What's it about?
The true love story of James and Nora Joyce. James was a proud Irishman who's dream was to become an author. Nora fell in love with James and ended up being the basis of his literature. With a lot of alcohol and an Irish stubbornness, James becomes the author that he always wanted to be. Along the road he loses his father, his sight, and almost his mind. But in the mist of it all Nora stands tall and strong right beside him. Fairy tales are real, they are just a little bit more flashy.
What'd I experience?
Himself and Nora was a beautiful love story to me. It began with James Joyce on his death bed while his wife Nora mourned.
James Joyce was an Irish writer who strives to get his book published but is rejected over and over and over again. After the opening number, the show begins when James is a young man in Ireland in the year 1904. James feels trapped by the restrictions of Ireland (religion and public moral code). He did not want to be a part of such an environment so he was moving out.
James' literature, I guess, was too raunchy for Catholics to accept. He was a proud Irish man raised in to Catholic traditions but he wanted to write without being shamed so he decided that he was going to go into exile, separating himself from his homeland. There was this man that represented his subconsciousness. The man was dressed like a priest and was very witty and entertaining throughout the show. That priest said all that was true with certain situations that James ignored.
I understood James' frustration about wanting to be free but feeling caged in by his religion. Then, James meets Nora in the same year he's ready to go into exile and they fall in love with each other. The connection between Nora and James Joyce was "HOT AND SEXY". And that was the title of the song that they sung when they first met - which only emphasized their deep lust for each other before love even came into the play. Or was that love too? I mean, these two could not keep their hands off each other.
The songs sank into my mind and left in awe (like, my mouth was open through this whole thing!!). Just witnessing the two kiss was electrifying. Nora wanted to be treated equally and James wanted her for the health of his soul. Nora was skeptical about the idea of going into exile with James without being married because James did not believe in the purpose of marriage but she went through with it.
James was a man that ran on passion and love. He grew frustrated when his book was not accepted by any publishing companies. I'm talking over 50 publishing companies. That is one of my biggest fears myself, to not be accepted in the world that I love. The man was Irish, soooo hard drinking did not come as a surprise to me. James' books consisted of his wife's words. Little things she told him complied together. It was amazing.
As James grew frustrated he sometimes took his frustration out on Nora. Nora was a strong loyal woman that stood by James side NO MATTER WHAT! Believe it or not those kind of women exist today just not that easy to find. Nora took on a lot of James' crap and when I thought she was gonna leave'em for good, there was James with his smooth poetry rekindling the flame that ran that relationship. Nora was the woman that every man needed in life. When times were AWFUL she stood with James as a crutch and held him up with all her might.
James then got published in London, ALL EXPENSE PAID. Their financial troubles were gone after his first book was a success but their children weren't the best. James was going blind right after his first book was published. The luck of this guy (lol get it Irish...luck...no luck). James was a proud Catholic man but he did not agree with the idea of marriage and kneeling for God. But towards the end when he lost his father, James knelt to the mercy of the Lord and asked his wife to marry him.
This man was more broken than he had ever been before when his father passed. Then, James got so caught up in his literature and fame that he forgot about his family. Nora was his work so it was impossible to forget about her. At the end James finally gave into death but then came back alive for the closing number. Amazing.