Friends Backstage After First Public Performance


Outside the theatre after the first preview. Fun, huh?

Gloria Steinem and Christina Biaggi

Pat Mitchell, Eve Ensler and Rev Debra Haffner

Gloria Steinem and Christina Biaggi

Fans outside the theatre. To tell you the truth, I didn’t expect there would be many fans outside the stage door…one or two, maybe. So this was quite a loving surprise and the comments—about Tulea, about my memoir (one man even quoted something I wrote that had affected him a lot), about my blog and about the play which many had seen.
Speaking of Tulea, she actually watched the show in the arms of her pet sitter sitting in the orchestra—never taking her eyes off me!!

These gorgeous flowers came from my friend Val Kilmer who is my neighbor in New Mexico. Lucky me!!!

Last night was a good night and I received so many nice comments on my blog from people who were there. Who knew what a wonderful viral community could evolve from a blog. I was so happy to have my friends there last night. Afterwards the whole cast and production team went to Dan Marino’s next door for a drink. Zach Grenier who plays Beethoven said today that he had a glorious conversation with Gloria Steinem about Beethoven. No surprise to me that Gloria could teach him a few things about the master. She’s so amazing.

After that I went to dinner with Eve Ensler and Pat Mitchell. I am blown away that Pat and Eve not only came to the show but spent the evening (till 1am) talking to me about it. I say this because Eve is in the midst of a massive national campaign to focus attention on the sexual violence in the eastern Congo. She and Dr. Mukwege, a heroic Congolese doctor devoted to saving the lives of the women who have been raped and mutilated every day are meeting with the Secretary General of the UN today and will soon leave on a national tour. I urge you to go onto her organization’s (V-Day) website to learn more about the situation in the Congo and what you can do to help. Check out where they will be appearing in case you can attend one of their events. The V-Day website is on the front page of this website as I am on the V-Day board-as is Pat Mitchell.

Everyday I thank God for friends like Pat and Eve. Pat is the President and CEO of the Paley Center (formerly the Museum of Radio and Television). Before that she was President/CEO of PBS and before that she ran the Documentary unit at Turner Broadcasting when Ted had her producing epic 12-hour docs about the Cold War, the Vietnam War, The Millenium and A Century of Women among others.

Again, I meant to get up this morning and do some serious blogging catch-up but stayed out too late and barely made it to the theatre in time for rehearsals. This is the start of what is usually a challenging time in the life of a play. Definitely one thing I remember vividly from 45 years ago when I was last here: When the playwright begins to tweek the play and we get new lines, even new scenes, every night.

I have a few new things to learn right now so I will sign off with my usual…

See you next time.

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19 Comments
  1. Gloria Steinem is so gorgeous. Strong women like her are an inspiration.

  2. Best of luck with the show! I wish I could come see it. And Val Kilmer has great taste in flowers. I have family in that part of NM, such a beautiful place.

  3. Dear Ms. Fonda
    Wonderful to see you on Broadway. Very challenging time to make a play work and or profitable (what with the economy). The press seems to be enthusiastic about your arrival in town.
    Wasn’t there something about Val Kilmer running for Governor of New Mexico in the news lately?? I go back to the Chicago demonstrations against ‘Nam led by your X in the SDS.
    love&respect

  4. What a priviledge tonite watching you and the cast members transform an evening of theater into a heart felt experience. Your passion of life and for all living parts of our world were so present in your art this evening. You relish the moments of being alive and therefore communicate and inspire. Thank you, thank you for being such an generous example of humanity. Every breath is precious, is it not?

  5. I am in awe at the freequency and detail of your blogs .Not entirely sure where you get the time or drive from .My Blog started at the same time as yours and I appreciate how difficult it is to keep it up to date ,vibrant and interesting .All of which you seem to manage

    Meredith above wishes she could come and see the show ,I also share that wish as I also pass on my best wishes for the success of the show and your part in it .

    Mennard (from Twitter)

  6. I have b een an admirer of your for a very long time and so happy with your new success. As a native Atlantan, I must say we not only have adopted you as an “Atlanta Girl” but take such pride and pleasure with all of your projects. Thank you for your time and effort with GCAPP. I am so proud of your work that I plan on volunteering with the group very soon. It is so refreshing to have someone lead through example. Have a great day Jane–you deserve it. Oh, my black lab, Riley, sends his love.

  7. Thank you for returning to the Broadway stage in one of the best plays we have seen in years! We attended the second preview and you were magnificent and we were truly moved by your great performance and the performances of the whole cast.
    I predict that 33 Variations will win the Pulitzer and a host of other awards for Mr. Kaufmann, for you and for the show. What a privilege to see such an incredible work of theater! Thank you also for autographing your autobiography, which I am reading right now, and the photo for my partner, Page. We both thank you for your great artistry, your courage and your commitment, you have inspired us through the years us to raise our voices and we celebrate your triumphant return to New York! Love, Victor G.

  8. Ms. Fonda,

    I just wanted to let you know that I saw 33 Variations last night and found the show (and your performance) to be a revelation. One would never know that you had been away from the main stem for over 40 years. Not being a fan of classical music, I was surprised how moved I was by the piece. The closest play I can compare it to is Sunday in the Park with George. I am going to quit before I start rambling too much but I just want to say “congrats” to you and the rest of your fantastique cast and hope the next few weeks of previews enable you all to connect even deeper to this moving work.

  9. Dear Miss Fonda,

    I understand that in 33 Variations you play a musicologist diagnosed with ALS. I wonder if you’ve seen the HBO documentary “Three Sisters: Searching for a Cure.” Its subject is a remarkable woman, Jenifer Estess, who has such passion. Good luck with your run!

    Sincerely,
    Andrea

  10. Well the play doesn’t sound like your every day “9 to 5” job does it Judy? ha. ha.

    Good luck Jane! 🙂

  11. Hooray! I’ve just discovered you and have had fun reading about your bits and pieces. Good luck with the play! My mum and daughter and I are going to NYC in May. I must read a bit more about 33 Variations.
    cheers, Shelagh from Nova Scotia

  12. Hello Ms. Fonda,

    I am a marine combat veteran of Vietnam. I have had you in my prayers for years and am very grateful for your found faith in our Lord.

    God Bless you.

  13. What Sarah Palin forgets about being a “good strong woman’ is more than any of the elitist vain broads that are in these pictures can ever hope to have.

  14. Just catching up on your posts and so tickled to see that the comment right before mine is from my pal Shelagh. She’s a wonderful painter and photographer in Nova Scotia. And when I say “pal,” keep in mind I’ve never met her “IRL” (in real life, as they say)…the joys of a virtual friendship developed over years. 🙂 From the comments, it sounds like you’re in a wonderful production and giving a moving performance–congrats!

  15. Dear Ms Fonda, I’m flying over to see you in 33 Variations – I have a seat booked for the 28th February – 2pm performance. I’m hoping and praying you will come to the stage door after the matinee performance to sign programs and possibly photos too. Wishing you every success with the show. Glenn

  16. While I am unable to attend the play – I don’t live in New York – I really enjoy reading about your experiences. You have a very refreshing, honest writing style. Welcome to the world of blogging!!

  17. Wow, Gloria Steinem? That’s amazing.

    Looks like it was an awesome turnout, too.

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