Old Friends

I took some meds last night that kept me awake till 7am today!!! Still, the matinee went well and was 17 minutes shorter than the first public preview we did 2 ½ weeks ago.

Lolly Espy and her husband saw the show and came back after. Lolly and I went to the wonderful Emma Willard boarding school during our high school years. She was a drop dead gorgeous southern belle who turned out to be as sweet as a magnolia blossom…not what one comes to expect from drop dead gorgeous people. She has remained that way, inside and out. I’m glad we’ve maintain contact.

Holly Near also came back. Holly is the singer/song writer who I first met while auditioning her to do the FTA Show in 1971. She then came on the two 3-month-long national antiwar tours that my then-husband, Tom Hayden, and I did in 1972 and 73. Following that, she created her own record label, Redwood Records, and continues to be a force on many levels. She’s about to start a tour so, fearful of catching what I’ve got, we couldn’t hug. Both Holly and Lolly seemed to love the show.

We have 2 more days before we “Lock” it up—stop making script changes and sink into familiarity and comfort for next week when the critics start to come. I thought I’d be getting nervous at this looming prospect but I’m not. I feel confident in the play, in the cast and -for the most part–in my performance.

Again, how I wish Dad was here to see it.

Tomorrow, Colin Hanks, Samantha Mathis and I are doing a shoot for Vanity Fair with a bunch of other actors who will open on Broadway this season. Hopefully, I’ll get to see Susan Sarandon (some time I’ll get around to telling you about the 14 hours we spent together, stranded in the airport of Abu Dhabi. Not fun) among other friends. I think I will Twitter about it while it’s happening. Wonder if the actors from “9 to 5: The Musical” will be there?

That’s it. I’m writing this between performances and have to start getting ready. I hate to feel rushed so am always here and getting ready before anyone else. If anything special happens before tomorrow I’ll twitter about it.

See you next time.

Share This Post
  1. I’m sure the critics are going to love you. I’ve never seen you give less than a stellar performance (film-wise; I’ve never seen you on stage), and it seems that everyone who has seen the show thus far thinks you’re fabulous.

    The Vanity Fair shoot sounds thrilling! I can’t wait to hear the story about you and Susan Sarandon in Abu Dhabi. I can only imagine the events that went on in that airport.

    Hopefully you’ll get some much needed rest tonight.

    All my best,

  2. Thinking of you just now…it’s 5:25 here (SanFranciscoTime), so you must now be hearing “Five Minutes…” roundabout now…hoping your sinuses are responding better to the steroids! Very painful, I know…sending you warmth, all kinds of high happy thoughts…you can do it!!!

  3. I remember helping to organize rallies for you and Holly Near in early 70’s…hope I can go to NYC to see the play soon…am almost over probably the same germ — I got it at the Inauguration in DC. I think it causes viral bronchitis so do not underestimate it…eat ginger as a good anti-viral and keep eating it…it also clears sinuses..better than Western Meds…wear your silk jacket to stay warm. Enjoy reading your blog and twits. It is a very successful play, as well as an historic happening.

  4. Blogging between acts is the height of excitement! I imagine you leaving Dr Katherine Brant in the ether off stage and picking her up again just as you make your next entrance…it feels so risky and makes me realize how much command you have as an actor.

  5. I bet the critics, just like everyone else who has seen it, will adore it. It sounds amazing. Hopefully you start to feel better and everything clears up, it’s a terrible flu season i’ll tell ya! I’m looking forward to seeing the final product of the Vanity Fair shoot.

    Enjoy the show!

  6. I am just a random stalker. I dropped in to thank you for this and for your Tweets. I’m enjoying them enormously. You are so generous to share yourself and your thoughts this way.

    I remember Holly Near so well from back in the day. I have not listened to her music in a long time. I will be rectifying that soon. Thanks so much for the reminder.

  7. Love your blog and I never have the patience to read them usually. I’m coming to see the show next Saturday. I’ll be in from Toronto that weekend. I don’t know how you perform with such a pesky cold. I can’t even imagine being on stage doing that. The cold I had last year kept me in bed for days. Impressive. Looking forward to the show.

