Michael Stuhlbarg will play billionaire Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch who bolstered and then broke with Vladimir Putin, in a new Broadway production of “Patriots.” The show, which was written by Peter Morgan, creator of “The Crown,” is making the trans-Atlantic trek after a well-received run on London’s West End. It’s being produced at a time of red-hot political tensions, with Putin engaged in a bloody war with Ukraine that has frayed relations with the Western world.
Will Keen, who won an Olivier Award for his performance as Putin in the original stage production, will reprise his role. “White Lotus” star Tom Hollander portrayed Berezovsky in London. In a positive review, Variety hailed that production as a “startlingly timely endeavour” that uses “Berezovsky’s momentous rise and fall to illustrate the internally hallowed, externally hollowed state of Russian political culture.”
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It marks a return to Broadway for Stuhlbarg, who has been absent from its stages for nearly 20 years. He is best known for his work in films like “A Serious Man” and “Call Me by Your Name” and TV shows such as “Boardwalk Empire” and “The Looming Tower.” On stage, he appeared in Martin McDonagh’s “The Plowman.”
In addition to “The Crown,” which just wrapped up its six-season run, Morgan wrote the Tony-nominated play “Frost/Nixon,” which was later adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film. He also penned “The Last King of Scotland” and “The Queen,” which won an Oscar for Helen Mirren’s shape-shifting performance as Queen Elizabeth II. His last Broadway show was 2015’s “The Audience,” another look at the queen that also featured Mirren.
“Patriots” is directed by Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold, who has directed “Ink” and “King Charles III” on Broadway. The show’s 12-week engagement will kick off on April 22, 2024, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Previews will begin April 1.
It will also feature original London cast member Luke Thallon as Russian oligarch and politician Roman Abramovich. Additional casting will be announced in coming weeks.
Berezovsky made a fortune as the Soviet Union crumbled and industry was privatized. Initially, he helped orchestrate Putin’s rise from obscurity to the heights of power before becoming a vocal critic of the Russian leader. He died in exile in the U.K. in 2013.
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