USA: Jane Fonda stars in "33 Variations," a musical mystery about a musicologist's obsession with legendary composer Ludwig Van BeethovenRecord ID: 385092
- 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) (*** FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ***) VARIOUS OF SINGER DOLLY PARTON ON THE RED CARPET BEFORE THE PLAY OPENED (SOUNDBITE) (English) DOLLY PARTON, MUSICIAN, SAYING: "I'm more nervous about my show than Jane's show that's for sure. I know she's got it covered. But we're very excited about our show. We are in rehearsals and I just left the theater where we're rehearsing, came over to see her. So, we open on the 30th of April, our big opening night." KAUFMAN GIVING AN INTERVIEW ON THE RED CARPET BEFORE THE OPENING OF THE PLAY (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOISES KAUFMAN, WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF 33 VARIATIONS, SAYING: "I think the thing that's important to remember about Jane is that she has been in such a public sphere for so many years. And she because of her social activism and her political activism, she is used to talking to many large groups of people and she's used to being on very large stages and I think that because of that, that muscle, that theatrical muscle never really went to sleep." A PHOTOGRAPHER (SOUNDBITE) (English) ZACH GRENIER, THE ACTOR WHO PLAYS MUSIC COMPOSER LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN IN "33 VARIATIONS", SAYING: "We only actually meet at the end of the play and those moments are such a treat to get to because she's just wonderful, wonderful to work with. So honest and so true and so humble, she's a very humble human being and it's great seeing that in a great person." FONDA AT THE CURTAIN CALL ALONG WITH OTHERS FROM THE PLAY
- Reuters ID: LVA2XL7MP0TUEDTS3FQVWLXD8WET
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:01:42
- 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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