Memorable scary audience reaction during "Leopoldstadt" last year about legacy and being remembered
Last Edit: PlayWiz 05:11 pm EST 02/20/24
Posted by: PlayWiz 05:02 pm EST 02/20/24

Last year, on Broadway I saw Tom Stoppard’s play “Leopoldstadt” which is about the effect the Holocaust had on a big Jewish family in Vienna. Besides the building climax of the piece where the inevitable tragedies are going to occur over time, one moment struck me as I sat in the audience. At one point, someone mentions that all the photographs in the family collection will at some point in the future be forgotten by future generations who will have no idea who these people were. A woman’s high voice in the audience screamed/yelled in horror briefly when that line was said; she certainly “got it” right there and then about obscurity and who will be remembered/forgotten in the future. Her real-life epiphany was almost as scary and sad as what later was transpiring in the play.

I posted the above as part of a longish response on a financial site where the author/webmaster, very well-known for having written the personal finance column for "The Wall Street Journal" for years had written a piece about leaving behind legacies and how even very famous people of the past are now forgotten. I mentioned in my full reply that people as once famous as Kay Francis, Deanna Durbin and even Judy Garland (known today by kids watching the annual showings of "The Wizard of Oz" more by the name "Dorothy") are mostly known by film buffs and have faded from their former huge public consciousness, kept alive by TCM and classic movie admirers. His reply to me: "Thanks for the thoughtful comment. As I said in the article, there are so many once-famous folks who have disappeared from public consciousness. That should be sobering for anybody today who thinks they’re a big success — or for those who imagine they’ve failed."
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