Dec 19, 2022Liked by Michael Maiello

Sorry to say, but I agree with Jason Zinoman's recent assessment in the NYTimes: "As with Spielberg’s movie, the new play by Tom Stoppard, “Leopoldstadt,” is being described as his most personal as well as a reckoning with his Jewish identity, which in his case he didn’t understand until middle age. It’s also one of his worst plays: intellectually thin, overly familiar, blandly generic. If the way you tell the audience it’s the 1920s is by a woman dancing the Charleston, you’ve become too comfortable with cliché. And yet, this sprawling portrait of a half century in the life of a Jewish family from Vienna is drawing sold-out crowds of weeping audiences." Though I don't think anyone was weeping at the performance I went to. Also question why Stoppard didn't set this confessional play against the his own Czech background. Was it just to go with Freud and Schnitzler rather than Kafka and Werfel? The destruction of Czech Jewry is no less tragic and compelling than what went on in Austria. Disappointed because I was really looking forward to seeing Leopoldstadt.

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