Well, today hasn’t gone at all as I expected. I thought I’d have all this time because the show wasn’t until 3pm. Ha!! Woke up at 11am so I had only 2 hours until the car would come get me–barely enough time to walk the dog, have breakfast, shower, begin the Sunday paper, and print out my bloggers’ comments which I take with me so I can read through them during my day. By that time I had to leave. Then we had our 2:10 rehearsal of Septet, the scene that ends the 1st Act when all the characters come together on the stage and speak sometimes in sequence, sometimes in tandem. It can be a surprising moment–but we have to do it just right, the right tempo, etc. So we rehearse it every day on stage before the house opens to the audience. Today, added to that rehearsal, we did a rehearsal of our Broadway Cares skit for the ushers who won’t get a chance to see it tomorrow. There was a lot of laughter. I think (hope) it will go over well. AND, I got the good news that the powers that be at Broadway Cares will make me a special DVD of what we do that I can put onto my blog. That is something to look forward to.

So then we did the show which went well even though I am bone tired. Wierd though it may seem, sometimes the show can be good even if you are tired–kinda like sex-(if I remember correctly from days gone by).

Anthropologist/author Mary Catherine Bateson, her husband Barkev and their daughter came back after the show. Their train from New Hampshire got stuck so they only saw the second part of the 2nd act.


Mary Catherine Bateson (photo: Michael Rudd)

Friends from Atlanta were also there


Pam Smart and Pam Yarborough (photo: Michael Rudd)

Now I am going to get a drink while waiting for “Exit The King” to start at 7:30. I am so excited to see this play in which Geoffrey Rush has gotten such rave reviews–same for Susan Sarandon. This is a special performance for the Actors Fund which is why I am able to see it. These shows are supposed to always be especially great because the audience is filled with actors. All the performers are performing for free and this is their 9th show this week. Whew and bravo! Susan Kellermann and Samantha Mathis are also seeing the show and hopefully we’re sitting next to each other. Right now I will troll the neighboring bars to see if I can meet up with them. They haven’t answered my emails.

Sitting now at some bar finishing the newspapers and eating Broccoli Rabe and cranberry juice with vodka. This should both nourish me (I always eat something dark green every day) while giving me just the right buzz to enhance Geoffrey Rush’s insanely inventive performance.  Can tell that just by looking at the photos of him in the role. I plan on going backstage afterwards and will take pictures–this will be a fun role reversal.

I like that I can do things like this, sit and do my thing and overhear people’s conversation and no one recognizes me. By the way, the buzz is that “9 to 5: The Musical” will be a smash hit.
People are loving it. Right now the bartender is talking to 2 customers about how great it is that all the older actresses (“Angela Lansbery, Estelle Parsons, Jane Fonda)–are on Broadway now and haven’t had to miss a show. “Yes,” said the customer. “They’re pros.”

So, I have finished the “Week in Review.” Enjoyed particularly Frank Rich’s article, “The Banality of Bush White House Evil” which shows that the torture sanctioned at the top was not so much about getting information about Al Qaeda as it was to get their victims of torture to say that there was some 9/11/Al Qaeda/Iraq connection they could use to justify going to war in Iraq. They never did get such coercised, falsified “confessions.”

I will report back later.


It’s later. I’m home and about to go to bed. I fell all over myself laughing and enjoying Geoffrey Rush as the King. The other actors were terrific too but Geoffrey was extraordinary. Went back stage with Samantha and Susan. Jane Powell, Angelea Lansbury, Lynn Redgrave were all there to congratulate the actors. I tried to get photos but my blackberry camera didn’t work.

Must get up early tomorrow (my day off-ha ha!) To get dressed and madeup for the dress rehearsal of our Broadway Cares skit but first, I am doing a Planned Parenthood Fundraiser. The dress rehearsal will require us to be at the Minskoff Theatre from 2:30 till 5:30, then – am joining Mary Catherine Bateson for dinner and taking her to see Tovah Feldshuh’s “Irena’s Vow“. Whew! Some day off.

