I just spent 2 hours in a mid town hotel with all the other Tony nominees doing press. I got a chance to see Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis and thank them in person for the flowers they sent me. Both of them have young children and we talked briefly about the challenges of that when you are doing 8 shows a week. Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter were there and we were photographed together. I had heard that Janet was skinny dipping in a pool belonging to another actress in her play, “Mary Stuart,” when she got the news of her Tony. Nomination. I commented about this to her and she said that she has to always find ways to workout, get steam, etc. It was this that this is essential to her wellbeing and ability to perform and I thought to myself how I used to be like that but now–well, I need sleep more than working out and there doesn’t seem time to do both. Not while doing this play anyway. Janet is a truly awe-inspiring figure and a great presence on stage. Last year she won a Tony for her performance in “Doll’s House” by Ibsen. And guess what I learned just now that I never knew? My Dad won the 2nd Tony Award ever given for his title role in “Mister Roberts.” In those days, they gave the winners a cigarette lighter and the women got compacts!!!!


Marcia Gay Harden, Me and Hope Davis (photo: Bruce Glikas)


Janet McTeer, Me and Harriet Walter (photo: Bruce Glikas)


Zach Grenier, Me and Moisés Kaufman (photo: Bruce Glikas)


(photo: Bruce Glikas)


(photo: Bruce Glikas)

I was also told that I was nominated in 1960 for a Tony for my role in my first Broadway play, “There Was a Little Girl,” written by Daniel Taradash and directed by Jush Logan. On the Tony website it  says I actually won and listed it as for the supporting role. Turns out I did not win but was, in fact, nominated. I was the “Girl” in “There Was A Little Girl” and I was never off the stage. It was an interesting concept–a 21 year old virgin who is raped in a parking lot. She’d been having a birthday date with her boyfriend and she tells him she wants to make love with him. He gets mad at her for her advances and, upset,  she runs into the parking lot where she is raped. Her family and friends blame her for being raped. The old “you-must- have-been-asking- for-it” reaction that is not all that unusual and makes victims of sexual assault feel it may have been their fault. “Maybe I didn’t say ‘no’ the right way.” Knowing I did want to have sex that night, my character begins to think maybe she did “ask for it.” So she seeks out the rapist and confronts him and, thus, learns that it was a rape-not her fault. The play only lasted 21 days but besides being nominated for a Tony I won a Theatre World Award. I ask myself now why I have no recollection of this nomination. Perhaps, as someone just suggested, the Tonys weren’t as big a deal as they are now. I mean–a COMPACT!!! Come on! But probably it is because the whole experience was so fraught for me–not pleasant at all for many and complex reasons which you can read about in my memoirs if you are interested.

Life is so very different for me now. I am so very different. And, most importantly, this experience with “33 variations” has been one of the most exciting and rewarding of my life.


The matinee went well except that right before the show began, I went to the toilet, pulling up my tank top but forgetting to pull it down and my dresser, Lori, didn’t notice because I had put my jacket on and buttoned it up. Well, in scene one, at the start, I unbutton my jacket. Here is how I played the rest of the scene–that is a transparent camisole underneath that was visible the entire rest of the scene. Everyone was laughing when I came off stage. Samantha said she was trying to subtly let me know but I didn’t get it. So embarrassed.


I got a 2 hour nap between shows so feel great and ready to do tonight’s.

See you next time.

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  1. You look super fantastic in the Tony press photos. I hope you win!
    I laughed a lot (sorry) at the picture of you after you had gone out on stage without pulling your top down. You are just too funny.

  2. Haha. Oh man!
    Hey, you learn something new everyday. Funny what the internet can tell you about yourself.

  3. Wardrobe malfunction!!!! A pretty funny one at that since it must’ve looked like you were wearing a tube top. ha.

  4. So nice to see those photos of you with your fellow nominees. I saw GOD OF CARNAGE this afternoon and can report how wonderful these two actresses are … as were you when I saw 33 VARIATIONS! Just amazing. What wonderful nights of theatre of late! I’ll be rooting for you on Tony night, but regardless, we are so fortunate to have all of you on Broadway this season. And what a great group of leading actresses up for the Tonys this year. These women must be over the moon to share the category with you … and your blog seems to indicate a great affection for all four of them. In these times in particular, I really appreciate reading about this camaraderie and respect. I think it says a lot about the generosity of spirit of theatre actors. I imagine your father would be very proud of what you have accomplished these last few month on Broadway.

