Photo Flash: Fonda Begins Rehearsals for 33 VARIATIONS

Rehearsals are underway for the five-time Tony nominated production of "33 Variations" with Jane Fonda, opening February 9, 2011, at the CTG/Ahmanson Theatre. Written and directed by Moisés Kaufman, previews begin January 30 for the compelling new piece; performances continue through March 6.

Fonda, who is a two-time Academy Award-winner, was nominated for the Tony Award for her role in the 2009 Broadway run of "33 Variations." The Tectonic Theater Project production was also nominated for a Tony, as was Zach Grenier for his portrayal of Beethoven, and Derek McLane for scenic design and David Lander for lighting.

Fonda and Grenier are joined by Samantha Mathis, Don Amendolia, Susan Kellermann,

Greg Keller, Grant James Varjas, Diane Walsh, Scott Barrow, Caitlin O'Connell and Yvonne Woods.

In "33 Variations," the audience is transported back and forth from present-day New York to 19th century Austria, when a musicologist Fonda is determined to solve the musical mystery of why Beethoven Grenier spent his last years feverishly writing 33 variations of what appeared to be a mediocre waltz.

Diagnosed with a serious disease, the scholar dismisses her daughter's Mathis concerns and flies to Europe to study Beethoven's original papers.  It is here that a heartfelt and moving story unfolds of how two remarkable individuals separated by 200 years defy mortality for a short, precious time and revel in their respective passions.

Praising Jane Fonda's "robust and confident performance," Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News said, "The Oscar winner brings everything to this role that's made her an iconic film star: Pure enthusiasm, toughness tempered by vulnerability, and that distinctive voice which makes every line fascinating." 

Jane Fonda's work on stage and screen has earned numerous nominations and awards, including Academy Awards Best Actress in 1971 for "Klute" and in 1978 for "Coming Home" and an Emmy Award for her performance in "The Dollmaker."  Along with starring roles in dozens of highly acclaimed productions, Fonda also took on responsibilities as a film and television producer for projects, including "Coming Home," "The China Syndrome," "Nine to Five,"  "Rollover," "On Golden Pond," "The Morning After" and "The Dollmaker."

Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project, Kaufman received Tony Award nominations for "33 Variations" Best Play 2009 and for "I Am My Own Wife" Best Director 2004, and recently directed the acclaimed "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" at the Mark Taper Forum and earlier at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. He also directed his play "Gross Indecency" at the Taper in 1998.

Produced by special arrangement with David Binder, "33 Variations" is the second production of the 2011 Mark Taper Forum season, though the play will be presented at the Ahmanson Theatre.

The piano used in "33 Variations" is provided by Steinway & Sons.

Tickets, which are priced from $20 -- $80, are available by calling Center Theatre Group Audience Services at 213 972-4400, in person at the Center Theatre Group box office or on-line at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org

Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

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