LEVI, PAOLO (1919–1989), Italian playwright. Born in Genoa, Levi began his career as a dramatic critic, contributing to various Italian and foreign reviews. After spending the years 1944–46 in Brazil, he returned to Rome where he wrote plays for radio and television and a number of dramas, beginning with Anna e il telefono (1951). Levi made his name both in Italy and overseas with Legittima difesa (1952). His later successes included Scaccomatto (1953), La Fiera (1956), Il gioco è fatto (1957), and Lastrico d'inferno (1959). Levi's favorite theme – the problems besetting the individual – also dominates Come per scherzo (1955), I Nemici (1955), and Il Caso Pinedus (1954), which is considered one of the most interesting plays of the Italian theater of the century and which was staged in English, German, Czech, and Norwegian). Gli dei di pietra was staged in Dortmund, Germany, as Die steinernen Goetter (1958). Levi won an award for his radio plays in 1952 and codirected several Italian motion pictures during the 1950s. His novel Ritratto di Provincia in rosso (1975) was adapted in 1976 as a movie entitled Al piacere di rivederla.
S. d'Amica, Palcoscenici del dopoguerra, 2 (1953), 293–95; Dizionario dello spettacolo del '900.