By Roger Friedman, ,
Published May 15, 2015
Jane Fonda is blogging. The hippest of all actresses from Hollywood’s heyday in the 1970s is about to open in a new Broadway play next month. So what’s she doing? Writing an online diary about how it’s going. Leave it to Jane Fonda, who’s always been in the forefront of everything.
So yesterday's blog addresses Bernie Madoff, the accused Ponzi scheme king who allegedly destroyed many lives while looting the world of $50 billion. Fonda writes:
"I was thinking today on my way to the theater how grateful I am just to be working, never mind doing something really exciting. So many aren’t. I ache when I read about the layoffs. I’ve lost a lot but it’s nothing compared to friends of mine who have lost everything they had because every penny they saved over their entire lifetimes was invested in one of Madoff’s schemes. I read a few days ago that Madoff was complaining that he felt like a prisoner in his own penthouse! I want to shake him till his teeth fall out. No matter what happens once this play opens, I won’t be complaining. I feel blessed."
The play, by the way, is called "33 Variations," and it’s only a limited run, from March 9th through May 24th. (Previews begin next Monday.) Fonda’s co-stars include Tom Hanks’ talented son Colin, Susan Kellerman, Samantha Mathis, and Don Amendolia — all solid performers. It’s Jane’s first time on Broadway in 40 years, but the two time Oscar winner (Klute, Coming Home) and multiple nominee should have no trouble conquering the stage.
By the way, since Fonda’s blog went live a few days ago, she concedes that any number of questions are coming in about her "Hanoi Jane" days from the early 70s. Fonda encourages readers of the blog to also read her autobiography, called "My Life So Far," which addresses a lot of those same questions.
Frankly, I am stunned this is still going on. Several years ago, this column worked hard to dispel many internet rumors and myths, all lies, about Fonda’s visit to Hanoi in 1972. It turned out that a lot of crazy people had invented fictitious stuff, none of which was true. I don’t blame Fonda when she writes: "Having a blog feels like growing another limb, or maybe a goiter!
So let’s move on, already. Fonda could well be adding a nice, shiny Tony Award to her shelf of gold statues. It’s about time!
Yes, that was indeed Sharon Stone — looking pretty fine and staying low key – at last night’s Grammy Foundation event in Los Angeles called "Music in Focus."
Sharon came to support 85-year-old legendary rock photographer Herman Leonard, who was honored along with Robert Knight and Danny Clinch for their groundbreaking pictures from the history of rock and roll. Leonard’s photos, which are quite amazing, are on display all month at a local gallery, too.
Stone didn’t speak or even make herself known. She just sat in the front row at the Wilshire Ebell Theater so she’d have a good seat for performances by Lucinda Williams, Sara Bareilles, Daniel Lanois, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Tyler Bryant. It was a typically eclectic but nonetheless fascinating evening all benefiting the Grammy Foundation’s Music in schools programs. On Friday night, MusiCares, the other foundation run by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, stages its own event in honor of Neil Diamond. You may think the Grammys are all about awards, but so much more is involved!
One very important issue on NARAS’s agenda: yesterday House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), and Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced the Performance Rights Act in Congress. Every important singer in the world is behind this, from Sam Moore and Judy Collins to Josh Groban and Mary Wilson of the Supremes. Fifty years of rock history has gone by, and no artist singing on your radio has ever been paid a royalty unless they were the credited writer. That’s five decades of free music — from Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra to Barbra Streisand and even our old friend Madonna. This is serious legislation, very much overdue.
And Grammy weekend begins tomorrow, with events all over town here in Hollywood. Stay tuned…
P.S. I am told that Coldplay has agreed to accept service on that plagiarism lawsuit after all. Viva la peace, I say!