See you next time.

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  1. Hi Jane…just wanted to tell you thanks for all the entries you’ve been doing. Really appreciate the effort you’re making while being right in the middle of so much work – all the info is wonderful and enlightening.

  2. You have super energy! You’re “day off” sounds just like another work day to me. We you sitting at the bar grubbin’ on a cheese steak? I saw on the Food Network that “brocolli rabe” is something (green and soggy looking) that is put on Philly cheese steaks.


  3. The title of your blog ‘It’s Never What You Expect’ fits perfectly with what I am about to say. My uncle and I came to NY over the weekend to see the play. I have never been so impressed in my whole life. The play was magnificent. I can’t stop thinking about it. All of the actors were absolutely wonderful. YOU, made the show though. I have told everyone that when you are on stage, it’s hard to take eyes off of you. You are a brilliant actress. I was in tears because I was so touched by your performance and the fact that I was able to see you in this play. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I will remember it forever…and I thank you for that.
    I had never understood Broadway until I saw the play. I can see now why you love it so much. I believe it was the first scene when you came out with your walker…you did your part and then it went to Samantha. You turned your back to the audience and I could see your hands trembling. It was extremely moving. You are this character, Katherine! I just kept starring at your hands. You are so into the role. I couldn’t believe how believable it was that you had this disease, ALS.
    I am so glad I was able to come to the play…I think I have already said that, but I am saying it again. By the way, I hope you beat Wick’d!

  4. Oh Jane, how I have come to adore this blog as have so many!! I have told everyone I know about it. I hope it doesn’t have to end when the play ends in May. That way we all in Blogville can stay connected with you! Oh btw, Rosie has an “Ask Ro” section where people ask ?s. Wondered if u have considered that. She has mentioned putting together a Blog Book of her favorite entries. Another idea.
    Can the general public see this Bway CAres skit somewhere? We would def pay for that! Break a leg!!

  5. Wow what a day for you! Glad to hear that our Geoffrey was great. He always is. Saw Dolly interviewed on 60 minutes the other day, she seemed excited about the musical. It’s the kind of script that lends itself to a musical. Almost like Pajama Game on steroids. I have a cold now, but I only have to sing and jump about with a bunch of kids, so will stay away from them until it boils over. Take care Jane.

  6. What an exciting life – don’t over do it – but enjoy, you deserve it. Thanks for sharing with your “fans”. Love and Luck – Helen Eve

  7. jane-

    found this poem and thought you might enjoy it as you will be working on your book soon…it spoke to me…hope you enjoy. -dan garrett

    by Sharon Bryan

    Middle age refers more
    to landscape than to time:
    it’s as if you’d reached

    the top of a hill
    and could see all the way
    to the end of your life,

    so you know without a doubt
    that it has an end—
    not that it will have,

    but that it does have,
    if only in outline—
    so for the first time

    you can see your life whole,
    beginning and end not far
    from where you stand,

    the horizon in the distance—
    the view makes you weep,
    but it also has the beauty

    of symmetry, like the earth
    seen from space: you can’t help
    but admire it from afar,

    especially now, while it’s simple
    to re-enter whenever you choose,
    lying down in your life,

    waking up to it
    just as you always have—
    except that the details resonate

    by virtue of being contained,
    as your own words
    coming back to you

    define the landscape,
    remind you that it won’t go on
    like this forever.
    “Foreseeing” by Sharon Bryan, from Flying Blind. © Sarabande Books, 1996. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

  8. A friend of mine saw “Exit the King” when she was in NYC in March…she loved it as well. 🙂
    I’m so excited we’ll get to see your skit. Thanks for sharing it with us!
    I totally agree about finding that energy for the stage that seems to come out of nowhere when you’ve barely dragged your butt to the theatre. I remember reading your dad’s bio when I was about 13 (14maybe?) and he said (paraphrasing) ‘you leave your life at the stage door. No matter what happened that day, it is gone and there’s only the play and theater life’. or something like that. I’ve never forgotten what he meant and I’ve always tried to check my “real life” at the door.

