(New York Jewish Week) – “West Wing” star Joshua Malina will join the cast of Broadway’s “Leopoldstadt” starting March 14, replacing David Krumholtz in the central role of wealthy businessman and family patriarch Hermann Merz in the Holocaust drama.
“I know the day that I was introduced to Tom Stoppard’s work: January 5th, 1984, when at 17 I attended the opening night of ‘The Real Thing,’” Malina tweeted to his nearly 314,000 followers on Twitter about the Tony-winning production. “I am blown away to be joining the spectacular cast of his brilliant LEOPOLDSTADT 40 years later.”
“Leopoldstadt” follows multiple generations of a Jewish Viennese family through the first half of the 20th century as they contend with their status as Austrians and Jews. Since opening at the Longacre Theatre in Sept. 2022, the show has been met with mixed reviews from Jewish critics, though it has proved meaningful for Holocaust survivors and their descendants who saw their family history reflected onstage.
Loosely based on Stoppard’s own family history, its characters include a cousin — who like Stoppard was raised by a Christian British stepfather – who learns of his Jewish past and the losses in his family in the years after the Holocaust.
This will be Malina’s first Broadway role since his appearance in the ensemble of Aaron Sorkin’s “A Few Good Men” in 1989. A native of New York City, the Jewish actor is best known for his television roles: In addition to starring as Will Bailey in “The West Wing,” he has appeared in “Scandal,” “Sports Night” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
Malina is also an avid Twitter user who frequently uses his platform to call out antisemitism, express pride in his Judaism and raise money for Jewish causes.
“I was last on Broadway in 1989. I try to do a play there every 34 years. Look for me in WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S in 2057,” he joked on Twitter about his new role.
Along with Malina, Dave Register and Cody Braverman will join the cast as Fitz and Young Leo, respectively. Current cast member Jesse Aaronson will replace Arty Froushan as Leo in addition to his role as Aaron and understudies Charlotte Graham and Sarah Killough will take over for the roles of Nellie and Eva, replacing original cast members Tedra Millan and Cassie Levy.
The show is scheduled to run at the Longacre Theatre through July 2.