USA: Jane Fonda stars in "33 Variations," a musical mystery about a musicologist's obsession with legendary composer Ludwig Van BeethovenRecord ID: 385091
- Title: USA: Jane Fonda stars in "33 Variations," a musical mystery about a musicologist's obsession with legendary composer Ludwig Van Beethoven
- Date: 10th March 2009
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (MARCH 9, 2009) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) VARIOUS OF EUGENE O' NEILL THEATER, VENUE FOR THE PLAY "33 VARIATIONS" POSTER OF THE PLAY "33 VARIATIONS" WHICH HAS ACTRESS JANE FONDA IN THE LEAD FONDA WITH WRITER AND DIRECTOR MOISES KAUFMAN ON THE RED CARPET AT THE PARTY FOR THE OPENING NIGHT OF "33 VARIATIONS" (SOUNDBITE) (English) JANE FONDA, THE LEAD ACTRESS IN THE PLAY "33 VARIATIONS", SAYING: "I found it very easy and a lot of fun and not nervous at all and I love the play so much. I think mostly it's because of the play, it's so strong."
- Reuters ID: LVA794E0T0IFEWJ3OZZI69QSSSEP
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:41
- Topics: Entertainment
- Story Text: Jane Fonda opened on Broadway for the first time in more than 45 years on Monday (March 9), starring as a terminally ill academic researching the late work of Beethoven in the play "33 Variations."
Dolly Parton and Rosie O'Donnell were among those who turned out to see the two-time Oscar-winning actress on the play's opening night.
"33 Variations" focuses on Beethoven's fascination with a trivial waltz by Viennese music publisher Anton Diabelli and modern-day musicologist Dr.
Katherine Brandt's (played by Fonda) determination to ferret out the root of his obsession.
Samantha Mathis co-stars as Brandt's daughter Clara who struggles with her mother's ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Fonda, 71, made her Broadway debut in the 1960 play "There Was a Little Girl" for which she earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured actress. Her last appearance on Broadway was in the 1963 drama "Strange Interlude."
Wearing a black sequined jacket for the play's after-party at the Buddakan restaurant, Fonda said it felt natural to be back on stage.
"I found it very easy and a lot of fun and not nervous at all and I love the play so much. I think mostly it's because of the play, it's so strong," said Fonda.
In the play, which has also been described as a musical mystery, Brandt's dilemmas parallel those faced by Beethoven, played by actor Zach Grenier.
"One of the things that I found was that the scenes that were, that I liked the least before have become my favorite. But it changes a lot. I like the scene when I hallucinate and am with Beethoven. I enjoy that,"
"33 Variations" also marks the Broadway debut of Colin Hanks, the son of movie star Tom Hanks.
Explaining what drew him to the play, Hanks said that the play seemed to function on a great many levels.
"Each sort of scene mirrors the variations that Beethoven wrote and Beethoven's music is a character in the play just as Diane Walsh - pianist is. It is a character in the play. And when you have good stuff to work with - it helps. It's a lot better than just having to show off your jazz hands every night," said Hanks.
Mathis praised Fonda for her work ethic and professionalism in the face of long hours and emotionally demanding material.
"There were times all of us wanted to lose our temper...I never saw that in Jane, not once. She's a class act," Mathis said.
The play's writer and director Moises Kaufman attributes Fonda's ease in the role to her many years in the public spotlight. Fonda's political activism during the Vietnam War and her popular exercise videos have made her a household name, sometimes overshadowing her acting career.
Fonda received an enthustiastic standing ovation for her performance and beamed as she was presented with a bouquet of flowers.
"33 Variations" will play through May 24th, 2009.
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