Opening night is on Wednesday, so you can read some official reviews soon.I caught the second preview on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and I liked it. It's solid work, not as good as Arcadia or The Invention of Love, but infinitely better than The Hard Problem. The time jumps and the huge cast make a little hard to identify who's who or the family connections among the characters through the different generations. It's well acted and staged, and it delivers a quiet but emotional punch at the end. I'm really glad I saw it, and I'd recommend buying the program, especially since it has a very useful family tree that makes things a lot simpler. Opinions on Theatreboard have been mixed, but it's 4 stars for me
Just joined this site to give another view. We saw the first preview and although the play may well have tightened up since (it could easily lose ten or so minutes) the overall nature won’t have changed.What you get from it will depend to a large extent on what you already know. Unlike any other of Stoppard’s plays (I have seen them all, right back to the 1960s) there is little that is new or surprising here. It tells a simple story of the impact of the Holocaust on one extended family. The style is not much different to a Radio 4 afternoon drama.It is not particularly clever (one good joke, one nice little twist) and if you know even just a little about the 20th century history of the Jews of Vienna you may well be surprised at how unsurprising it is. We went in a party of four - one Orthodox Jew, one Jew, one gentile with a Viennese mother and one gentile who had lived in Vienna for a couple of years - and we all felt the same. This is not a bad play but if anyone other than Sir Tom Stoppard had offered it, no management would have taken it on. The basic material is clearly important, and it matters to us all, but the author has nothing new to say about it.The reviews will presumably be respectful but beware: this is not a great or important evening in the theatre. One of us said she had preferred The Lehmann Trilogy, a play she didn’t particularly like, as at least that had great performances.
I have tickets for March 11- and I will wait to see it myself- the subject matter itself is important- and really, what new is there to say about it? I do not expect to learn anything particularly new- but if the story of this family touches my heart- and it is absorbing- that is all I am looking for. I have learned to see things for myself- I mighta really love it- or not- I have seen so many things other people loved and I did not- and visa versa- so I will see this for myself. Will read the reviews on Wednesday.
imeldasturn said: "Brantley's review:https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/12/theater/leopoldstadt-review-tom-stoppard.html"Yes...an apparently positive review which, oh so carefully, does not quite say if the play is actually OK. This is as expected, given the subject matter, as well as the great age and distinction of the playwright. Just saying.
TVG2 - Were you one of the Jews in your party of four or the goy? Just because YOU know about Jews in Vienna, doesn't mean those younger than you do! Those who aren't as knowledgeable as you and your party of four might learn something about the past. Also, there are Jews in this country, England and other countries who believe they are safe and have nothing to worry about, but current events have raised doubts?
A Director said: "TVG2 - Were you one of the Jews in your party of four or the goy?And this matters exactly why? Goys can have education too.Just because YOU know about Jews in Vienna, doesn't mean those younger than you do! Those who aren't as knowledgeable as you and your party of four might learn something about the past. Of course, no dispute. However see comments by others as to whether anyone will learn much from this. Maybe my reference to Radio 4 drama slipped by (I am English and this is an English reference): BBC Radio 4 plays are dutifully acted, with respectably liberal content, but middlebrow middlebrow middlebrow, moving at the speed and at the depth of the least educated and slowest audience member. This play is better than this, but only just, and the similarity struck us all.Those who expect to be stretched by the content - as I have been by other Stoppard plays using material I thought I knew a lot about - might benefit from a quiet word, which was why I came here to pass comment. Also, there are Jews in this country, England and other countries who believe they are safe and have nothing to worry about, but current events have raised doubts?"Of course. Again I am not sure how this relates to what I wrote (rather than to what you think I might be thinking but didn’t write)
Kate Maltby wrote a very insightful essay about the play for The New York Review of Books, weighing in the pros and cons of Leopoldstadt. Might contain spoilers!https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/02/14/tom-stoppards-theatre-of-memory/
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