  9. How do they not recognize you? Very cool. Love your blog. Thank you!

  10. Dear Jane: I am so enjoying your blogs! I have been in Halifax for a week so have missed reading, however, got caught up last night. It is so great to have a ‘window’ into your world.
    I so enjoyed your Elaine Stritch blog. She is my hero! I went to see her in her one woman show (I actually went in New York and also in Toronto…no, not a stalker but just happened to be in both places when it was playing). When I was coming out of the New York production some pompous ass in front of me said to his wife who had commented on how good it was said “I thought it was a bit thin”! I realized then how difficult it is to be in the spotlight…you can’t please them all.
    I had occasion to do a One Woman Show (my present to myself for my 50th birthday) in which I recounted this story…I told them the only way they could get away with that was if they said “I thought she ‘looked’ thin”…, just sharing! Have a wonderful day!

  11. You are amazing. Where do you get the energy? Just reading your blog from yesterday makes me tired. I enjoyed the part about listening to the bartender talk about older actresses on Broadway and mentioned you, not aware that you were sitting right there. Too funny. Hang in there Ms. Jane.

  12. So… talking about Lansbury, she’s a great friend of the late Bea Arthur, who passed away this last weekend. I keep some VHS around my home (so precious because this is something not so easy to find here in Spain) of their appearence in a Tony Award show. In my country she’s known as Dorothy the Golden Girl, but you all know that she was a Broadway Dame, and a long time tv show star. For example, in my country we don’t know her show “Maude”. I guess many of you had the chance to see her live, in “Mame”.

  13. Jane, I’m wondering if you ever got the chance to work with Bea Arthur? She was such an amazing comedic actress and you have such great timing with a funny line yourself, I think the combination of the two of you would have been terrific. Just wondering …

  14. Hello Miss Fonda- It’s funny how you mentioned enjoying not being recognized. I think I startled you the other day outside the theatre. It was Thurs. a few hours before performance. I was running late for a playwriting course I’m taking and…..well….I almost stepped on Tulea. I followed the leash with my eyes only to find you at the other end. I was stunned to say the least…..I said, “Hello Miss Fonda”….you were in your own thoughts looking upward….and I think I stunned you a little….sorry about that.

    You have always been a hero of mine….and your book helped me through a very difficult time in my life a few years ago. I loved you in this play…..and took the message to heart….it’s what I needed to hear. Thank you for all of your heart felt performances through the years and open heartedness. God’s Mercy!

  15. omg lucky lucky!! all those amazing actors in one room…I would give my right arm to meet those extraordinary actors oh and Lauren Bacall too! ….Congrats! Ill try to go see Exit The King also..
    take care

  16. Interesting day in the life Jane, you have me interested in Broccoli Rabe, looks like there is many Recipes for that dish.
    Any more information on the Broccoli Rabe,sounds good. I was just reading this Quotation from “Jackrabbit”Hermann Smith-Johannson, 103-year-old cross-country skier:”The secret to a long life is to stay busy, get plenty of exercise and don’t drink too much. Then again, don’t drink too little”. I wonder about running the labyrinth of the most busy life,or is it just a busy mind that is inportant.I worked with and studed with a Time Management Consultant in graduate school and find the subject under my area of research,this book Time Management For Creative People.
    What I find of interest in time managment is how people manage other people’s time and not there own, very well the old rule is to manage your own time and lt looks like you do a good job at that.
    nice post Jane,

  17. Congratulations on your well-deserved Drama Desk nomination!

  18. Jane, you’re a riot. I love it that you can “troll neighboring bars” in NYC. I’ve lived here for years and have never had the guts to “troll.”

  19. Well, I can’t wait until tomorrow evening. Am working the Lufthansa Frankfurt to JFK flight tomorrow morning just to come and see you in the play. I’ll have to have a nap before I come to the theatre seeing that when your play starts at 7 p.m. it’ll be 1.a.m in Germany. But there again as cabin crew I’m used to all the tiredness.
    I will be sitting in Row H, number 10 just in case you want to see me through your binoculars (ha, ha!). I would have loved to have come to see the Broadway Cares show as well – in order to make my 24 hour NYC stopover even more worthwhile, however, our flight lands around 2-ish, so unfortunately cannot support you in that. Sorry. But am glad to hear you’ll have a DVD up on your blog soon.
    See you tomorrow.

