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Monday, April 15, 2024

Actor Michael Stuhlbarg Assaulted in Central Park Ahead of ‘Patriots’ Premiere

Actor Michael Stuhlbarg, known for his roles in “Boardwalk Empire” and “A Serious Man,” made headlines on Monday as he bravely took the stage for the first preview of the Broadway play “Patriots” just a day after being the victim of a random attack on the Upper East Side.

The incident occurred on Sunday evening while Stuhlbarg was walking in Central Park when a man threw a rock, striking him in the back of the neck. Undeterred, Stuhlbarg chased the assailant, identified as Xavier Israel, out of the park, where he was subsequently apprehended by the police and charged with assault. Interestingly, the location of Israel’s arrest on East 91st Street coincided with the address for the Russian consulate.

Despite the shocking assault, Stuhlbarg declined medical attention and, remarkably, appeared on stage the following evening for his debut performance in “Patriots.” In the play, Stuhlbarg portrays Boris A. Berezovsky, a Russian oligarch instrumental in Vladimir V. Putin’s rise to power, who later fell out of favor with the Kremlin and died in exile.

Written by Peter Morgan, the acclaimed creator of “The Crown,” and directed by Rupert Goold, “Patriots” explores the complex dynamics of Russian politics and power struggles. The play, which originally premiered in London in 2022 with Tom Hollander in the role of Berezovsky, is set to open on Broadway on April 22.

Although primarily known for his film and television work, Stuhlbarg has a rich history in New York’s theater scene, having appeared in numerous productions during the 1990s and early 2000s. His last Broadway appearance was in 2005, earning him a Tony nomination for his role in Martin McDonagh’s “The Pillowman.”

At the conclusion of Monday evening’s performance, the audience at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre rose to their feet, applauding Stuhlbarg as he took his bow with a smile—a testament to his resilience and unwavering dedication to his craft.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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