Tom Stoppard’s 'Leopoldstadt' is a big winner at 2023 Tony Awards

The play follows the experiences of a Jewish Viennese family over 50 years


NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 11: (L-R) Sonia Friedman and Tom Stoppard, winners of the award for Best Play for "Leopoldstadt" poses in the press room during The 76th Annual Tony Awards at Radio Hotel on June 11, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Tom Stoppard’s autobiographical "Leopoldstadt" was a huge winner at the 2023 Tony Awards.

The family drama was named Best Play, Best Director for Patrick Marber, Best Featured Actor for Brandon Uranowitz and Best Costume Design for Brigitte Reiffenstuel.

Leopoldstadt, which won the 2020 Olivier Award for best new play when it premiered in London, follows the experiences of a Jewish Viennese family over 50 years.

The writer-director, Marber, said Stoppard was his “beloved friend and still my hero”.

Jewish actor Uranowitz announced his "impostor syndrome [was] on fire,” when accepting his award, and thanked Stoppard for a play that tackled anti-Semitism.

Moments before, Samuel L.Jackson's unimpressed reaction to losing against Uranowitz for his part in “The Piano Lesson,” caused a stir online, with some hoping his eye-roll would become a meme.

Jewish producer Sonia Friedman called Leopoldstadt Stoppard’s “most personal masterwork”.

She said: "To work with the greatest living playwright Tom Stoppard, is the privilege of a lifetime. This play has been in my life for several years and I thank you Tom for entrusting me with your personal masterwork about family, identity, loss, endurance, and survival – your urgent story from the past is so powerfully relevant today and deeply needed.

"Your astonishing achievement is testament to the power of live theatre to open hearts and change minds!" 

Despite all four of Tom Stoppard's grandparents dying in the Holocaust, he only learned about his Jewish roots when he was 50 years old.

The play is currently running at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway.

In other moments-which caused an internet frenzy, was former Glee actor Alex Newell winning a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, in front of their former Jewish co-star Lea Michele.

Michele starred in Funny Girl, having taken over the role of Fanny Brice from Jewish actress Beanie Feldstein after the revival failed to win a single Tony in 2022.

Back in 2020, Newell - who is the first openly non-binary actor to win a Tony - was among Glee cast members to accuse Michele of “bad” behaviour on set of the musical comedy series.

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