Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
"These gentlemen," said Sarah, "will probably not care to go to plays which they can see as well in London or Berlin or Paris, though, as it happens, there are excellent French and Italian companies in Haifa just now. I should think they would find the Jewish plays more interesting."
"Are there Jewish plays?" queried Friedrich in surprise.
"Haven't you already heard," teased Kingscourt, "that the theater is completely judaized?"
Sarah glanced at the paper. "At the national theater tonight there is a biblical drama called 'Moses.' "
"A noble theme," remarked David.
"But too serious. There's 'Shabbatai levi' at the opera. And at some of the popular theaters there are Yiddish farces. They are amusing, but not in very good taste. I should recommend the opera." Miriam supported her sister-in-law's suggestion, saying that "Sabbatai Levi'" was the best composition of recent years, rich though the period had been in musical creation. But they must hurry. The opera house was half an hour's ride distant.
"Won't it be too late to get tickets?" asked Kingscourt.
"The box office will probably be sold out by this time," replied David, "because most of the co-operators must have used their subscription tickets. But I have had a box ever since the opera house was built."
"Is the opera also a co-operative society?" cried Friedrich.
"Subscriptions, Fritze. They call it co-operative here. Something like the newspapers."
"Quite the same thing, Mr. Kingscourt," laughed David. "Don't let them bluff you. There's nothing new here. It only seems so." He began to draw on a pair of white gloves.
Gloves! White gloves! Neither Kingscourt nor Friedrich had any. In all the twenty years on their quiet Pacific is land, they had had no use for such fripperies. But now they were back in civilized society, and in the desperate predicament of accompanying ladies to the theater. One must behave like a civilized human being. Kingscourt asked whether they would pass a glove shop on their way to the opera? No, there were no such shops. The old gentleman became peevish.
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