Author: Joshua Ruch

I Puritani

Saw “I Puritani” last night. Old tired production, but Diana Damrau and Javier Camarena and Bellini’s music made it one of the more exciting visits to the Met Opera in a long time. Only one more opportunity to see them …Read More


We recently revisited the 2013 Israeli movie “Bethlehem,” which is available for streaming on Netflix. The story, which at a high level centers on the cat and mouse game played between Palestinian terrorists and the Israeli Secret Service seeking to …Read More

Sense and Sensibility

The inventiveness and creativity of the production of “Sense and Sensibility” by Bedlam, which is staged in a gym at NYU, is reason enough to make the trek down to Washington Park. On top of that, you get a terrific …Read More


Great acting, and memorable and haunting pictures kept us from leaving in the middle of this incoherent and long movie. Perhaps also was the hope that it would all come together, which it did not. Better to stay away, as …Read More

Beware of Pity

There is renewed interest in Stefan Zweig’s body of work in the U.S., heralded perhaps by a new autobiography, “The Impossible Exile,” by George Prochnick. And today, The Wall Street Journal featured a Zweig essay. In “Beware of Pity,” Zweig …Read More

The Brothers

Stephen Kinzer, author of this biography of Foster and Allen Dulles, quotes Walter Lippman as having written: “Once you touch the biographies of human beings, the notion that political beliefs are logically determined collapses like a pricked balloon.” This history …Read More

The Old Friends

Terrific ensemble acting, and it is a  large ensemble.  Hallie Foote is especially good, and there is the additional bonus of her being the playwright’s ( Horton Foote’s) daughter. There is not enough meat on the bone to make this …Read More

Winston’s War

By Michael Dobbs. If  you are a WWII/Winston Churchill junkie as I am, and you also like spy novels, you’ll have a ball with this one. The story is told against the backdrop of a Britain struggling with appeasement in …Read More

The Dinner

A newly translated novel by the Dutch author Herman Koch that has met with wide acclaim in Europe. The book is  essentially two short novels (the total is short, too) that coexist somewhat uneasily. The first is an hilarious and …Read More

The Swerve

I had a lot of fun reading this book, written by Stephen Greenblatt. It is a tour de force that describes the unfolding of the Renaissance through the prism of the life and times of  Poggio Bracciolini, a hunter of ancient manuscripts who …Read More

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and The Book of Mormon

Saw both shows within 48 hours of each other. Since they are both blockbusters on Broadway and critics generally highly recommend both,  there is little new to add to what the critics have already said. While I suspect that the …Read More