John Lithgow Joins the Cast of Radio Bloomsday 2011 6/16
John Lithgow has just joined the cast of Radio Bloomsday, the 30th annual, 7-hour broadcast of excerpts from James Joyce's Ulysses. The distinguished actor will read Charles Lamb's version of Ulysses for children, which inspired Joyce. Radio Bloomsday will be heard coast to coast on Thursday, June 16 on WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York, 7 PM - 2 AM.
To celebrate Bloomsday, the day on which Ulysses takes place, our broadcast will feature artists from New York, Los Angeles, London and Dublin. The show will be streamed live on wbai.org.
Radio Bloomsday brings together contemporary artists to make Joyce's text fresh and accessible to modern audiences. Highlights include Alec Baldwin reading Lord Tennyson's poem Ulysses. Booker-Prize-winning novelist Anne Enright narrates the entire Calypso episode with quintessential New York playwright and actor Wallace Shawn as Leopold Bloom. Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon reads an excerpt of the Proteus episode. Garrison Keillor reads another excerpt from Wandering Rocks. Jerry Stiller reads Bloom's thoughts about Passover.
Stage veterans Bernadette Quigley and Fiana Toibin give the first taste of Joyce's novel by reading the opening passage of Ulysses. Students at James Joyce's alma mater, Belvedere College in Dublin, will perform the Nestor episode in which Stephen Dedalus teaches John Milton's Lycidas, which will be read by Jim Fletcher (Gatz). From Los Angeles Bob Odenkirk and Paul Dooley interrogate each other in an excerpt from the Ithaca episode. Comedian Marc Maron reads a neurotic Bloom. From London, novelist Nick McDonell is Stephen Dedalus in Wandering Rocks.
Kate Valk, Garrison Keillor and others read poetry by Joyce, and works that inspired him by Charles Lamb, John Milton and his mentor WB Yeats.
The show ends with a two and half hour live performance of the complete Molly Bloom episode, performed by Galway native Caraid O'Brien.
Other actors in the program include T. Ryder Smith, Zero Boy, Marc Singer, Roma Downey, John O'Callaghan, Conn Horgan (The Beauty Queen of Leenane), Marie-Louise Bowe, Shawnee Benton-Gibson, Mara McEwin, Mark Greenfield, Corey Carthew and many others. The Dublin-based instrumental group, Tarab, makes their American debut on Radio Bloomsday.
Radio Bloomsday is directed by Caraid O'Brien, also our Molly Bloom. The broadcast is produced for The Radio Foundation by Peabody-Award-winner Larry Josephson, who co-founded with Isaiah Sheffer, Bloomsday on Broadway, a staged reading at Symphony Space. After 27 years producing at Symphony Space, Larry created Radio Bloomsday, solely for radio, which allows us to pre-record great actors who are not able to perform live--impossible for a staged reading.
Janet Coleman, WBAI's Arts Director and a veteran actress and radio drama producer, is our Artistic Director.
Radio Bloomsday is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, and by the New York State Council on the Arts.
Visit us online at www.radiobloomsday.blogspot.com and on twitter @mollyinbed
WBAI is one of five listener-sponsored stations owned by the Pacifica Foundation, which has produced and broadcast cutting-edge radio for the past 62 years.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos