Atkinson, Odeh, Grenier and More Star in West Coast Premiere of Award-Winning 33 Variations | Playbill

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News Atkinson, Odeh, Grenier and More Star in West Coast Premiere of Award-Winning 33 Variations Moisés Kaufman's 33 Variations, recent winner of the 2008 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, makes its West Coast premiere April 8-May 4 at La Jolla Playhouse.

Written and directed by theatre artist Kaufman (Gross Indecency, The Laramie Project), the play "illuminates the past and present using projections of Beethoven's original sheet music and a live on-stage concert pianist."

The 2007 premiere production by Arena Stage in Washington, DC, was nominated for several Helen Hayes Awards recently. It's produced in association with Tectonic Theatre Project.

The La Jolla cast in California will feature Don Amendolia (as Anton Diabelli), Jayne Atkinson (as Katherine Brandt), Zach Grenier (as Ludwig Van Beethoven), Susan Kellermann (as Dr. Gertie Ladenburger), Ryan King (as Mike Clark), Laura Odeh (as Clara Brandt), Erik Steele (as Anton Schindler) and Diane Walsh (as Pianist).

Kaufman's work, according to production notes, "revolves around modern-day musicologist Katherine Brandt who sets out to solve a mystery regarding a set of variations composed by Ludwig van Beethoven based on a very trivial waltz. In the play, an over-achieving Brandt travels to Beethoven's archives in Bonn to study the composer's sketches first-hand."

Kaufman describes his work as a "compositional journey," incorporating true historical accounts and fictional characters to explore Beethoven's obsessive composition of his "Diabelli Variations." Kaufman directed the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright on Broadway. The play garnered Kaufman an Obie Award for his direction, as well as Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel nominations. As a writer/director, his work includes Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Joe Callaway Award, GLAAD Media Award) and The Laramie Project (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk nominations, GLAAD Media Award). The Laramie Project has become one of the most produced plays in the country. In London's West End, he directed Gross Indecency and I Am My Own Wife. He also directed the film adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO.

The Arena creative team will reprise their work for the La Jolla staging: Derek McLane (sets), Janice Pytel (costumes), David Lander (lighting), Andre Pluess (sound) and Jeffrey Sugg (projections).

33 Variations plays La Jolla's Mandel Weiss Theatre.

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Don Amendolia and Erik Steele in <i>33 Variations.</i>
Don Amendolia and Erik Steele in 33 Variations. Photo by Scott Suchman

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