BLOOMSDAY JUNE 16 – Auckland's K Road
Lucy Lawless and Michael Hurst, stars of the epic sandals & skirts TV soap Xena, Warrior Princess, will be re-united in June in a K Rd pub for Auckland's fabulous annual literary bash, The Jews Brothers' Bloomsday.
They'll be part of a tribute to James Joyce's masterpiece Ulysses, celebrated in pubs the world over on June 16, the world's sole annual commemoration of a totally fictional date, June 16, 1904, a date in which something happened only in a book.
On that single all-including day, Irish saint, scholar, hurler Joyce re-imagines Homer's epic poem The Odyssey unfolding its ten Mediterranean years out onto the streets and seaside and red-light district of Dublin, 1904.
It's a day now celebrated as “Bloomsday”, in which Homer's hero Odysseus becomes a Dublin Jew, Leopold Bloom (in the words of one essayist “the greatest Jewish character in world literature, more forgiving than Moses, funnier than Jesus, filthier than Portnoy”).
Sighed French Nobel Literature prize-winner Albert Camus, “The poignancy of the enterprise...” God knows what Camus would have thought of this internationalist musical cabaret version, done in a pub on the corner of Howe St and K Rd deep down in the South Seas.
But it's a lovely madness, fittingly pulled off amidst massage parlours and hookers. “It's not the Ku-dam,” cries out chanteuse Linn Lorkin, “Or the Reeperbahn, or the port of Amsterdam! It's Karangahape-dam!”
This year's Auckland Bloomsday has a dazzling line-up of talent that top-bills with Lucy Lawless reading from Molly Bloom's midnight dreamy soliloquy, Michael Hurst as young Stephen Dedalus (and also as outrageous French cabaret star of the 1930s, the wonderful Josephine Baker!), Bruce Hopkins as the fiercesome transvestite dominatrix Bella Cohen and Unite Union organiser Joe Carolan as the frothing nationalist, The Citizen (and his mangy dog).
Yuko Takahashi will be singing Mozart, so will Farrell Cleary, aka Blazes Boylan. Tenor and political commentator Chris Trotter will sing Dominic Behan's The Patriot Game, Jean McAllister will be backing Linn Lorkin, Hershal Hersher, Peter Scott and Auckland's yiddisher Jews Brothers Band.
Dublin actor Brian Keegan will be reading from The Book.
And there'll be a surprise appearance from Dame Sister May Leo, dropping in from heaven.
Thirsty Dog Tavern, Karangahape Rd
Monday night, June 16, 7.30pm-10.30pm.