This blog will have to be in 3 separate parts because today is totally schizophrenic. We’ll start with the morning and Planned Parenthood. (And don’t forget–THIS IS MY DAY OFF)

Cecile Richards on my left, the host, Marsha Laufer on my right

So– it’s a Planned Parenthood Fundraiser in a gorgeous apartment in the Trump Tower. Nice coincidence that on the front page of the New York Times today is an article about the shortage of primary care doctors which is posing a challenge to Obama’s Health Care reform proposals. You may not know it but Planned Parenthood is the primary health care provider for approximately 3 Million women in the United States every year and one in four women have used PP at least once in their lives. Obviously, PP’s services are needed now more than ever–which is why PP’s president, Cecile Richard, was among those present at the White House meeting on health care reform last month. At the event, I spoke for 5 minutes before running to the Easter Bonnet skit rehearsal. I had to explain why I was in full drag–madeup like an old tart (the Minskoff theatre is huge — it’s where “Lion King” is playing –and the lights very bright so makeup must be exaggerated).. As usual Tulea, with her pink bows, stole the show. Since a big piece of PP’s work focuses on adolescents, I talked about how teens require a different clinical approach than adults–they need more time to talk to the clinician and learn to develop trust so they can relax and are able to ask sensitive questions can’t always begin with pelvic exam, especially if there is a chance the girl has been molested. Time–it takes more time and sensitivity and staff has to be specially trained to not judge, etc. This is what Planned Parenthood does so well. I also spoke about how the prevalence of teenage parenthood is especially high among poor youth who see little future for themselves, a future that might motivate them to postpone pregnancy. Children from poor families are often parents too soon as were their parents, and this leads to a generational transfer of poverty so that prevention is also a strategy for reducing poverty. I wanted to emphasize this so that these potental funders would understand the necessity of getting funds into the pockets of poverty, especially rural poverty, where there are few if any clinics yet need is highest.


Today is a dress rehearsal for the Broadway Cares Easter Bonnet show, a chance for all the casts who are doing skits to do it once on stage, with lights and costumes and an audience. Even though the Minskoff is huge, there are not enough seats for everyone who wants to see this big Broadway Cares finale so they allow people to watch the rehearsal. I have gotten a chance to sit in the audience and watch a lot of the skits which are terrific-some elaborate dance numbers. The show opens with a great number and then Liza Minnelli comes on and sings New York, New York.

Michael Rudd works for the Production company but after work he stays with Tulea during the play, walks her and makes sure she doesn’t wander out on stage–again. He is also the one who oftens takes the photos backstage that go onto my blog. He is playing my assistant in the skit and I treat him like dirt. He is so adorable–he went and got his hair cut and got new white jeans for the skit and is really into it. Tulea adores him too. Here’s a photo of the two of them. Cute, huh?


Michael Rudd and Tulea (photo: Jane Fonda)

I have been assigned to share a dressingroom with Susan Sarandon. She isn’t doing a skit but will be one of the prize presenters tomorrow (as am I).

Liza just came into my dressing room and we reminisced about the ‘old days. Her roommate was a dancer named Tanya Everett and Tanya’s brother, the actor/dancer Timmy Everett, was my boyfriend. Liza looks terrific. I didn’t have a camera with me but maybe later or tomorrow I’ll get one with her.

This is sooo much fun, hanging out backstage with cast members from “Billy Elliot,” “In the Heights,” “Little Mermaid,” “Guys and Dolls,” “West Side Story,” etc etc. All the young. Kids from the shows are fawning over Tulea–as you can imagine. I just saw Beethoven’s bonnett–OMG!! I can’t send a photo yet cause can’t give anything away but it’s awesome.

Tovah Feldshuh is here as a presenter and I had no idea what a comedian she is. She had us roaring with laughter. Can’t believe I will be seeing her very dramatic show tonight at 8pm.

We rehearsed with no audience and then they ran the whole show for an audience of about 2000 and about 6pm we went on and-what to say? I didn’t expect such a response. When I dropped the full length mink coat to reveal my Jane Fonda workout outfit, complete with the iconic leg warmers, the cheers went on so long it was hard to speak. We got so many laughs. Whether we win or not, it was well worth all the effort we put into getting the skit together.  


Rushed to Joe Allen’s for a quick bite and some much needed catching up with Mary Catherine Bateson before we just made it to the Walter Kerr in time for the curtain. I had been warned that “Irena’s Vow” was moving but I wasn’t prepared and had no tissues with me. By the end, I was sobbing so audibly the kind woman next to me passed me what looked like a towel and I needed every bit of it. Tovah was completely amazing. She went from middle age to young to very old as the Polish Christian who saved the lives of a dozen Jews during the war. It is a true story that gives a wonderful new twist on the history of the Holocaust. Tovah even played a Nazi officer. It is an amazing story. Mary Catherine and I went back stage after and I still couldn’t stop crying. Tovah told Mary Catherine that her mother, Margaret Meade, spoke at her college graduation and she still remembers Meade saying that marriage should be a renewable, five year contract.

