It’s Bloomsday again
A ‘‘ MELANCHOLIC hero’’ and its Irish creator will be celebrated Broadway-style as audiences enjoy a pint.
The Jews Brothers’ Band’s Bloomsday show will be performed at Karangahape Rd’s Thirsty Dog Tavern on the night of June 16 – a day unofficially dedicated to author James Joyce and his novel Ulysses.
The 1922 novel is a modernist take on Homer’s poem Odyssey in which Leopold Bloom, a fictional Jewish man, experiences the city of Dublin in one day – June 16, 1904.
The Bloomsday show is written by playwright Dean Parker and Grey Lynn’s Hershal Herscher plays Bloom.
He will perform more than 12 songs with his five-piece group The Jews Brothers’ Band during the show alongside actors Michael Hurst and Lucy Lawless.
Herscher has performed the show on the same date for the past 11 years.
The New York expat moved to New Zealand 30 years ago, bringing with him the talents he has cultivated since he was young.
‘‘I come from a family of performers and musicians on both sides. My mother, father, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins. They do all sorts – one was a classical pianist and my grandfather was a violinist from the Ukraine.’’
Two uncles and an aunt used to perform Broadway-style musical comedy similar to his own style, Herscher says.
Herscher says he relates to the show’s lead character.
‘‘I feel very connected to Leopold Bloom because I can understand a lot of his predicament’’ – in terms of living in a foreign country, he says.
‘‘It’s such a historically important book,’’ he says. ‘‘The mixing of the cultures, I feel very at home with being a Jewish guy now who lives in New Zealand.’’
Joyce struggled to get Ulysses published, eventually releasing it in Paris in 1922.
Its controversial content was considered obscene at the time but is now widely hailed by critics.
Herscher says he enjoys introducing Kiwis to Jewish culture through performance.
‘‘We don’t have a large Jewish population compared to America. So that’s another people are always especially Kiwis.
‘‘They’re always interested in New York culture, English, European in general.’’
The Bloomsday show is updated each year to include references to big political events of the time.
Herscher, The Jews Brothers’ Band and Linn Lorkin perform the Bloomsday show at K Rd’s Thirsty Dog Tavern on June 16 from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.
Arrive early for a good seat. There are $20 cash-only sales available on the door. advantage, interested,
In bloom: Grey Lynn resident Hershal Herscher takes the lead in the Bloomsday Show, a tribute to Irish author James Joyce and his book Ulysses.