His career took off in 1967, when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead had its London premiere at the Old Vic. Overnight, the name Tom Stoppard became synonymous with brilliance. More than 30 plays later, a new work by Stoppard is still an event, and this one, Leopoldstadt, is personal. Stoppard was influenced by his own childhood—he was two when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia and his family fled—as well as the more recent discovery that all his grandparents were Jewish, and died in concentration camps. Leopoldstadt centers on a Jewish family in early 20th-century Vienna. —J.V.
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