Yesterday, We had a 10:45 am show for 2000 10th, 11th, 12th graders from public schools all over Los Angeles. Here are some photos I took of the audience when, after the show, the cast all came out on stage and took questions from the students (and asked a few of our own)
They were an amazing audience. The most vocal we have ever had! It seemed clear from the responses we or that they really loved the show which moved me very much because this is not your usual “kid stuff.” This is not fluff—though there are plenty of laughs—but quite deep, with much that makes you think about new things, especially art. Our writer/director, Moises Kaufman, sent me this twitter about the play from one of the students: “carcarrsays: 33 Variations. Dope play! 🙂 Very inspiring.”
There is some nudity in the play and kissing and we were curious how the students would react. Great!!! They went “Woooo, yeah!” at the kissing and applauded the (very subtle and tasteful) nudity.
I want to thank the generous patrons of the Center Theatre Group whose funds make this student attendance at plays possible and mention that, among the funders, is the corporation TARGET!!! Go Target!
Sylvia Perry, Richard’s 92 year old mother, his brother Andrew and some of Sylvia’s helpers and friends flew down from Salem, Oregon to see the play. I have been so looking forward to Sylvia seeing the show because, as I have written in previous blogs, she is a music woman and a pianist so I felt she would appreciate the play and the brilliant classical pianist who accompanies us, Diane Walsh. And I was not disappointed. She and all the others really were thrilled by the show and the music.
Over the last week, I have had backstage visitors that included Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner, Pat Kingsley, Larry David, Martin Short, Kim Basinger, Theo Bikel, and many friends from my childhood.
The great award winning cinematographer, Haskell Wexler, came to the show with Rita Taggert, his wife. They met while he was filming “Coming Home,” in which she played a nurse and we did some cheerleading together. Chris Burrell and Sarah Churchill and I go far back as well, both as friends and as filmmakers with whom I have worked. Mark Wexler made a documentary about his father that I appeared in and he just finished a documentary about old age that looks wonderful. I am sorry I did not get to see it before I finished my own book about this subject.
Laurence Fishburne and his wife came backstage and said they loved the play. He stars tonight in “Thurgood” for HBO and I will tivo it and watch. He is such a multi-faceted actor. I love his work.
I know I am forgetting people…my brain is mushy right now…just sharp enough to come to life on the stage before it shuts down again. Somehow, when we go out there on stage, the cold or whatever ails us seems to disappear. Zach Grenier (who plays Beethoven) calls it “stage medicine.”
I have stuff to write about that is happening to me as the character but I have run out of time. I have to go try on the gown I am going to wear to the post Oscar parties next Sunday night. Yep, this will be after a 4-show weekend! I got to be well by then or I won’t go. I am wearing jewelry by my fav, Vhernier.