Bloomsday

Playing with time on stage is a delicate technique. Steven Deitz ambitiously used the monument to jettisoning time when he based his play Bloomsday on James Joyce’s mammoth Ulysses, often cited as the most important novel ever.

Front: Hunter Saling & Rachel Weck
Back: Jacquelyn Ritz & Martin Kildare photo by Aaron Rumley

In the hands of four fine actors, directed by Andrew Barnicle, the play’s San Diego debut at North Coast Repertory is a must see.

The doorstop 1922 book takes place in one day, which has been celebrated annually on June 16th for over sixty years. People gather to replay episodes in the novel.

The play takes its name from that celebration.

Four actors play two characters, which allows them to reflect on their younger (often more foolish) selves.

Most remarkable is Jacquelyn Reitz as Cait, the Irish tour guide. Her ability across a range of emotions is uncanny. Opposite her is Hunter Saling as Robbie, the young American who is drawn into her orbit. Robbie is often more reactive, especially as his older self remarks on their cold cold heart.

Robert is mostly the master of ceremonies, opening and closing the evening. Played with assurance by Martin Kildare, Robert is the most effective at getting the audience to contemplate the wisdom that perspective brings.

Caithleen (Rachel Weck) shares the heartbreak of the others, and does so with an aching delicacy.

This is a play that picks at your brain throughout, in a very challenging and satisfying way.

And the production at NCRT handles the challenge in excellent fashion.

 


Brad Auerbach has been covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.

Advertisement