CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE LOVING KIND

Itzhak Perlman, the great violinist, has come to the show. I will go out into the house after the rest of the audience leaves to greet him. He contracted polio at age four and is on a motorized scooter tonight which prevents him from coming backstage. I’m excited to meet him.

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Itzhak Perlman and Zach Grenier (photo: Michael Rudd)

Richard Thomas AKA John Boy Walton, will be coming back stage. I saw him through the binoculars before the show started. His father was my firad ballet teacher at the Paul Taylor School. I adored him and when The Actors Studio was casting the young boy in O’Neil’s “Strange Interlude” (which starred Geraldine Page and in which I played the ingenue) I recommended young Richard. We’ve seen each other on and off over the years. He’s as nice a person as he seems.

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Richard Thomas (photo: Michael Rudd)

Bill Bartholomay will also come back stage. I met bill when I married Ted Turner. He was Chairman Of the Atlanta Braves and was at all the games. Sitting next to him at a game is like having a baseball wikipedia next to you. He is also Park Commissioner in Chicago and a dear, wonderful friend.

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Bill Bartholomay (photo: Michael Rudd)

So now I am in the car on the way home humming with from the backstage excitment. Perlman was there with his wife, Toby, also a violinist. Zach and I talked with them for awhile out in the theatre. They so loved the play. Toby has seen it twice.

Richard Thomas doesn’t look any older than 2 decades ago yet he has grandchildren. He brought love from his wife and his father who now lives on a horse farm and, according to Richard, has a picture of me in his bedroom.

I am going to miss these loving encounters when the play ends. There is less than a month left and I am trying not to think too much about it.

See you next time

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14 Comments
  1. I loved what you said about making friends. I use to go a psychologist that made that same suggestion. What do you suggest for a single guy who loves the theater? I go to Orso but besides that.where does one meet people , with no talent, that love theater……We are all there because we love theater but it is not conducive to meeting to making friends. One of the things I will miss is seeing you there during the run of the show.

  2. Dear Jane:

    As a 71-year-old, also, (I’ll be 72 August 5th), congratulations for your wonderful blogging! Apologies in advance for the length of this message, but I think you may find it interesting, to wit:
    You, Ted, Suzy Chaffee and I shared some very pleasant conversation and moments before and during intermission of the GETTYSBURG press junket screening. I had a syndicated television review program at the time, thus the reason for my being there, with Suzy as my date (sahe was and is a longtime friend, and someone you had, of course, also known). When you and I talked, among the subjects was your Dad, with whom I had a fun relationship during the press premiere of SPENCER’S MOUNTAIN in Jackson Hole (at Laurence Rockefeller’s house). The director, Delmer Daves, was a longtime friendof mine, too, thus I was invited to that very special cast party. Missing was Wally Cox, also in the film, and with whom I had acted as a student on MISTER PEEPERS in the early 1950s. Your Dad told me since I knew Wally he’d tell me a story about him and your Dad, but because I knew Wally, he said he’d “make the story longer”, which he did.
    I guess the most important part of this message is until I read one of your biographies, I wasn’t aware that you and the (sadly) late Timmy Everett had dated for five years. Timmy was my best friend during our high school yearsl (I went to Lodge Professional School and he to PCS, as I’m sure you know). I was saddened beyond measure when he ended everything.
    Without presumption, there’s a lot about those days, mutual friends, colleagues and acquaintances, and many times thereafter about which I’d like to reminisce with you sometime, either in New York or Whitefish, since my granddaughter’s soon-to-be in-laws (August 1st) live only a couple blocks from you in Whitefish. My granddaughter, Maritsa Georgiou, is a news anchor on the NBC station in Kalispell.
    Regarding a possble New York visit, I may be interviewed on GMA in May regarding a promotional film I produced for the Shah of Iran in 1977. If so, I would like permission to please visit backstage following one of your performances. I also would like to discuss the possibility of producing a documentary about you. I won a 2006 Telly Award for a documentary I produced hosted by Sam Donaldson, about American Indians. If you GOOGLE my name, it’s part of the litany of information. Among our many mutual friends and acquaintances is Pat Mitchell. She and I first met when she had me appear as a guest on her PANORAMA program in 1977, when she took that program over after Maury Povich went on to other activity. I know you and she were shirt-tail related when you and Ted were married. I was with Pat last summer in Aspen at the AREDAY event, and the re-acquaintance was fun. We also shared occasional visits during several trips to MIPCOM and MIP-TV conferences in Cannes. (I had an apartyment there for 10 years until Al Qaeda “took over” and ruined the Cote d’Azur after 2001. It’s certainly not the same.)
    Please advise if it would be okay to say hello backstage sometime next month, without any presumption here, or possibly in Whitefish later this summer.
    Respectfully, with utmost admiration,
    Barry ZeVan,
    Box 27447
    Minneapolis, MN 55427
    763-544-9262