  5. Don’t feel bad about the costume glitch — Dame Judi Dench had the same thing happen to her when she went on Michael Parkinson’s last show on BBC.

  6. Ms. Fonda,

    The look on your face in the rolled up tank top photo is priceless. So, you take an embarrasing moment confined to the audience in the house and then share it with thousands, potentially millions on the internet. Intrepid. Solid in your skin.

    I am ecstatic to hear about Tony nominiations since I am flying next week (13th..a whirlwind 2 day trip) all the way from San Antonio just to see this play. I should also mention I have travelled for leisure once in the last 10 years…so come hell or high water or swine flu, by golly, I’ll be there with bells on.

  7. I have to admit, the camisole incident is pretty funny. Maybe the audience just thought you decided to be gutsy and show some skin.
    It sounds like something I would accidentally do!

  8. Oh Jane, I totally wet myself when I saw the pic of what you described to me…

    More than ANYTHING, though, it’s the expression on your face in this photo.

    I am howling and I adore you…


  9. that’s hilarious!

  10. OMG, they used to give out cigarette lighters to the men and compacts to the women! This is one of your best entries yet. Keep it up! xxox

  11. you are always so honest – thank you for keeping it real – love the photo of you with the costume mishap – that is what makes live theatre so great

  12. one word… Brilliant!

  13. Congrats on the noms, it is always great to have recondtion for your work. By the way the last picture I didn’t think was you, speaks well for hair and makeup.

  14. Wow… I am very pleased that I managed to somehow stumble across your blog..

    Jenni – Austalia

  15. Thank you so much for this blog. I was very glad to hear you will be continuing it after the play. I am 72 years old and sometimes have trouble dealing with that fact and so I find you to be very inspirational. Since reading your blog I have been checking myself and starting to differentiate between what are actual limitations and those that are just in my head. In this way I have been dealing with what is real and not letting my mind create obstacles that are not there. I have always admired your work (“Coming Home” is the movie I watch when it seems that nobody gives a damn about telling the truth and I loved it when you spoke out against the Vietnam war . Again,my thanks, and I look foward to your next book and to reading future blogs.

    With love for all you do,
    Yolanda Nesom

  16. Cigarette cases and compacts! Good grief! How times have changed. Nice pics.

  17. Actually, I was at the matinee yesterday – from the house your wardrobe malfunction just read as a slightly unusual two-tone tank top – a momentary distraction, if that, from a moving and lovely performance. I’m so thrilled I had a chance to see the play – a real play with depth and interest and ultimately so very touching.

  18. Soooo funny about the tank top !! and especially not getting the subtle hints… at 54 I can sooo relate. We used to tell my mother she was having “senior moments” and now I have them too.. Like putting the wrong thing in the fridge, or walking in to a room and forgetting why you went there ! lol…. ya’ just gotta laugh, and you, my dear, have such a wonderful sense of humor and outlook on life… Love your blogs… DB

  19. It would be interesting to research when the Tony Awards gained in prominence, and when the statue was instituted (I agree about the lameness of a cigarette lighter for men and compact for women as awards, not to mention the inherent sexism in the choices). It’s difficult to fathom not being aware of being nominated for a Tony Award in this age! It’s also illuminating that you didn’t know that your Dad won the second Tony Award (which also points to their lack of prestige). Fascinating. On another note, how embarrassing to play the scene with your top lifted halfway! I’m sure you will never forget it! I think everyone has experienced similar embarrassing moments. Of course, I hope you win the Tony this year!

  20. Jane, you have one of the all time great smiles. The camisole incident is a scream!

    Congratulations on the Tony nominations. They are very well deserved.

  21. I hope you get the Tony, Miss Fonda.

  22. Ah costume malfunctions! We do a campy stage version of “Night of the Living Dead” here in Denver every October. I play several parts, the first of which is an old woman who gets attacked and rises from the dead covered in gore. After my exit I have less than 3 minutes to change into a expert explaining the strange zombie phenomenon. Once I forgot to put on my heavy black tights that cover all the gory makeup on my legs. So I enter, to a sold out audience, dressed as a respectable scientist from the knee up & from the knee down I was covered in blood. Other than the huge laugh at my entrance, I had no clue until my exit. Upon which the stage manager was holding my tights and giggling wildly.
    Don’t be too embarrassed it’s happens to us all! It was your turn!
    Keep up the great blogging!
    Jessamyn G.

