James Joyce's The Dead

James Joyce's The Dead

James Joyce's The Dead (1999)
James Joyce's The Dead is a musical conceived by Richard Nelson, with music by Shaun Davey. Originally starring Christopher Walken as Gabriel Conroy, it opened off-Broadway in 1999 to mixed reviews but popular success. After it closed an extended run at Playwright's Horizon, it moved to a successful run on Broadway, winning a Tony for Best Book, and then went on for successful runs in Los Angeles and Washington DC.

Brazen Head Review
I reviewed the musical in both its off-Broadway and Broadway incarnations. You may read the Brazen Head Review here.


James Joyce's "The Dead" is back at Chicago's Court Theatre, November 28 through December 28, 2003.

Court Theatre Web Site -- Contains details and information on ordering tickets.


Special thanks to Jorn Barger and the alt.books.james-joyce newsgroup for some of these!

Early Peeks:

"Dead on Arrival -- By "The God of Broadway," this is a fairly short dismissal.

Micahel Kuchwara's AP review -- This very positive review mispells "Morkan" and seems to like all the departures from Joyce the best of all.

Full reviews:

From Joyce to Orpheus, Music to the Ears -- USA Today, October 28, 1999. David Patrick Stearns gives a brief, lukewarm review.

A Musical that Dares to be Quiet -- New York Times, October 29, 1999. Ben Brantley's mixed review is a fair look at the work as a musical.

"The Dead" Walk Again, if Only in Spirit -- Bergen, October 29, 1999. Robert Feldberg's review gets right to the flaws inherent in the adaptation, and also says a few severe words about Walken.

Joyce's Dead Occasionally Delightful -- LA Times, November 5, 1999. Charles Isherwood's review lauds the production but bashes Walken.

Lost in Translation -- New York Magazine, November 8, 1999. John Simon's literate review praises Joyce and smashes the whole production.

Singing, Dancing Dubliners -- New York Observer, November 11, 1999. A very positive review by John Heilpern, who seems to have liked the most un-Joycean songs of all.

Broadway Raises "The Dead"-- New York Daily News. Fintan O'Toole gushes about the production.

James Joyce's The Dead Lives on Broadway -- New York Daily News, January 12, 2000. A positive review from Linda Winer.

Joyce-ful and Triumphant -- New York Post. Clive Barnes praises the production to the skies, also hinting that it may be an improvement over the actual story....

Imposing Ghosts Were Hovering -- LA Times, July 16, 2000. Barbara Isenberg interviews director Richard Nelson.

In the Land of the Living Dead -- LA Weekly, July 28, 2000. Steven Leigh Morris provides a literate and sensitive review of the LA production, noting that the musical starts off brilliantly and then gradually slides into bathos and self-parody.

"The Dead" a Living Treasure -- Washington Post, October 20, 2000. Lloyd Rose raves about the DC production; curiously he inserts Joyce's words rather than the mangled version the musical offers as the final words....


Playwrights Horizons Web site -- The off-Broadway venue that first ran the production. Read more about James Joyce The Dead, or look at this theater's impressive history.

Official Press Release -- Put out by Playwrights Horizons before the show went into production, this document has information on the cast and crew.

Salon.com article -- Announcing the musical.

Producers May Resurrect "The Dead" on Broadway -- From the New York Post, this article discusses plans to extend and expand James Joyce The Dead.

Green Bar

Go To:

Joycean Theater (Main Page)

Molly Bloom (2000)

BLOOM: (His eyes closing, quails expectantly.) Here? (He squirms.) Again! (He pants cringing.) I love the danger. -- Send email to the Great Quail -- comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, submissions . . . all are welcome!

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--Allen B. Ruch
1 June 2003