33 Variations

By Amalia Queller

After a 46 year hiatus from the stage, Jane Fonda makes an outstanding comeback in Moisés Kaufman’s new Broadway play 33 Variations. Ms. Fonda plays Dr. Katherine Brandt, a mother and musicologist who embarks on a journey to discover the mystery behind Beethoven’s obsession with “a grain of sand” waltz by Diabelli. While on this journey, Katherine discovers the love that exists between mother and daughter as well as friends and lovers.

While struggling with the acceptance of her terminal diagnosis, Katherine and her daughter Clara are finally able to understand each other. As their relationship is reborn, Clara is able to grow on her own and allow someone else into her life. Katherine travels to Austria in order to see into the mind of Beethoven. The audience is able to watch Beethoven struggle with composing as Katherine questions why the maestro would take on such a trivial piece of music.

When the two worlds collide, the real connection between Beethoven and this simple waltz is apparent – it is not until Katherine is truly able to comprehend the simplicity and beauty of the work that she is finally able to truly understand her daughter.

33 Variations has dynamic energy and passion. Katherine and Clara as an example of any mother and daughter who just can’t seem to break through to each other. This play exceeds its potential with strong actors and even stronger writing. It transcends age, gender and style and brings classical music into a forum where even hip-hop obsessed teens can appreciate the sheer beauty of the works.

How to see the show: $30 student rush tickets with ID Eugene O'Neill Theatre, 230 W. 49th St. Visit www.33variations.com for schedule and more info.