  20. So true,but take heart for you are a Drama Desk nominee!!!
    Let me be the first on the blog to congratulate you.
    I hear Tony calling you soon!! LOL
    Be good.

  21. Hi Jane,
    Thanks so very much for sharing your life with all of us, your fans. I’ve been reading the blogs and enjoying them very much. I saw the “33 Variations” a few weeks ago and loved it. All of the actors are marvelous.
    For anyone who hasn’t seen the play – GO! The end of the first act that Jane writes about in today’s blog entry (“Septet”) is stupendous. While it may translate to the screen it can never have the impact of seeing and hearing it live. THIS IS THEATER!!!
    I am a very lucky New Yorker and in the past couple of months have seen Estelle Parsons in “August: Osage County,” Angela Lansbury in “Blithe Spirit,” and Jane Fonda in “33 Variations.” These women are forever young. To see Angela Lansbury dancing around the stage and doing her zany thing is to witness greatness at work. So, Jane, I figure YOU have many Broadway performances in front of you. I know it’s a dream, but how about a comedy with Robert Redford?
    Thanks, again, for sharing with us. We love you.

  22. Hi Jane! I love reading your blogs. I come home everyday from teaching school and check in with you so I can laugh. I thought I was busy today until I read your blog. You make your readings as if we were sitting and chatting and catching up on things. I love hearing about all teh other celebrities. Lily Tomlin performed here for us this past weekend with her classic show. She mentioned how much fun you two had whenever you are together. She is a funny lady and I got to go backstage and see her. What a treat! I do have to confess I do not do Twitter and your blog is the only one I ever read. My friends say to me all the time-“Jane Fonda is the only one who can bring you up to date with technology!” LOL Thanks for sharing your life with us. You ROCK as my fourth graders say.

  23. Wow Jane! Sarandon, Powell, Lansbury & Redgrave.
    So many heroine’s in one room.
    That must have charged your batteries.
    You also mentioned Estelle Parson. Love her!
    The Effect on Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds. Bonnie and Clyde.

    A question for you dear Jane?
    Do you review your older blogs to read additional entries? I mean the ones you have on your lastest
    blog page? Theres about 6 titles up today.
    Just wondering if you have the time to review them again.
    Also can you see our email addresses if you wanted to reply to any of our questions? I don’t always have cookies on so I didn’t know if you could see my email

  24. Don’t kid yourself – you have more energy than many people who are a couple of decades younger! All the best.

  25. Jane,

    It still amazes me that you are able to keep such a demanding work schedule, interviews, meet friends,
    and endless fundraisers, blogs etc, yet still put on an award winning performance. Bone tired doesn’t seem to show in the pictures, and I’m sure there are plenty gentlemen wishing they were part of your nights.
    Look forward to the Broadway cares video, and hope you surpassed your goals. The Broadway community of actors are one of the most passionate and charitable groups. I am surprised, yet happy to hear that you are not recognized when out. Celebrities are so bombarded with fans, and deserve some privacy. Not surprised 9 to 5 will be a hit, as the movie was fabulous. Another show I must see.
    Oh, couldn’t blog the other day and tell you how precious Tulea looked all comfy in her bed, and those eyes melt my heart.
    Hopefully tomorrow will go as expected.

    Be Refreshed

  26. Jane –
    tired kinda like sex ( if I remember correctly)?
    Surely you jest?
    We could work on that…

  27. I admire how you continue to take on “causes”. At age 55 I was finally able to go to my first official protest. I was in D.C. a couple of years ago to protest the “war” and saw you at the Code Pink events and on the stage before we marched on the Capitol.

    Just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog. I’ve always liked your movies. And it was fun to join you in protesting Bush’s war.

