha’s Vineyard edition of the Bloomsday show was in 1995.

Mr. Crelan’s shows have often featured dramatizations or monologues featuring passages to showcase Joyce’s whimsical non-sequiturs and extravagant use of nonsense language.

On past Bloomsdays, Mr. Yukevich performed “The Boarding House from ‘Dubliners’,” and “The Cat and the Devil” with Buck Reidy. Expect a medley of Victorian/Irish songs with Katrina Nevin, Buck Reidy, and Phil Dietterich.

Tickets for the show are $15 on the day of show. Call 508-696-0539 for more information.