Full Casting of 33 Variations with Ellen Burstyn
Producers Cameron Lukey, Neil Gooding and Helen Ellis have announced the cast for 33 Variations, Moisés Kaufman’s Tony-nominated play, running from March 7 at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre – www.33variations.com.au.
Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe winning legend Ellen Burstyn will make her Australian stage debut opposite Lisa McCune, William McInnes, Helen Morse, Francis Greenslade, Toby Truslove, Andre de Vanny and pianist Andrea Katz.
Known for her performances in The Exorcist, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Oscar and BAFTA winner for Best Actress), Requiem for a Dream and Netflix’s House of Cards, Burstyn is widely regarded as one of her generation’s greatest actors.
In 33 Variations, Burstyn plays Katherine Brandt, a musicologist devoted to uncovering the mystery behind Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. Moving between the past and present, the play interweaves Beethoven’s (William McInnes) struggle to complete his masterpiece with Katherine’s journey to understand the composer’s obsession. Meanwhile, Katherine’s daughter Clara (Lisa McCune) seeks to connect with her mother as Katherine faces the greatest challenge of her life.
Lisa McCune won ten Logie Awards (including four Gold Logies) for her role as Maggie Doyle in Blue Heelers. She’s since gone on to win numerous prizes for her theatre work, and recently gave acclaimed performances in The King and I and the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Gloria.
McCune re-unites with her Blue Heelers co-star William McInnes, an AACTA and two-time Logie Award winner whose many credits include SeaChange, My Brother Jack, The Time of our Lives and Look Both Ways. McInnes recently appeared in the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of An Ideal Husband.
Playing Katherine’s colleague Dr Gertrude Ladenburger, Helen Morse has appeared in over 80 major Australian productions, including recent Helpmann nominated performances in John (MTC) and Memorial (Brink Productions). For her performance in last year’s Angels in America, The Saturday Paper described Morse as “the greatest Australian actress of her generation (well, let’s face it, any generation).”
As the composer whose waltz inspired Beethoven’s masterpiece, Francis Greenslade plays Anton Diabelli. Greenslade is well known to Australian audiences for his work in Mad As Hell, The Ex PM, Winners and Losers and multiple productions for the Melbourne and Sydney Theatre Companies. This year, the STC produced Greenslade’s adaptation of Accidental Death of an Anarchist.
Toby Truslove plays Mike, a nurse who meets Katherine and Clara at a turning point in their relationship. Truslove’s television credits include lead roles in Utopia, Laid, Outland, and The Strange Calls. He’s also appeared with the Sydney and Melbourne Theatre Companies, and was recently seen in the Malthouse/Belvoir production of Bliss.
Rounding out the cast as Schindler, Beethoven’s secretary, is Green Room Award winner Andre de Vanny, whose recent credits include the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Red opposite Colin Friels, and a season of Swan Song at the Australian Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
Not to be forgotten is the plays eighth character, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, seamlessly woven throughout and performed by renowned pianist Andrea Katz. Katz has worked with many major musical organizations including Opera Australia; Victorian Opera; Sydney Symphony; Sydney, Perth and Brisbane Festivals; and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Combining Beethoven’s magnificent music with Kaufman’s deeply moving story, 33 Variations is a unique theatrical experience that explores the complex connections between life and art, mothers and daughters.
Cameron Lukey & Neil Gooding Productions
in association with Ellis Productions present
By Moisés Kaufman
Starring Ellen Burstyn
From 7 March at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre
www.marrinergroup.com.au / Ticketmaster: 1300 111 011