  28. So enjoy your updates and what seems to be genuine honesty. If you can, keep it going, your energy and advocacy. Bravo Jane.

  29. Yes its me again but just thought you’d like to know
    if you don’t know already the Congressman John Lewis
    (GA) was arrested with some other brave Dems for
    protesting Bashir Brutality in Sudan.
    You can check it out on to find his
    Thought you might be interested especially because
    thats in your neighborhood.
    I’m a politicker. Love the Clintons. Got to meet them
    both this last election. Pres. Obama too.
    Saw your photo with Pres. Clinton do you have any
    Bill or Hill stories?

  30. Hi Jane,

    I love to sit in a Starbucks or bookstore and listen to people talk. I just love to hear about people’s days, lives, or moments. I usually take my computer with me and make it look like I am “working”, but really I am listening. I hope this doesn’t sound creepy.

    Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that life happens over coffee!! Have a good one.


  31. Wow, Jane! I cannot believe the discipline you have to make sure you are rested enough for all these activities in addition to doing the show all week long!! You are an inspiration!

    My husband and I had the occasion to eat at a restaurant in LA on Melrose, I think it was. about 8 or 9 years ago. I think the name was “Opal”…it’s not there anymore…but lo and behold…just 5 feet away, someone in your family was celebrating something and you were ALL there! You, Peter, Bridget, Shirley and about 10 others around a huge round table…the conversation was lively and the affection your family had among them was warm and contagious. We loved seeing that kind of bonding and have never forgotten that night.

    I would also love for you to talk about moments on the stage during the run that were unexpected, scary, jarring or completely improvised due to a missed cue or entrance or something amiss! Those “war stories” we all have from the stage!

    I thoroughly enjoy catching up with you daily through this extraordinary experience you are having in the show.
    I’m jealous of my friends in Conn. who get to see all of the amazing plays currently on B’way…what a season!!
    Glad you’re part of it and get to share in the joy!!

  32. They didn’t recognize you in the bar? Wow! Friday some of my friends took a class trip to New York. I told my best friend to keep an eye out for a big sign that says “33 Variations” then go up to the door and scream “Jane Fonda, Kelsey loves you!” She had no luck. Oh well. =/ Haha. Enjoy your….”day off” !

  33. So many friends, still so lonely. Can’t imagine still prefer fantasies au lieu de ….

  34. Jane, I’m quite shocked that no one recognized you at the bar…or randomly walking down the street. Perhaps the bartender/waiter knew you were sitting there and that’s why he made the comment. Or not. Either way, what he said was true. I’ve seen both 33 Variations and Blithe Spirit, and of course you and Angela are “pros.” Like we’d expect anything less!

    I very much enjoyed the structure of this post; how you broke down your day. Very cool indeed. And it’s great to read that you loved Exit the King so much. Currently I’m attempting to find tickets for that show. I already have two more tickets to see 33 Variations (I cannot wait!) and another ticket to see 9 to 5: The Musical (again, I cannot wait!).

    I read in an article the other day about how Lily Tomlin met up with Allison Janney to discuss being “the Violets” of 9 to 5. Do you have any intentions of meeting up with Stephanie J. Block to talk about playing the character of Judy? I hope that at the opening night showing, you, Lily, and Dolly all pair up with the actresses playing your respective roles. I’m so excited for this musical! It’s going to be amazing!

    That’s a shame that your Blackberry camera didn’t work. I would have loved to have seen photos of all of you backstage. Maybe someone else took a picture or two.

    I’m so happy that the skit is being recorded so we all can see it!

    All my best,

  35. No one recognizes you?! Wha…WHAT?! 🙂 It’s probably because they can’t imagine an ICON would be sitting in their midst acting so unassuming, n’est-ce pas? 😉

  36. HI Jane
    You are having such a great time in New York.Once
    again,please continue to blog after the play ends.If you dont,alot of people will be disappointed.
    Cant wait to see video of the skit,and photos of the evening.
    I really dont believe that bartender didnt recognize you!

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