Chicago in Bloom

By Irish America Staff
June / July 2004

Following on the heels of the very successful run of Tom Murphy’s Bailegangaire, Irish Repertory of Chicago’s 2004 season resumes in June with the world premiere staging of A Dublin Bloom, an adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses. This production is Irish Rep’s contribution to the worldwide “Bloomsday 100” celebration, marking one hundred years since the most famous day in literary history, the June day in 1904 when Leopold Bloom, Molly Bloom, and Stephen Dedalus set out on their individual journeys through the streets and dreams of turn-of-the-century Dublin.

A Dublin Bloom is written by best-selling novelist and playwright Dermot Bolger. “Dermot focused on first clarifying the story’s essential narrative elements, then finding a theatrically interesting way to tell that story,” says Bloom’s director Matt O’Brien. “It’s clearly about a man, a woman, and their `son’ trying to reconnect. At the same time, the script celebrates, with theatrical analogy, the variety and surprise of the book. It allows everything from a medieval dumb-show to a Marx Brothers-like courtroom scene during the Nighttown segment.”

O’Brien continued, “Molly’s monologue, which ends the book in one long stream-of-consciousness chapter, has been broken into `signpost’ segments throughout the play, her reflections on certain other characters serving as introductions to Bloom’s experience with those characters that day. The end result is a very physical and very literate play about exploration, loss, and reconciliation. A beautiful piece of work, funny, frank, and in the end, incredibly moving.”

A Dublin Bloom begins performances on June 2, 2004, opening on Saturday June 5 and running through June 27 at the 190-seat Victory Gardens Theater on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. Tickets will be priced from $30 to $42. For tickets, please call the box office at (773) 871-3000. ♦

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