NEW YORK - Jane Fonda, activist, author and exercise guru, will be back on Broadway in 2009 after an absence of more than four decades.
The Academy Award-winning actress will star in "33 Variations," a play by Moises Kaufman about a present-day musicologist (played by Fonda) and her study of Beethoven's fascination with a particular piece of music. Kaufman will also direct. The production will open this winter at a theater and date to be determined, producer David Binder announced Monday.
"I am very excited about being in Moises' new play," Fonda said in a statement. "I can't wait to get back on stage with him in this role that I understand so well. It's been 40-some years."
Fonda won her Oscars for "Klute" and "Coming Home." She has also appeared in such films as "On Golden Pond," "Nine to Five," "Julia," "Fun With Dick and Jane," "Barbarella," "Barefoot in the Park," "Cat Ballou" and "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"
Fonda, who lives in Atlanta, in active in many social causes, particularly through the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, an organization she founded in 1995.
She produced nearly two dozen exercise videos and her autobiography, "My Life So Far," was a best seller.
Kaufman, founder of Tectonic Theater Project, is best known for his plays "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde" and "The Laramie Project," which he wrote with members of Tectonic about the murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was beaten and tied to a fence in Wyoming a decade ago. He also directed the Tony-winning play "I Am My Own Wife."
"33 Variations" had its world premiere at Arena Stage in Washington in 2007 and was done earlier this year at the La Jolla Playhouse in California.
"For Tectonic Theater Project, this piece is the culmination of an investigation into the creative life of Beethoven, and Ms. Fonda is the perfect person to lead us on that journey," Kaufman said.
Fonda made her Broadway debut in 1960 in a short-lived play called "There Was a Little Girl." Later that year, she appeared in Arthur Laurents' comedy "Invitation to a March," which had incidental music by Stephen Sondheim. Fonda also starred on Broadway in the comedy "The Fun Couple" (1962), which closed after three performances, and a well-received revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Strange Interlude" in 1963.