THE NIGHT BEFORE OPENING

As I’ve said previously, I am so ready! Not nervous at all. Never quite had an experience like this.
This afternoon’s performance was terrific. We felt like many streams coming down from the side of a hill somewhere and slowly flowing into one smooth river, gathering speed and noise as we flowed.

We all care for each other so much. I stand at the back of the stage behind the sliding backdrop at the top of Act Two. I’m always there early, waiting for it to begin, and as places are called, Don, then Samantha, then Colin and Susan all walk the narrow space behind me to their entry places and as they pass, they touch me or say something sweet. It’s become an unspoken ritual that I treasure.

Yesterday, I blogged about wanting to go to museums in the city over the next few months. Well, that elicited (spelled it right this time!) so many recommendations and I am so pleased to have been reminded of The Cloisters (one of my old favorites), Ellis Island, The American Indian Museum and many others. Thank you. I hope they’ll let me bring Tulea. I have particularly fond memories of the Cloisters back in the 50s when I would sit on the grassy hillside just outside the walls and make out with Jean, a French soldier I was dating (on leave from the French/Algerian War).

I got a couple of emails from friends in Atlanta congratulating me on the article/review by the Theatre critic in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. I’ll have to confess I asked one friend to send it to me. I guess that’s one I’ll read. Speaking of Atlanta, Anne Sterchi, who lives in my building in Atlanta, came backstage yesterday and brought me a little pot with some of the Lavender and Stipa Robusta that grows in our courtyard—along with photos of the courtyard covered with snow and some of the pooches we’re used to playing with. Made me kinda homesick!

See you next time.

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35 Comments
  1. Wondering if anyone suggested The Rubin Museum or Neue Galerie? So many to choose from here. Enjoy!

  2. PS: I see you have Ellis Island in your tags. If you click on “history” at Gomez Mill House, you’ll see that
    Poetess Emma Lazarus was my great great etc aunt.
    Of course the last verse of “The Next Colossus” is on the base.

    Sincerely,

    Rick London

  3. Break a leg tomorrow! I knew we’re all excited for you. It’s been fun watching you tell us about all you’ve been through in the process of preparing for this show. I hope you keep blogging. Since you have a facebook now, I assume that means you will. But you know what they say about assuming.

    J. Spindle

  4. I read about your play in the Atlanta Journal Constitution today and it caught my attention because you are playing a character suffering from ALS. One of my best friends was diagnosed with ALS about two years ago and I have learned a great deal about this dreaded disease as I have watched his quality of life degenerate to the point that he is now wheelchair dependent despite his abundant and inspiring courage. I was with him today and we shared the potential joy and hope which might stem from Pres Obama revoking Bush’s stem cell research Executive Order so that federal funds can now be used for life saving research. I pray something will happen quickly to help my dear friend and others like him. I know that you have many causes but I am hoping that as you play your part and you learn about the horrors of ALS you will see fit to support the fundraising efforts of ALS-TDI as it attemtps to find a cure for and prevention of this horrible disease. Please give it your serious consideration. You can make a difference.

    Thank you. Gerald Davidson

  5. I have been following your blog and am so inspired by you. I have bought two tickets to your play and will attend with my best friend in May. I have listened to Diand Walsh’s lovely renditions of ’33 Variations’.
    Break A Leg, Ms Fonda- you will knock’em dead!

  6. Good luck at opening night! I’d say you’re WAY ahead of the Broadway curve in your use of socnets.

    Making out with a French soldier outside the Cloisters? Sounds dreamy. 😉

  7. I have enjoyed reading about your play–thank you for the effort. It is so interesting to learn about the building of an important artistic performance. I wish you well on opening night!! And, I hope to see it soon.

    The 2009 General Assembly session is not as happy an event. The budget debates and decisions are depressing, and it will take years to recover from the severe cuts to health and education.

    Thank you for all you do. Good luck tomorrow night!

    Mary Margaret

  8. Dear Jane,

    How wonderful unspoken rituals are. Loved the way you expressed todays show,
    So excited for your opening, as i’ve said before, this show is going to be an award winner.

