At the ceremony yesterday evening at United Palace in New York, Tom Stoppard’s critically acclaimed Leopoldstadt won the Tony Award for Best New Play. This marks the fourth time in the last five years that Sonia Friedman Productions have produced the winning Best New Play – previous winners are Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J. K. Rowling, The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth, and The Inheritance by Mathew Lopez, marking a record for the London based producer.
These same plays won the Olivier Award for Best New Play across four consecutive years from 2017 to 2020.
The production won an additional three Tony Awards – Best Director of a Play for Patrick Marber, Best Featured Actor in a Play for Brandon Uranowitz, and Best Costume Design of a Play for Brigitte Reiffenstuel.
Patrick Marber’s production of Leopoldstadt is currently running at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre, and was this year’s most Tony Award-nominated play. In the US, the run has also won two Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Play, three Outer Critics’ Circle Awards including Best New Broadway Play, two Drama League Awards, and the New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. For its sell-out critically acclaimed run at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End, the production garnered two Olivier Awards, including for Best New Play.
Sonia Friedman said today, “Tom Stoppard’s masterpiece Leopoldstadt has been a huge labour of love for all of us at SFP – a cast of 38, and a production history that spanned the pandemic, seeing the sell-out London production shut down in 2020, and then be one of the first productions leading the way back to live performance in the West End, before transferring to Broadway. 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!
“Thank you to Patrick Marber for your inspiring direction and to the creative team, associates and of course to the entire cast and crew - your commitment, talent and dedication over the past 9 months or so (and for some the past 4 years) has made this all possible.
“New writing is at the heart of what we do at SFP – collaborating with writers at the very top of their game, and bringing that work into the West End and Broadway to make quality writing accessible to everyone. To have our work recognised in this way over multiple years is testament to the dedication and brilliance not only of the writers, but also creatives, actors, all those backstage, and team at SFP, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”
SFP’s productions also won Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Beowulf Boritt for New York, New York at last night’s ceremony from a total of 17 nominations; and the company’s production of Funny Girl with Lea Michele also performed.