By Daniel Fierman
November 05, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

James Joyce's the Dead

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It takes moxie to turn a work by James Joyce into a musical — especially ”The Dead,” written circa 1914 and considered by many to be the world’s greatest short story. But steeped in Joyce’s wit, ambiguity, and sepia literary tones, Shaun Davey and Richard Nelson’s beautifully voiced Irish melodies soar (though star Christopher Walken’s singing voice could use some work). As the wistful and contentious Christmas dinner unfolds, the colorful characters explore the heart of the Irish people. The end result is revelatory: gentler than the landmark 1987 John Huston film yet somehow closer to the lyrical soul of the original work. A

James Joyce's the Dead

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