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Virtual Staged Reading AUSTIN PENDLETON stars in JAMES JOYCE: A SHORT NIGHT’S ODYSSEY FROM NO TO YES
A one man play by Joe Beck
Directed by Elizabeth Falk
Attention all fans of great literature and superb acting – BLOOMSDAY APPROACHES! Come celebrate one of Ireland (and the world’s) finest writers, James Joyce, as read and performed by a legend of the American stage, Austin Pendleton, at a one-night-only virtual live reading presented by Guild Hall. Joyce’s most famous work Ulysses (1922) is based on Homer’s The Odyssey and follows the movements of Leopold Bloom through a single day on June 16th, 1904. Bloomsday is celebrated every year in Dublin and around the world by fans of Joyce at events including readings, performances, visitations to locales from the book, cosplay as characters from the novel and even eating the traditional Bloomsday breakfast of liver & kidneys served alongside an Irish fried breakfast. You don’t necessarily need to wear a straw boater or eat rashers and black pudding to enjoy this exclusive performance – a benefit for Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater which has been closed by the pandemic – but then again, it’s a virtual presentation so what you do from the comfort of your home while listening to the amazing Pendleton interpret this literary masterpiece is entirely up to you.
Of playwright Joe Beck’s sharp, new adaptation Pendleton remarks, “I feel that Joe has done the impossible: created a character for the theatre who could actually be James Joyce. This accomplishment in Joe’s writing astonished me. I would have thought it impossible. But here he is, Mr. Joyce, musing in free-from, struggling in free-form, about his writing, about his dreams and his successful efforts to create a literature that represented life as he knew it, in all it’s astounding complexity and wonder. Joe Beck finds the drama as well as the humor, and the joy, in Joyce’s struggle; and the sense of climbing a daunting mountain, going higher and higher into some literary heaven that before him had been unknown to anyone. For all these reasons it is a thrill for me to read Joe’s play aloud.”
This is a remarkable opportunity to intimately experience the charisma and versatility of one of America’s theatrical living legends – Austin Pendleton – a foremost interpreter of all things Joycean as well as an Obie and Drama Desk Award-winning, Tony-nominated director, playwright and star of Broadway and innumerable film and television appearances in a stellar career that has spanned over five decades of performance. Pendleton is directed by his colleague Elizabeth Falk, noted director of opera and theatre with a wide-ranging career that has carried her across America’s regional theaters to work in Russia, Europe and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London where she has the distinction of being the first woman to direct a play for that stage.
This presentation is the second offering in Guild Hall’s new Virtual John Drew Theater series and follows the popular recent presentation of A PORTRAIT OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS staring Harris Yulin and Mercedes Ruehl. As with TENNESSEE, this evening’s performance will be followed by a live Q&A with Mr. Pendleton and the play’s creative team, moderated by the John Drew Theater’s Artistic Director Josh Gladstone.
A link to the live broadcast will be emailed to ticket holders 24 hours in advance. If you purchase a ticket after that, the link will be emailed automatically in your ticket receipt.
Austin PendletonAustin Pendleton is an actor, a director, a playwright, and, at HB Studio in New York City, a teacher of acting. He has acted and directed on and off-Broadway, as well as off-off-Broadway, and in regional theaters, notably the Williamstown Theatre Festival (where he also apprenticed, under the guidance of Nikos Psahcaropoulos, for many years the Artistic Director of the Festival), Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre (where he has been a member of the Ensemble since 1986), and the Long Wharf Theatre (under the leadership of Arvin Brown). His last Broadway acting appearance was in Choir Boy, last year. He also, on Broadway, among other appearances, originated the role of Motel the Tailor in Fiddler on the Roof, and later appeared opposite Natalie Portman and Linda Lavin in The Diary of Anne Frank. As a director, he was nominated for a Tony for directing The Little Foxes, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Maureen Stapleton. As a playwright, his plays include Orson's Shadow, Uncle Bob, and Booth, all produced in New York, around the country, and in Europe, and all published.
Joseph Beck (Playwright) has written 10 dramatic plays, comedies and musicals performed in such venues as The John Drew Theater at Guild Hall, The Village Gate Theater, The NYC Fringe Festival, Midtown International Theater Festival (MITF), The Manes Studio Theater, Emerging Artists Theater (EAT), The Dramatists Guild, Manhattan Rep Theater, The Cinema Arts Centre, The Drama Bookshop and has a production stalled in the pandemic pipeline, scheduled for a performance at The Argyle Theater of Babylon, LI.
Elizabeth FalkElizabeth Falk is thrilled to return to the magical John Drew Theatre at Guild Hall, if only virtually. She's directed 74 productions of Shakespeare, contemporary and musical theatre, and opera, at such venues as Shakespeare’s Globe London, where she was the first woman ever to direct, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Theatre at Anichkov Palace St Petersburg, Russia, Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival, Newport Music Festival, York Theatre NYC, UK/AZ Festival Phoenix, Carpenter Center Long Beach and Off-Broadway, in 11 states and in Russia, South Korea, Austria, England and Australia. Now stuck in the Covid-chute is her Broadway debut as playwright and director, and directorial gigs at Theatre for the New City, NY and an adaptation of Pagliacci for a puppet theatre in Cuba. This is her fifth collaboration with Joe Beck, her third with Austin Pendleton. Some other luminaries she’s directed: José Ferrer, Helen Hayes, Werner Klemperer, Keir Dullea, Mia Dillon, Stephen Lang, Tony Bennett, Richard Carpenter, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Rip Torn, Earle Hyman, Richard Cassilly, Nedda Casei and Robert White. In May her play White Tie and Veils was Zoom-cast by Virtual Broadcasting Together.