Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Fonda returns to Broadway stage

Jane Fonda
Fonda received a standing ovation for her performance

Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda has returned to the Broadway stage after a 46-year absence.

The 71-year-old plays a terminally ill academic researching the late work of Beethoven in the play 33 Variations, written and directed by Moises Kaufman.

She received a standing ovation from the opening night audience which included Renee Zellweger, Dolly Parton, Geoffrey Rush and Rosie O'Donnell.

The New York Times praised Fonda's "elegantly restrained" performance.

The play, which co-stars Samantha Mathis and Colin Hanks - son of Hollywood star Tom Hanks - is being staged at the Eugene O'Neill theatre.

Tony award

Fonda plays Katherine, a university musicologist trying to solve a musical mystery involving Beethoven and his obsession with an inferior bit of music written by his publisher.

Her troubled relationship with her daughter, played by Mathis, rounds out the plot as the two struggle with Katherine's battle against the neurodegenerative disease ALS.

Fonda made her Broadway debut in the 1960 play There Was a Little Girl, for which she earned a Tony award nomination for best featured actress.

Her last appearance on Broadway was in the 1963 drama Strange Interlude.

Fonda won Oscars for her performances in Klute and Coming Home, and is also known for her breakthrough performance in Barbarella.

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