Moises Kaufman, Musicologist?

Playwright Moises Kaufman takes a pause from writing about gay martyrs and casts Jane Fonda in a drama about Beethoven and musical obsession -- 33 Variations .

BY Robert Hilferty

March 03 2009 12:00 AM ET

When you think Moises
Kaufman, you think
Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde

or
The Laramie Project --

intense pieces about gay martyrs. Not Beethoven. But his latest
play,
33 Variations

, concerns an ailing musicologist, Dr. Katherine Brandt (Jane
Fonda), obsessed with deaf Ludwig's obsession: a banal waltz he
tirelessly transformed into a musical monument known as "The
Diabelli Variations." Opening March 9 on Broadway, Kaufman's
play is more than a music lesson.

Advocate.com caught up
with Kaufman before one of the show's previews.

Advocate.com: Why Beethoven?Moises Kaufman:

What's interesting is how and why he became obsessed with this
mediocre trifle, even while he had bigger projects on the
burner. It's the question of inspiration, and why is it that we
get attracted to things that we don't understand. At the core
of the play is obsession and desire. It never occurred to me
until now, but there's a way that queer people understand this
better than anybody else.

I'm nothing without obsession and desire. Beethoven was
obsessed with his handsome, ungrateful nephew. Do you think
that maybe….

No.

Tags: Theater

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