The 5 & Dime production jumps between Beethoven's final years and present at the Cummer Museum

Jason Woods (left) and Sinda Nichols star in "33 Variations."
Jen Holdman

6 p.m. dinner (7:30 p.m. show) July 18-19 and 25-26 and matinees with 12:30 p.m. brunch (2 p.m. show) July 20 and 27 at The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Ave., Riverside, $37 with dining, $15 without (in advance).

In a parallel tale of obsession and dying, 33 Variations’ plot focuses on one woman's journey to understand the motivation behind one of Beethoven’s last works.

The central character, Katherine Brandt (played by Sinda Nichols), is a musicologist who has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. She’s consumed with trying to make sense of Beethoven’s strange compulsion to put aside other pieces during his latter years, with failing health and the steady loss of his hearing, to write 33 separate variations of a waltz by a composer he originally felt was beneath him.

The 5 & Dime Theatre Company and director Lee Hamby produce 33 Variations, which was written by Moisés Kaufman (author of The Laramie Project) and received five Tony nominations after its 2009 Broadway debut. The play is staged July 18-20 and 25-27 at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens.

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