Tom Stoppard's 'Leopoldstadt' will open on Broadway this fall

“ Leopoldstadt “, Tom Stoppard’s much-heralded and unusually personal play about an early 20th-century Jewish family in Vienna, hits Bro...


Leopoldstadt“, Tom Stoppard’s much-heralded and unusually personal play about an early 20th-century Jewish family in Vienna, hits Broadway in September, bringing an unusually large cast and a pointed reminder of the dangers of anti-Semitism to the stage. New Yorker.

Stoppard, 84, is one of the great playwrights of recent decades; his top four Tony Awards, for “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”, “Travesties”, “The Real Thing” and “The Coast of Utopia”, are the best playwrights in Tony’s history. “Leopoldstadt” will be the 19th production of a Stoppard play on Broadway since 1967.

“Leopoldstadt”, which begins in 1899 and continues during and after the two world wars, tells 50 years of the life of a family. It draws on Stoppard’s own family history, but does not represent it; he was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937, but fled to Asia with his family as a toddler, spent much of his life in Britain, and only learned a few details of his heritage in the years 1990.

“It’s an amazing two hours where you go through this time and this exploration of a family: what they have to deal with, and how they come out the other side and deal with their past, deal with their present and think in their future,” said Sonia Friedman, main producer. “Being Stoppard is complex, but also incredibly moving.”

The Broadway production, with a cast of 38, is set to begin previews Sept. 14 and open Oct. 2 at the Longacre Theater. Friedman, who produced the best Tony-winning plays of the past three seasons before the pandemic, is producing “Leopoldstadt” with fellow Broadway veteran Roy Furman and “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels.

“Leopoldstadt” began life with a production in London’s West End in 2020 directed by Patrick Marber, which won praise from New York Times critic Ben Brantley; this race, which was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, won the Olivier Prize for the best new piece. The play then returned to the West End last year for a brief but successful run.

In New York it is again directed by Marber, who also directed the last Broadway production of a work by Stoppard, a 2018 cover of “Travesties”. In a phone interview, Marber said he was looking forward to a third attempt on the material, after the London races.

“It’s a surprisingly enjoyable play to direct – even though it’s very painful and sad, it’s also full of levity and laughter,” he said. “It’s basically a question of memory, time and love. But it is also about fascism, immigrants and refugees. It’s about everything – it’s Stoppard.

Marber said Stoppard continued to revise the piece for New York, where he said he expected the piece to resonate differently due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. “With any game, what happens in the real world affects how you watch it,” he said. “Different things will come out.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Tom Stoppard's 'Leopoldstadt' will open on Broadway this fall
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