    Keep Flowing, and All The Best,

    Roseann

  9. thank you for being so heartwarmingly nice to me yesterday after your performance. i will keep your hearty smile at me as a fond memory. i’m very grateful to my friend Demitri for taking our photo, i will share it with my closest and my children and granchildren as a caught moment of happiness that is so fragmented in life. lots of luck on opening night, enjoy it, you deserved it!!!weronika

  10. Ms. Fonda – you’re extraordinary as usual & I so much enjoyed your ‘View’ spot; unfortunately, my missions work here in Guanacaste has me captured & will cause me to miss your broadway bestowal – knowing that you’ll be ‘best-in-show,’ I’m disappointed on missing opening night.

    My mother, Mary Helen (a huge fan as well & shares your exact bithday/year) will be there tomorrow evening, so I can hardly wait to hear her reviews. She visited me here for the New Year & we watched a DVD she brought along…Monster-In-Law, an excellent movie & with my favorite side-kick, Wanda Sykes, whom I share a birthday with, just yesterday (3/7).

    Best wishes & Warmest blessings for ‘opening night’ & there-on.

    ps…love the humback whale blog too…

    Fondly – Vassar
    [email protected]
    Guanacaste, Costa Rica

  11. Jane,

    I imagine that while working on a play for an extended period of time there becomes a strong camaraderie between all the actors and crew members. That’s a really special and unique gift to have while participating in a creative endeavor. I’m so happy for you. I thoroughly enjoy reading about the inter-workings and backstage events of a theatre production. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s supremely cool that you share all this with us. Most people outside the profession have little knowledge of what goes on off-stage, and everything you blog about is quite intriguing. Thank you for including your fans in this awesome process, Jane. It really means the world to us.

    I hope you enjoy all your visits to the museums. Sounds like you’ll engage in some pretty great adventures during your time away from 33 Variations. And hopefully Tulea will be allowed to participate, too.

    Not that you need it, but I wish you the best of luck tomorrow night. The whole production is beyond brilliant! Congratulations!

    Knock ’em dead, girl!

    All my best,
    Amanda

  12. Wishing you and the company of “33 Variations” an incredible Opening Night and successful run on Broadway!!! Have a blast….and enjoy the night!! So great to have you back on the Great White Way!!
    Stuart of the North

  13. I saw your show twice in early February. YOU’RE ALL READY!!! Enjoy the ride of being in a hit on Broadway!

  14. Jane,

    Break a leg on opening night!! I know you will blow them all away. You are a wonderful actress. I’ve seen and loved most of your movies and your autobiography is one of my favourite books.
    I hope you have a wonderful run in the play.

    Philip in Toronto

  15. Jane,

    Break a leg on opening night. I know that you will knock ’em dead.
    I am a huge fan of your movies and your great book. You are a great actress.
    I hope you have a wonderful run.

    Philip in Toronto

  16. Break A Leg!

  17. Hi Ms. Fonda
    I just want to thank you for a riveting afternoon in the theater today. What a thought provoking play, and marvelous performances by you and the rest of the cast. Congratulations!!!!

    David Rosenberg
    [email protected]
    NY, NY

  18. just: Have a beautiful day and a glorious night!!

    with love,
    glynda bennett
    xx

  19. Hey up! Jane congrats on your splendid performance. You’ve never given a bad one to my knowledge. Glad to see you on twitter!

  20. Saw your show today.Wonderful,wonderful. I was totally surprised that you had ALS. I lost a dear friend in Dallas to the disease,nasty stuff! My Partner absolutely adores you. Will probably go see the Play again. Her email is [email protected]
    Wanna knocks somebody off her feet. send her a short email. I love your work as well. sincerely Ruth Pittman

  21. It’s me again. Marsha Mason was in the audience today too.

  22. Good luck and love Jane..Roy..uk.

  23. Your blogs are wonderful. Oh, how I wish I could be there for opening night if only to hold a sign in counter-protest outside. You are truly a hero and I’ve defended you forever….World Peace Conference, Taos, NM May 26-31. Please come.

