Author(s): Tom Stoppard
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Leopoldstadt was the old, crowded Jewish quarter of Vienna, a city humming with artistic and intellectual excitement. Stoppard's epic yet intimate drama centers on Hermann Merz, a manufacturer and baptized Jew married to Catholic Gretl, whose extended family convene at their fashionable apartment on Christmas Day in 1899. Yet by the time the play closes, Austria has passed through the convulsions of war, revolution, impoverishment, annexation by Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust, which stole the lives of 65,000 Austrian Jews alone. From one of today's most acclaimed playwrights, Leopoldstadt is a human and heartbreaking drama of literary brilliance, historical verisimilitude, and powerful emotion.