ESTHETICS: Between Tears & Laughter

Play, gypsies,

Dance, gypsies,

Play while you may . . .

Thus, during a recent revival at Budapest's Fovarosi Theater of the operetta Countess Maritza (vintage 1924), sang Count Tassilo Endrodi, the impoverished Hungarian nobleman who for the first time in his life has to work for a living. His plaintive song was timely enough to make a lot of Budapest theatergoers squirm. No longer may Hungarian gypsy fiddlers play as they please, nor may Count Endrodi cry into his Tokay with impunity. The Communists have clamped down on nostalgia.

Sunset on the Bachelor's Flat. In an official directive, Hungary's Communist Council of...

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