  24. Break a leg tonight…merde, and all that.

    I hope you feel the love tonight as you receive your curtain call. The audience in that theatre are stand-ins for the millions of us who wish we could stand and applaud your talent and bravery for tonight and for all the years that preceded it.

  25. Jane, wish you the best for tonight, and the opening.

  26. BREAK*A*LEG beautiful lady! welcome home!

  27. Break a leg Jane! I wish I was in New York, I’d love to see this play.

  28. Jane,
    I’ve read all your blogs, and I wnat to say thanks for getting to know you a little more.
    Also, thanks for the theatrical experiences you are sharing.
    I couldn’t help but think about my experices with a truly gifted high school drama professor, Robert T. Holland, who made us aware of all aspects of the theater, from the lights, the sets, the sound, makeup, vocal training, etc. Two people from my classes, Phylicia Rashad and her sister, Debbie Allen reaped rewards from his teachings.
    I know that feeling about communicating with your audience-it is so fulfillling and enriching.
    I’ve recommended your blogs to several of my acting friends-in fact, I gave them an edict-“It’s Must Reading”.
    Equally, I am so impressed with your social awareness and humanitarism-I strongly applaud you for that.
    May the show run as long as you want.
    And I want to see your name show up on the Oscar list again in the near future.

  29. Your comments about your mother/daughter relationship with Vanessa reminded me of a very poignant moment that occurred while she was attending Crossroads School in Santa Monica, years ago.
    I had the opportunity, back then, to read an essay she wrote on heroes, that was riveting. Since your play deals with the mother/daughter dynamic, I wanted to share it with you.

    One of her instructors, Henry Washington, a beautiful African American man invited me to teach Hatha Yoga to his class, that she was in. He was incredibly impressed with Vanessa’s articulate, independent spirit, calling her outrageously wise beyond her years. He knew how much I respected you so he wanted to share her writing with me, that had clearly overwhelmed him. The subject(s) she chose for her essay were Martin Luther King. And you. She said like him you were a courageous, leader who literally ended the Vietnam war. That, as a woman, you were one of the most powerful role models and inspirations of our time. It made me cry. She wasn’t in class the day I taught, but I related my prior introduction to her via Henry, and her essay, when we met in 1990. I had intended to also tell you about it but other things were happening, and there wasn’t a chance.

    Again, with respectful best wishes on your great night.
    Nirmala

    ——————————————————————————–
    A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy steps!

  30. Hi Jane, break a leg tonight! Wishing you the best. I haven’t read all of the comments, so maybe this is a new suggestion – a lovely museum between the Met and the Guggenheim is the Neue Galerie, specializing in art of Germany & Austria – lots of Klimts and the Vienna School. It’s a beautiful building, and there’s a Viennese-style cafe there as well.

  31. Knock em dead girl!

  32. Ms. Fonda:

    During your discovery of the many museums here in NYC, I hope you’ll come down and visit ours – the Lower East Tenement Museum. It’s a wonderful place that tells the important story of immigrants and how they shaped our country. I’m the VP of Public Affairs there and would love to give you and Tulea a tour whenever you’d like. Please let us know when you’d like to come down and I’ll be glad to give you a personal tour.

    You can reach me at the email above or at 212-431-0233 x231. Check out our website – http://www.tenement.org.

    Good luck with the play and I look forward to coming to see it.

  33. Had to laugh when you said Anne from Atlanta came backstage and brought you a little pot. Anyway, great reviews. Congradulations

  34. This is such a treat to your fans that you’re writing this blog. You have been my hero since VietNam and They Shoot Horses Don’t They. My brother and his wife saw 33 Variations in previews and called that night and raved, in detail, about how wonderful you, Zach Grenier, and the whole play was. So naturally I’m coming to see it, but this blog is an extra added dimension giving the whole experience another level. Thanks.

  35. I didn’t realize that you and I are the same age. Somehow I always thought that you were younger. I guess I still think of you in “Barbarella” which I now you hate. It was a stupid movie, but I have a copy of it and watch it sometimes. You have done much better things. I always loved your father, especially in “Mister Roberts.” That was really funny.

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