Feb 24th

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!

Feb 22nd

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.

Richard, Me, Tulea and Sylvia Perry at dinner after Sunday’s show

Cac, richard and me at dinner

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 PR maven and friend, Pat Kingsley, Lily, me, Jane Wagner, the writer who has created so much of Lily's brilliant shows.

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.

Left to right: Cinematographer Sarah Churchill, me, Haskell, his wife, actor Rita Taggart, and film editor, Chris Burrill.

me with Haskell

Left to right: Haskell, his daughter-in-law and his son, filmmaker, Mark Wexler

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.

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  1. Well Jane ,
    You have had some run, It must be very full- filling some names made me look up -Theo Bikel- now that someone of interest. Made his film debut in The African Queen (1951) with Bogart and co-founder of the Newport Folk Festival (together with Pete Seeger and George Wein) that man’s life goes on and on ,was even a delegate to the 1968 Democratic Convention. And I see that Haskell Wexler looks in good health, I’m a real fan of his work one of the true world class cinematographers. Nice to see that you have had one great start on this stage. I feel your giving out something special, and getting it back. I even did some updates on my script for you and should sent just the page updates to CAA for send to you soon. Nothing big just some clear and clean ups. My book based on the Screenplay is looking good,happy with the writing style I developed.
    with love and care,

  2. Greetings Lady Jane! I had not left a comment in such a long time that I had to register again… Anyway, I have come to mention that I still see a lucky dog in a few of your new photos… and Tulea too! heh heh
    (Sorry Richard!)
    I am a big fan of the new Hawai’i 5-O show and think that they should have Troy do a regular guest role on there! He could catch a few bad guys too! He already has a character and a name for himself, right?
    I would also like to see you and Peter and Ann-Margret and Don Stroud do a segment on some motorcycle riders! Don Stroud is a native of that fair state, so he should not be too hard to find! You do noty have to be bad guys! You could all be some kids rtaking a bike ride and showing off some of that GREAT scenery! (the vistas are really why I like the show so much) This sounds like a great idea to me, but I have not quite figured out how to pen this episode… so let me know what you all think after you talk to all those kids I mentioned, ok?
    Dear Jane, will you please give Peter a late HAPPY BIRTHDAY greeting for me and remind him that he is 71 and Dakota Fanning is 17… Hey, don’t ask me why, but I discoverd this trivia only yesterday and I want to pass it on to you so you get a chuckle. (you can start laughing now)
    I hope you are having one (chuckle) and that it makes you feel better! Please be careful when you have more fun later!
    Love to you and to all you love!
    Lawrence Mark

  3. Jane, I never seem to like what I have written without proofreading… which I have done too late again!
    I know how to spell, but the keypad here does not seem to listen very well~

  4. Ms. Fonda,

    I work in the Education Department at Center Theatre Group, and I want to personally thank you for such a fantastic performance and talk-back after the student performance yesterday. The students absolutely loved you; many of them walking away changed because of the powerful words of Moises Kaufman and the performers beautiful portrayal of those words. We’ve received an abundance of positive comments from students about the play on our facebook page: — if you want to check it out! Thanks again for inspiring thousands of young people!!


  5. Thank goodness you are feeling better! Quite a blog.

    It was a joy to be a part of the Fonda/Perry party on Sunday.


  6. It is wonderful that so many students were able to see your play! During a time when often the arts are being eliminated from schools, having the students experience a play like yours is absolutely fantastic and very important. As for the Oscar party, I can’t wait to see you post some pictures of yourself dressed up for the occassion.

  7. Can you advise? I can’t locate any info on how to see your last two movies. Will …Et Si On Vivait Tous Ensemble? be released in America? Will Peace, Love and Misunderstanding be out only in dvd? When?
    We saw your show Tuesday night. Loved the experience! Thought you had a cold, but you still gave it your all. Thank you!

    • Jodie, both films are independent films and do not yet have distribution. Stay tuned!!

  8. I hope you get well, soon. I so wish I could see the show. I’m sure it’s just fabulous.

    Yesterday, I went to the ACTRA conference in Toronto. (ACTRA is the union for film and TV performers in Canada.) Shirley Douglas was there receiving a special honourary award from ACTRA plus an honourary doctorate from the University of Regina. Shirley’s speech was beautiful, very inspiring and intensely moving.

    The reason I mention this is because I believe that you knew her when she lived in L.A. in the 60s. During her speech, I thought of you. I wish you could have been there. It was incredible.

    Shirley is now in a wheelchair and recently retired from performing due to spinal problems.
    You may remember her as Shirley Sutherland.

  9. Oh I was so pleased that Larry David was amoung those who visited you back stage! I LOVE “curb your enthusiasm” and have been hoping that you might make an appearance (as yourself obviously) on it some time??!!!! Now that I know you know him … I know there is hope of that happening! Maybe he could do something with you and Troy? …

  10. Dear Ms. Fonda,

    I had the great pleasure of seeing your performance at Sunday’s matinee. You were truly wonderful; you brought so much intelligence, courage, depth, heart and soul to your portrayal. You had that (very large) audience in the palm of your hand! The play was so thought provoking and its message resonated with me on many levels; I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it! I had recently – prior to seeing the show – come across a letter that Beethoven had written (to his brothers, I believe), in which he desperately tried to get them to understand his erratic behavior and the depth of his suffering in losing his hearing. The anguish behind his words was palpable and deeply moving. It really struck me, as one doesn’t often think of one such as him as being so profoundly and painfully human…just like the rest of us. Your performance, coupled with that transcendent music, was very inspiring.

    I’m an actor also, and originally from Omaha! I love the theater…thank you so much for a memorable afternoon.

  11. I am proud to say I was in this audience of high schoolers Feb 24th! I loved your show Jane. You have such an amazing presence. I was practically shaking during Q & A because I was so nervous and I’m not usually a nervous person I kept thinking “It’s Jane freaking Fonda…right there..infront of my eyes” So cool! I’m an aspiring actress. Hopefully we’ll work together in the near future! 🙂

    Much love,

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