We took photos of all of us but they haven’t been sent to me yet so I’ll put them into tomorrow’s blog. Right now, I am about to collapse. I feel I’ve been “rode hard and put up wet,” as my cowboy friends used to say.

See you next time.

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  1. Thank you for your dedicated work for Planned Parenthood, and to other causes, as well.

  2. Interesting area Jane, as a child development specialist the area of realistic feminine morality is a real concern. Let women think and feel that an unwanted child or an oversize family is wrong—not ethically wrong,but morally wrong. It only we can get feminine and human morality out from under the yoke of a dead ethic. Maybe we’ll begin to get somewhere on the road that leads to human survival,when ethic and morality meet in a reality.

  3. Planned Parenthood has always been one of the groups I give mioney to. I was headnurse in a truama center and saw a great deal of misery in young women secondary to lack of sex education and/or lack of a reliable provider. We gave free care to those who could not afford it and no reports to parents if that is what the person wanted. Good work PP!

  4. You’re still a wonderously curious little girl who jumps in mud puddles and does shows in somebody’s backyard.

  5. Jane. I was just moved to tears when you said;

    “–they need more time to talk to the clinician and learn to develop trust so they can relax and are able to ask sensitive questions can’t always begin with pelvic exam, especially if there is a chance the girl has been molested”

    I’m 15. That should say enough. We need your voice. You need to get this point across to physicians, or whoever. Its VERY hard for us to just go in there and spread our legs. I’m being honest, theres no other way to put it. We need someone like you who is wiser to this than we are right now. Someone who has been there, done that. I read that you print out these comments and read them when you have time, so I must must must must tell you from my 15 year old point of view that you are 100% right! There are so many questions we have that we are too afraid to ask. There are too many problems we are having that we are too afraid to talk about. Molestation is something that a lot of girls are too embarrased to admit to. I’m rambling and my thoughts are everywhere, but please Jane, know that what you are doing is wonderful. Teenage girls need a safe place to turn to, to feel safe and protected when it comes to talking about these things. Even if its not a complete medical question, but a question that could easily be answered by a trusted female adult. There is so much more to say on this subject from some one who is there now, but I must say, you do a great job speaking out for young girls.

    Thank you!


  6. Unfortunately, I think what you said is true about it now being a generational transfer. Once upon a time it was just the current generation, but it now seems two and three fold. The youngest generation doesn’t know any different if for the last two generations of a family, they have done the same thing. That goes for not working too. We just have to help and support these kids as much as we can, and not judge them, just be there. I work with teenagers sometimes myself in a different way, but we’ve all got to remember that these kids are tomorrow’s adults, and we have to help them on their way. Keep up the good work.

  7. New additions to the hero list today:

    Jane Fonda — advocating for teenagers.
    Mia Farrow — sacrificing for Darfur.

  8. You must have a very patient and co-operative doggie to get him to wear rose coloured Glasses! how long does he keep them on? BTW I can’t believe how busy you allways are…when the run finishes you won’t know what to do with yourself, you will probably just collapse in a heap I guess, sometime the adrenaline just keeps us going doesn’t it. You Go Girl! I hope Im as fit and active as you are at your young age 🙂 hello from Australia, as an ex thespian Im really loving living vicariously through your stage exploits and enjoying your blogging I hope you keep it up once the show is over. regards Leonie

  9. I read a line in a novel 25 years ago, one character speaking to another, which said: “The greatest happiness I can wish you is to go to bed each night dog tired with plans for tomorrow.” Sounds like you must be among life’s happiest people. Enjoying your blog very much, and hoping you bring your play to London.

  10. Your blogs are a breath of fresh air to me Jane! It’s 7 am and I am living vicariously through you! You looked fab at the trump apartment and I can only imagine you in a full length mink-va va va voooom!!!!
    Hope you get to “rest ” today and only do 2 performances! 🙂
    Much Love to You and Thanks for Brightening My Day!

  11. I’ve been reading this blog since before you went into tech.

    You kick ass Jane.

  12. Jane, not only do I love the running commentary about your theatre/stage life during the play, but your comments on causes and situations at home and around the globe cause me to think more deeply about the world around me and what I/we can and should do to help. Thank you.

  13. The blogs just keep getting better. And this was your day off. What a treasure you are for all the things you have done and continue to do.

    The reply from Kelsey is so heart warming.

  14. Wow!!! What a couple of days you’ve had. I love reading this blog!!! You are a super, super woman and so inspirational. Bravo for your work with Planned Parenthood.
    Glad to know you try to eat something dark green every day. Stay healthy and get some rest.

  15. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your very interesting life with us…makes me feel like I was there with you. You have such a way with words.

  16. I saw the Easter Bonnet Competition yesterday and jumped to my feet with the rest of audience. What a hoot! I love your spirit – game for anything and up to making fun of yourself. In my mind, your gang won – certainly on humor and pizazz – but the bonnet, I thought, was the best. Not just in keeping with the theme of your show but elegant and elaborate as well. Congrats!