  8. I wasn’t going to comment earlier, but since I just read your tweet about the new blog post, here I am.

    I do hope that we’ll see some tweets from the VF shoot– it’d be such fun! (And they keep me entertained while at my very dull job all day.) I can’t tell you how much I enjoy both the tweets and the blog.

    Again, I hope that you are feeling better, and can’t wait to see the show this weekend!

  9. Jane, you are amazing, i saw you on “The View” today, you are amazing i cant believe how amazing you look. i hope i look just as good when i get to your age. ( I mean that in a good way)

    I hope one day i can come up to New York and see your play.
    And can not wait to read the story about you and susan in the airport.

    keep blogging.
    take care.

  10. Howlo, Ms. Fonda! Oh, won’t my dog-ma be happy that I found you on twitter!! Dog-ma always sez you’re marvelous. She was just asking a friend if he remembers your funny “m & m’s” lines in _9 to 5_. (He does, of course.)

    And last week, dog-ma showed us a great old interview with Kate Hepburn in which Ms. Hepburn talked about working with your father in _On Golden Pond_. It made dog-ma reach for her Kleenex box.

    If my entire family could get to NY, we’d be in the first row at _33 Variations_. I wish you all the best success ‘cuz I know that you’re arfully special. <3

    Best paw-regards, Tilin Corgi (@winecountrydog)

  11. Your post is uncanny. Our paths crossed many many years ago. I was a student in your Robertson Blvd, W. Hollywood workout studio way back in the late 70’s.

    I saw you on The View earlier this week. Impressed that you started to blog and use Twitter.

    By the way, you look awesome! Thanks for the glimpse into your world.

  12. Greetings from London. I couldn’t resist leaving a commnet today after reading about Tulea’s understanding of intermission applause and end of show appluast. Years ago, when I was performing, my lovely dalmatian Joshua did the exact same thing. After only a few days of our run of The Secret Garden he absolutely knew when it was the end of the show and would lie sleeping until we came in after the curtain call even though we spent the show coming in and out of the dressing room. It’s wonderful to hear that you are having the same experience with your dog. They are wonderful aren’t they.

    Thank you for the blog, I’m really finding it fascinating.

    I will be in NYC in April and look forward to seeing your show.


  13. “Maybe I can sleep now”? My doctor put me on some kind of sleeping potion and I get 8 hours every night
    now, fall off in 19 minutes. It is not totally natural sleep,
    but I dream more and feel strengthened by
    the additional sleep. Maybe you too, Barbarella, need
    some of those “Mother’s Little Helpers.”

  14. Hey Jane! I’m a long time fan. Was at your lecture at The Bushnell in Hartford a couple of years back, and met you backstage. Love your third act! Just want to tell you that Dr. Oz (of Oprah fame) recommends salt water in a neti pot to relieve sinus problems. It’s a weird feeling to use one, but it helps – and there are no drugs involved!

  15. I’m really enjoying reading your blog. After watching and appreciating you on screen for so many years, it’s just a riot to hear your voice in this format. And I look forward to hearing about the adventure with Susan S – she’s one of my fav actors as well…thanks!

  16. Thanks for taking the time to write such interesting blogs and tweets. Count me among those who are enjoying them immensely. Your remark about wishing your Dad were here to see you in the play struck a chord…we never stop missing our departed mothers and fathers, no matter how long they’ve been gone. I hope you get well soon.

  17. Jane, I saw the matinee show on Wed. from the third row and had I not read here that you are under the weather, well, I would not have known. The show was great and makes one look at their own life and relationships. You, and the whole cast, shine. Esp. loved Gertie. Best…John L

  18. Jane, I’m also enjoying reading your tweets and your blog. I hope to get up there during the early spring (OMG–it’s almost Spring–YAY!) to catch 33 VARIATIONS. It will be a kick to see you in a live performance.


  19. Sending you get-well vibes, Jane. We’ve always admired your spirit and your spunk, and we’re rooting for you. Just remember, when this is over, the jonquils and dogwood will be waiting for you.

    All the best,

    A resident of your adopted hometown

  20. I was at the matinee yesterday and wanted to thank you for your performance. I don’t usually write people I don’t know, but somehow felt compelled to check out your blog today. I was very moved and thought you were incredibly giving and honest! I wish you the best for opening night. Merde.

