Author Archives: Paul Kuritz

THE METS TURANDOT: THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE

The first time Turandot played at the Metropolitan Opera was on November 16, 1926.  J.W. Henderson of the New York Sun observed that “this is an opera in which the eye and the ear must be equally absorbed.” The great Viennese architect and designer Joseph Urban had provided the scenery. He was a pioneer of […]

VANYA ON THE PLAINS: A HYMN TO THE HUMAN HEART

On October 26, 1899, the day Anton Chekhov’s new play Uncle Vanya, debuted at the Moscow Art Theater, the audience heard the following exchange between two characters:         Dr. Astrov: I wonder if the people who live one or two hundred  years from now would remember us with a kind word.         […]

THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS: LEWIS UNDONE

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the […]

KENNEDY CENTER’S HELLO DOLLY – LOOK AT THE OLD GIRL NOW!

A great performance always seems fresh-minted. That certainly is the case with Ms. Betty Buckley at the Kennedy Center. In fact, her character,  Dolly Gallagher Levi, first appeared during playwright Thornton Wilder’s 1935 trip to Europe. As he considered the comedies of Austria’s popular 19th century playwright Johann Nestroy, he wondered if an American version […]

STC’s ORESTEIA: 5% AESCHYLUS (95% MCLAUGHLIN)

Aeschylus’ trilogy The Oresteia stands as one of the pillar’s of Western Civilization. The three plays together mark society’s turn from a collection of families and clans whose personal interests dominate to the polis, the city, for which justice must mean more than individual retribution. In the process, the gods lead the way; humans are […]