  17. LOL – the picture of Tulea and Michael is 2 cute!

  18. Ms Fonda,

    “high among poor youth who see little future for themselves, a future that might motivate them to postpone pregnancy.”

    This has actually been one of the topics that I discussed with my mom, Im 20 and she was just talking and she was wondering what had been the reason I never had really gotten myself in any trouble and so many of my best friends girls really close to me during school were all over the place, and “my future” was my answer. I didn’t grow up with money, I moved A LOT! lived with a single parent and ever since I was little the one thing that has been put into my brain is that I must study, go to college, become a woman that can stand on her own two feet. The one good thing is they never put any pressure on me on the careers, but the thought that one mistake that I made during those moments could impact the rest of my life and my dreams, making my goals ever harder to reach was just out of the question. So personally I was and am one of those who has decided to wait a little longer to have sex and im not ashamed or embarrased to say it. But parenting and family has a lot to do with it I think, they gave me examples and told look this is how your life could be or take this other road and have your chance at a better life.

    I really hope other teens could get some kind of goal, dreams, something that makes them feel that they have something incredible to do in life even if its just a small thing. I could probably probably go and on and on about this, but the bottom line is like you said we do need people to come and talk to us because we do listen, even if you think we are not….

    Break a Leg tonight!

  19. Thank you for you using your fame toward good. So many people with no voice need so much. Their is an uproar in a lot of communities about Planned Parenthood. I live in Denver and they wanted to build a huge new Planned Parenthood facility in an area that needed it desperately. After months of driving past the proposed site seeing people holding signs of protest and even having their children holding up signs of aborted fetuses the community caved and let the nay sayers win. Because of one view point, on one service provided, thousands of needy women will go without quality healthcare and counseling. I can’t help but think if our community had a bigger voice and stood strong we may have been able to win the fight. I always and forever will give money to their cause. I am a lesbian (I came out as a teenager and told my parents “Well hey at least I won’t get pregnant!”) and am lucky enough to have always had insurance & have never had to use their services. However, I know friends & family that have had their lives changed even saved by the kind caring services of this organization. Thank you for being there, being vocal, and caring about the world and it’s future.
    Jessie G.

  20. Ok, gotta say it….Michael Rudd and Tulea picture… DIE for!!!!

  21. Jane,

    I feel like I need to break my response down into three different parts! So, I will.

    Part 1: Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such an active member of Planned Parenthood. Although I personally have never needed their services, I’ve had a number of friends from high school and college go to their clinics. I live in an area where teen pregnancy is rampant. In fact, my goddaughter was a prom night accident, so I understand exactly where you are coming from with your speech to the potential funders. Your advocacy for PP is most appreciated.

    Part 2: Well damn, I wish I had been there to see this skit live. I probably would have laughed my ass off…especially if you were doing a spoof on your work-out sessions. (BTW: Michael and Tulea are so adorable!). To be surrounded by all those performers—gahhhhh. I’m so super jealous, but also very pleased that you were able to participate in this event. I can’t wait to see Beethoven’s bonnet.

    Part 3: Admittedly, I’ve avoided tickets to see Irena’s Vow for that exact reason–sobbing. I’ve heard/read reviews that it’s absolutely incredible, but that’s it’s quite emotional (obviously, given the subject matter) and audience members are prone to bouts of crying. However, I think if I can’t get tickets to see Exit the King, I’m going to check this play out, as it sounds phenomenal.

    I hope you get a good night’s rest and that the shows for the remainder of the week go famously! I’m certain that you could have used your day off for relaxation purposes, but it sounds like this was overall spectacular, a day you’ll never forget. I think we all need more fulfilling days like this: Activism, skit benefits, sensational theatre, quality time with good friends. It’s wonderful, Jane!

    Now go sleep!

    All my best,

  22. This is off topic for today, but I just love your haircut. You are so busy! Is it a difficult style to care for?

  23. Howdy – I just read your twit. Congrats on all the Broadway wins, especially for raising the most money. Once an organizer, always an organizer.

  24. Wow, what a day! And thx for the pic of Michael…it’s nice to put a face to the person shooting all those fun backstage photos.

  25. Congratulations on winning the fundraising competition! Thank you for making us all a part of it. I will treasure my signed book always. The play and now this amazing contribution that will help so many people in need make this entire experience breathtaking. You and your wonderful costars have made this an event we will all remember. Be proud!

  26. Jane,

    First Congratulations to you and the cast for raising almost 180K for Broadway Cares, and winning the award. Absolutely amazing!
    Thank you for always educating us, while tugging at our heart strings. Our health care system is a concern for us all, especially those stuck in poverty, and low income.
    Unfortunately, the insurance companies practices,and malpractice costs are part of the shortage of primary care physicians, as well as PA’s taking over surgeons post-op visits. Lets hope things change for the betterment of all.

    It seems to me you never get a real day off, just another full day of a life well lived.

  27. Jane
    I’d love to see a picture of you in your JF Workout Outfit!
    What a blast that must have been! I’m doing your personal trainer workouts from the 90s on DVD. I was surprised how nostalgic I was when I started. Like working out with an old friend. Thanks!

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