Venue Details

2006 Star Starred
Mandell Weiss Theatre - Jacobs Theatre District
located on the UCSD Campus 2910 La Jolla Village Dr. La Jolla, CA 92037
Venue website Get directions

Reviews & Ratings

"33 Variations"
35 ratings
4.6 average rating
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17 events
12 reviews
27 stars
attended Apr 10 2008

The set, lighting, costumes, music, acting, directing were 4-star, especially the technology used. I would rate the script good but not engaging emotionally. The humor interspersed in the script helped a lot with emphasis on Anton Diabelli's...continued

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14 events
12 reviews
0 stars
attended Apr 11 2008

we saw it on a preview night, so maybe it will improve with age. really interesting premise which did not really work well. at 2 1/2 hours, it would have benefitted from some good editing. great set and strong actors however, who did what the...continued

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11 events
2 reviews
2 stars
attended Apr 08 2008

33 variations was a beautiful and touching play-at times joyful and hilarious, at other times somber and sobering. Moises Kaufman did an excellent job of giving us insight into Beethoven's life and creative process and the presence of a live...continued

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More Information

Quotes & Highlights

“A satisfying glimpse at individual determination and the timeless pursuit of perfection.” —Variety
“Utterly absorbing.” —Theatermania
“A theatrical masterwork!” —_DC TheaterScene _


Written and Directed by Moises Kaufman

Music by Ludwig van Beethoven

In Association with Tectonic Theater Project

Vienna, 1819 — The powerful music publisher Anton Diabelli writes a small, insignificant waltz and invites the great composers of the time to write a variation on it. Ludwig van Beethoven at first rejects the commission, finding the work trivial and unimportant. For unknown reasons, however, the master changes his mind, becoming obsessed with the theme for four years, ultimately writing 33 variations on the waltz. Now considered the most important work in variation form, these “Diabelli Variations” are the cause of a centuries-old mystery: why would a composer of such genius become obsessed with a common trifle?

Out to become the first to uncover Beethoven’s enigmatic motivations, present-day musicologist Katherine Brandt travels to Beethoven’s archives in Bonn to study the variations first-hand. As Beethoven’s indisputable genius and delightful humanity come to life on the sheet music in front of her, she not only reveals the true nature of his gift, but also comes to embrace the beauty and legacy of her own life.

Written and directed by one of the most produced playwrights today, Moises Kaufman, 33 Variations is a feast for the senses and the spirit. The story of Beethoven’s fascination with a trivial waltz and the modern-day musicologist who sets out to discover the root of his obsession, makes its West Coast premiere at La Jolla Playhouse. Beethoven’s indisputable genius and humanity come to life in this remarkable production featuring on-stage music performed by pianist Diane Walsh.