Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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Peanuts, Charles M. Schulz, and his crystal ball
Prophecies from 1988

May 24, 2018

As adventures in reading go, I would put The Complete Peanuts (Fantagraphics, 26 volumes) right up there with Don Quijote. Maybe someday, I will feel impelled to memorialize the journey in an essay or a book, but for now, let me just share two remarkable examples of the prescience of Charles M. ("Sparky") Schulz, both from 1988, well into the fourth decade of the strip's 50-year run.

The first, merely delightful, anticipates by three years the memoirs of Katharine Hepburn.

Hepburn gilded the lily with a subtitle, Stories of My Life.

The second, quietly devastating, wraps up Charlie Brown's oddly Byzantine errand to renew Snoopy's dog license.

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New Perspectives Revivify Carousel And My Fair Lady

May 4, 2018  •  Classical Voice North America

Everyone loves Carousel, right? And doesn't everyone love My Fair Lady? In the canon of the American musical, these two stand at the very pinnacle. Late in the season just ended, both returned to Broadway in brand-name revivals that should keep the box office humming for quite some time. If you suppose, however, that this is a moment for sheer jubilation, think again. The headline of a wary preview in the New York Times said it all: "The Problem with Broadway Revivals: They Revive Gender Stereotypes, Too." Oh, Lord.

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Audrey Luna and her 40 fathers
Donizetti's Fille du Régiment in Honolulu

May 3, 2018  •  Opera News (May 2018)

NOW THAT AUDREY LUNA'S high A's in Thomas Adès's The Exterminating Angel have set a record for the highest note ever sung at the Metropolitan Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre's Daughter of the Regiment (heard February 11) affords the welcome opportunity to celebrate the soprano's genius as a full-service singing actress. Sung in French, with dialogue in English, conventionally assembled from rented stock, the show imposed absolutely nothing by way of concept, instead relying entirely on the talents of the cast to bring it to life.

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review of Buster Keaton In His Own Time: What the Responses of 1920s Critics Reveal

May 3, 2018

For the record, Wes D. Gehring has a chair as distinguished professor of telecommunications at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. With a half dozen previous books to his credit, mostly on film comedy, he certainly knows his stuff. What he needs, in the worst way, is an editor. His prose is seldom graceful, frequently impenetrable, not always grammatical, and above all relentlessly repetitious.* By the time the man has cleared his throat, a proper orator would have wrapped up his peroration. What a shame. I, for one, would love answers to the question his subtitle raises. A close reading of the "prologue" and one chapter (36 pages), plus extensive skimming, have left me none the wiser. Like the cover of this book? Me, too. But look no further.

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Where Marilyn Horne is at just now
A diva looks ahead (and back)

May 1, 2018  •  Oper! Das Magazin (Germany), May 2018

Can it be 22 years since Marilyn Horne gave her farewell performance as Dame Quickly at the Metropolitan Opera, after just over a quarter century as one of the Met's winners' circle of genuinely indispensable divas? Her debut on March 31, 1970, as Adalgisa opposite the Norma of Joan Sutherland lives in history as a sensation. Nearing the finish of a legendary career, the company's Viennese-born general director Sir Rudolf Bing ripped up her contract the next morning and handed her a new one, granting her the company's top fee. "You," he is reported by those who were there to have said, "are a $10,000 artist."

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Books by Matthew Gurewitsch

Cover of Rafal Olbinski Women Cover of When Stars Blow Out

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