  3. I always like the quotation “Friends are like fiddle strings, they must not be screwed too tight.” I seem to think that is what some friends like or need, to be played like a fiddle or screwed

  4. The answer to missing the loving encounters is to do another play real soon. Would you consider doing the play in LA or London?
    Bill

  5. Now there was a bit of trivia that I didn’t know about you! The Richard Thomas connection. He has done so much work apart from the Waltons, he really is quite versatile. The Waltons was such a terrific family show, there aren’t that many shows of that ilk on tv anymore. The timelines got a bit blurred in the later specials, but they were still good. How’s the cold?

  6. I wish your show was just a few weeks longer as I’ll be in NYC from June 5-8. But that’s just the way my luck is….I’m always the late-bloomer, two steps behind.

  7. Dear Ms. Fonda,

    You have been so open and honest about everything in your blog! I do have a question that I hope is not inappropriate. You are on the stage most of the time during the show, and are probably waiting in the wings for the short times you are not. What do you do during these times? What if mother nature calls? I have always been curious about what performers do at those times. Thanks so much for sharing, and letting us join you in this amazing theatrical experience!

  8. How about a photo of Michael Rudd so we can see the person who’s taken all of these wonderful backstage photos? (Or have you already posted one and I missed it?) 🙂

  9. very drunk at two fourty two in the morning, i am 18 and think highly of you i wish you all the best of look on the future i wish i was born in your era and you are amazing. i will probably regret this in the morning but hay you only live once and i would also like to say i have many things in common with you even though i am eighteen but oh well good night jane.

  10. So nice to see pic of Richard Thomas! Thanks

    You are right, he looks very young!!

  11. You’re not trying to think about it? We’re not trying to think about it! We love this blog too much. What will we do without it?

  12. Im going to miss these loving blogs when the play is over….connecting with you through this blog….has been life giving to me and so many more…..I struggle with facebook ….blog and twitter… because as a counselor Im very troubled with the lack of human connection those venues provide and the false intimacy that it protrays….but how else could I connect with you…listen to your heart… look at your pictures….it just goes to show you in life there is know cookie cutter way of doing things…..do you think you will have another way of communication with us…..have a great weekend….love KP

  13. “There is less than a month left and I am trying not to think too much about it.”—>I’m trying very hard not to think about it! Although, I imagine that the experience will be infinitely more emotional for you than for me considering you’re on stage every night. I finally bought my second ticket to see the show (two weeks from yesterday) and I’m beyond excited. If I can manage to purchase a third ticket, I’m all over it.

    I realize I’ve written this before (as have others), but I sincerely hope that you do not stop blogging once the show is over. Understandably, you have a busy schedule, other commitments and projects, and perhaps you won’t have the time, but just think about keeping it going. We’d all miss your daily posts very much. I know I would!

    Best always,
    Amanda

  14. Love Richard Thomas too!

    He was one of my heroes growing up as I watched The Waltons. I longed then to become a writer (and thankfully have) and he was my early inspiration — watching him as John Boy at his writing desk.

    Love your blog, Ms. Fonda, I hope it won’t end when the play does.

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