  23. I am so sorry you the embarrassing experience. Try to think of it as just a good story, for the future date when the embarrassment fades!

    I was in The Mikado in college, and I made the mistake of eating a big plate of refried beans before a matinee. The gas was horrible. I was so glad I wore a heavy kimono and the orchestra was LOUD. There was extra percussion that day. LOL

  24. You certainly can’t take yourself too seriously after something like that! Ha!

    Congratulations on the nomination Ms. Fonda, I wish I could’ve flown to New York to see this play. I have always wanted to have a “Broadway Weekend Get Away”. Maybe someday!

    All the best,

  25. That was SO funny that you would tell the story of not pulling the tank top down, you are truly guileless and funny!!

  26. Jane-
    That matinee story is sooo funny. The look on your face in that picture is priceless!! Good for you for sharing…..That’s what I like about you…..warts and all!! Oh, and congrats on the Tony nod!!!!!!!

  27. Congrats to you and the 33 Variations team on all the nominations – way to go…looks like y’all are in high cotton!

  28. Jane,
    What great photos of you. Just beautiful!
    About the upshirt. I wouldn’t worry. I have a feeling
    it will be a good memory for all the theatre goers. As
    far as their concerned you can do no wrong Ms. Jane.
    Can’t wait to see you win…
    Oh, the photo of you with the upshirt reminds me a bit
    of the facial express of Catherine Deneuve in the movie “8 Women”.

    Off subject but Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio talked with Ted Turner. Very enjoyable.
    I really like his down to earth way. His caring for the planet and returning the buffalo to their place.
    Jane I can see why you love him. He has a dear heart.
    If anyone would like to listen to the interview check Diane’s May 7th show.

  29. Dear Miss Jane,

    Best late than not at all … my most heartfelt congratulations on your Tony nomination. You are in wonderful company; however, I am slightly prejudicial and am crossing my fingers for the award to the very talented and timeless Miss Jane Fonda!

    Be blessed,

  30. Congratulations on your Tony nomination!!! It was meant to be.

    Jane – your honesty is one of your most endearing qualities!! What a hoot!

  31. Wow! That is the best thing to do when embarrased I think–take a nap! Lol. BTW, I think you did mention that play in your memoir…interesting not remembering a Tony nomination…. also I loved your performance in the film version of Ibsen’s Doll House!

  32. Jane,
    Have you seen Hope Davis on IN TREATMENT on HBO?
    She is fantastic, and it is the best show on TV! You must watch when you have the chance!
    Congratulations on your Tony nomination!

  33. Your honesty is so wonderful! I am enjoying learning all about the theater from your blogs – thank you! Janet McTeer was amazing in the movie “Tumbleweeds.” I’ve watched it many times and always see something new.

  34. Jane,

    I must say, even in an embarrassing moment you are
    absolutely unstoppable. Perfect expression.
    Great pictures of you and the gals together, as well as everyone else. Your hair looks fabulous, and what a
    bright countenance
    Congratulations once again.

  35. Jane,

    Those pictures you posted are fabulous! Congratulations again on your Tony nomination! I can’t believe they used to give out a cigarette lighter and a compact…I wonder how they even came up with those choices.

    In that last photo you look none too pleased. Although, I bet you can pull that sort of thing off.

    I’m so thrilled to be able to see the show again tonight and then at tomorrow’s matinee. It’s strange to think that the show is going to be over in two weeks, but I feel very grateful to have seen it. You and the rest of the cast and crew have been dedicated and put your all into making this play magnificent.


  36. OMG! Wardrobe malfuntion! That is too funny! I’m so happy you’re going to continue to blog. I look forward to reading it each day. THANKS! Congrats on the nomination!

  37. LOL just one of the joys of doing live theatre! I was in a play one time where, during a b-day party scene, I was supposed to smell a jar of body cream I received as a gift. At one performance, I unknowingly ended up with a big blob of the cream on my nose and did the rest of the scene that way while the other actors tried to clue me in and mainly tried not to laugh! I guess I was too “in the moment” to realize until I came offstage and caught sight of myself in the mirror and was horrified! 🙂

    Congrats on your well-deserved nomination!!

  38. OMG…(wiping tears)…oh, Jane. This is the best Broadway blog ever. That last photo is PRICELESS. 🙂

  39. Guess what, Jane: We were in the audience for that matinee and didn’t even notice! We just noticed how fit and healthy you look!

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