  21. Would love to have the chance to see you. Right now I can’t with a small business and putting kids through University and Law School. My hope is to treat my girls in 2010 to NY for a play. Too much to hope that you would be on stage then, but one can hope. I am enjoying your tweets, and blog, it makes me feel like part of the Journey. I saw you on the view, and the play sounds great. Anyways, for all of us that can’t be there and wish to be there, thank you for taking us along the road with you. As they say break a leg. I love the fact that you are just doing it, exploring, for energizing for me. I will be 50 next year, and wonder if I have done enough, but when I see you, I say, I have so much time, to try whatever. Have a great performance today. Don’t worry about the critics. like I tell my girls”if you are doing your best, that is all anyone can ask of you”. The criitics will judge based on thei own issues, and at times not just based on the work.

  22. I’m so enjoying reading your book…such a wonderful companion piece to this blog. It’s a delight to read how people have stayed in, or circled back around into, your life. Those of us who came of age in NorCal in a certain era remember Holly Near well. Hope she’s well.

    You’re a wonderful writer, Jane, with such good humor. I didn’t expect to laugh while reading your book. Maybe I thought it would be quite earnest, I don’t know. But your book lets me know that your performance in Monster-in-Law wasn’t just a role…you sound like a real hoot to hang out with. 🙂

  23. I was at the matinee yesterday and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your performance. I don’t usually write people I don’t know but felt compelled to check your blog out today. I was incredibly moved by the play. Thank you for such an honest and giving performance. I wish you all the best for opening night. Merde.

  24. My God, I guess I’m going to have to come back and see the play again. I didn’t think it was a minute too long and I saw it the first week. You were all perfection in my very critical book. I’m going to see “That Pretty Pretty; or, the Rape Play” in which one of the characters is named Jane Fonda, tomorrow night. Not to worry, you are being played by Annie McNamara, one of the best “Downtown” actresses currently going, and is written by a wild feminist named Sheila callaghan, so all should be cool. I’ll keep you posted, though. I’m sending people to “33” like mad, and they all love the play. Wonder if you have ever read Julia Cameron’s “The Artist Way.” It’s sort of like the undergaound AA bible for artists in recovery and has so much connection to the theme of “33” and claiming creativity not as a self-indulgance, but as your birthright. As is perfect health. Get back to it, lady!

  25. i saw the show last night and thought it was so interesting and beautiful. the staging is ravishing. one of the things i loved about it was how SIMPLE and DIRECT the actors kept everything, allowing the complexity of the play to be the star. i felt like everyone really believes in the play and is there to tell a story and explore the themes together. to me, the play was about control and about how fear can lead us to ruin or beauty, depending on how we handle that fear. i would say i am a gigantic “fan” but i don’t want to sound creepy…i’m just another gay man who loves you (as i’m sure you know, there are many). my gratitude to you and the entire creative team for a wonderful evening at the theatre.

    peace, eric

  26. You are drop-dead gorgeous, yourself!
    You can hug someone when you’re sick, but you both have to hold your breath so as not to breathe in the bacteria 🙂
    I look forward to reading about you and Susan Sarandon in Abu Dhabi!

  27. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your twitters and this blog. Also too funny I was just Googling Holly Near the other day to find out what she has been up to.

    How could the critics not love you?

  28. Dear Jane,

    Hope that you feel better—believe it or not, those of us who take time to read your blog every day, also do care that you are still sick! Hope you get some much needed rest and are looking beautiful as always.

    Sending love and best wishes,

  29. Jane says,
    “We have 2 more days before we “Lock” it up—stop making script changes and sink into familiarity and comfort for next week when the critics start to come. I thought I’d be getting nervous at this looming prospect but I’m not.”

    Ethel Merman,
    “They never stopped trying to improve “Call Me Madam”. The Thursday before our New York opening, when the show was supposed to be frozen — meaning no more changes, “Boys, as of right now, I am Miss Birdseye of 1950. I am frozen. Not a comma!”
    – Merman – An Autobiography (New York: Simon & Schuster).

    Here’s to Miss Fonda’s warm lasagna!

  30. Saw “Variations” last night, Thursday Feb 26. Love the play. Love the cast. Didn’t know anything about the play before seeing it. My step-father had ALS so, I was reminded of what that was like. Terrific work! Love it.

Leave a Reply