Jane Fonda returns to Broadway with 33 Variations
The Oscar-winning actor Jane Fonda will return to Broadway next year for her first performance on the Great White Way since 1963. She will star in a 2007 play called 33 Variations as a musicologist researching Beethoven’s interest in a waltz that inspired his piano work the Diabelli Variations.
“I am very excited,” said Fonda of her return to Broadway. “I can’t wait to get back on stage … in this role that I understand so well.” She will be directed by the play’s writer, Moises Kaufman, who praised Fonda’s “insight, intellect and heart”. Kaufman, who founded the Tectonic Theater Project and co-wrote The Laramie Project, was nominated for a Tony for directing I Am My Own Wife in 2004.
Aside from her political activism and fitness videos, the 70-year-old Fonda is best known for her successful film career. She won Oscars for Klute and Coming Home and has received five other nominations, most recently for 1986’s The Morning After. In 2005, Fonda published her autobiography, My Life So Far, and returned to the cinema after an absence of 15 years, appearing opposite Jennifer Lopez in Monster-in-Law. She has bemoaned the lack of decent film roles offered to her in recent times.
Fonda, who studied at Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio, made her Broadway debut before hitting it big with the movies Cat Ballou and Barbarella. In 1960, she appeared in There Was a Little Girl and Invitation to a March, which was written and directed by Arthur Laurents. In 1962 she starred in the comedy The Fun Couple, which flopped spectacularly, closing after only three performances. She was last seen on Broadway in 1963 opposite Ben Gazzara in Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude. In 2001, she appeared in a gala production of The Vagina Monologues at Madison Square Garden.
The dates and venue for the Broadway production of 33 Variations have yet to be confirmed. It may well run alongside the stage version of one of Fonda’s biggest movies, 9 to 5, which will open at the Marquis Theater in April 2009.
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