‘Patriots,’ About Putin’s Falling Out With an Oligarch, Is Broadway Bound

‘Patriots,’ About Putin’s Falling Out With an Oligarch, Is Broadway Bound

“Patriots,” a well-received British play about a Russian oligarch’s ill-fated role in the rise of Vladimir V. Putin, will transfer to Broadway in April, adding a dose of international intrigue to a packed spring season.

The drama, which the critic Matt Wolf called “gripping” and “coolly unnerving” in a 2022 review of a London production for The New York Times, was written by Peter Morgan, the creator and primary writer of “The Crown,” the Emmy-winning six-season Netflix show. Morgan has written two other plays that made it to Broadway, “The Audience,” about Queen Elizabeth II, and “Frost/Nixon,” about the journalist David Frost’s famous interviews of former President Richard M. Nixon.

The Broadway production of “Patriots” will star Michael Stuhlbarg, who last appeared on Broadway in 2005, when he received a Tony nomination for starring in Martin McDonagh’s “The Pillowman.” Stuhlbarg has numerous stage credits, but most recently has worked in film (“A Serious Man”) and television (“Boardwalk Empire”). Stuhlbarg will play Boris A. Berezovsky, a Russian business tycoon who helped Putin rise to power but then fell out with him and later died in exile. The role was played in London by Tom Hollander.

Stuhlbarg will star alongside Will Keen, who will play Putin, now the president of Russia; Keen also played that role in London, and for that performance won last year’s Olivier Award for best supporting actor in a play. Luke Thallon will also reprise the role he played in London, as another Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich.

The production is scheduled to begin previews April 1 and to open April 22 at the Barrymore Theater.

The play is directed by Rupert Goold, a British director who has twice been nominated for Tony Awards, for “Ink” and “King Charles III,” and who will also be directing “The Hunt” at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn early this year. “Patriots” was staged in 2022 at the nonprofit Almeida Theater in London, where Goold is the artistic director, and last year it had a profitable commercial run in London’s West End.

The lead producer of the Broadway production will be Sonia Friedman, who is a major force in both the West End and on Broadway.

The play will open in the final days of a Broadway season that is proving to be quite challenging for producers and investors because production costs are higher and ticket sales are lower than they were before the coronavirus pandemic. The economics have been especially hard for musicals. On Sunday evening, the producers of “How to Dance in Ohio,” a musical about a group of young autistic adults, announced that show would close on Feb. 11, after 99 performances. And last week, the producers of “Harmony,” a musical about a German singing group that ran afoul of the Nazis, announced that show would close on Feb. 4.

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