Opening night at the Wilma Theater’s US premiere of Leaving by Vaclav Havel was particularly joyous. Havel, whose career as a playwright stopped when he became president of the Czech Republic, was in the Wilma audience, along with other dignitaries including Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The play is receiving an elaborately designed production with Wilma’s Jiri Zizka directing a cast of fifteen. 

David Strathairn stars in his fourth collaboration with the Wilma, including the ambitious Tom Stoppard play Every Good Boy Does Favor, performed with the full Philadelphia Orchestra in Verizon Hall.

President Havel and his wife were here and Secretary Albright, who is Czech and old friends with the Havels. They presented the cast with flowers onstage which is a Czech stage tradition. After the performance dancing broke out in the lobby and the broached one (an elegant replica of Castle Prague) was seen dancing with a Czech bodyguard along side of the Havels.

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