Initial Casting Announced for La Jolla Premiere of Kaufman's 33 Variations

News   Initial Casting Announced for La Jolla Premiere of Kaufman's 33 Variations
Tony nominee Moisés Kaufman will direct the West Coast premiere of his work 33 Variations, which will kick off the 2008-2009 La Jolla Playhouse season.

Following a world premiere at Washington, DC's Arena Stage in 2007, 33 Variations will open at La Jolla's Mandel Weiss Theatre April 8 and continue performances through May 4.

The cast will include Don Amendolia (Anton Diabelli), Susan Kellerman (Gertie Ladenburger), Laura Odeh (Clara Brandt), Erik Steele (Anton Schindler) and Diane Walsh (Pianist), all of whom reprise their work from the Arena stage production.

Kaufman's work, according to press notes, "illuminates the past and present using projections of Beethoven's original sheet music and a live on-stage concert pianist. 33 Variations 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."

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). 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.

Subscriptions packages to the season at La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive (on the corner Torrey Pines Road) in La Jolla, CA, are currently available by calling (858) 550-1010. (Single tickets will go on sale March 9.) For more information about the company visit

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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