Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,
Ellen
ennienyc

Age and Beauty

My weekend of practically living in Town Hall concluded Sunday afternoon with Broadway Originals. This had the original (or original revival) stars singing songs from their shows. While as on Friday I had not heard of many of the songs or singers, for some reason this was more enjoyable. Many of the cast told amusing theater anecdotes.

My seat was balcony 4th row center (but far enough left to see the piano keys). L and her sister were far right, but on the aisle so they did not want to move when others in my row moved down to the loge. NPLer B happened to be a few rows behind me, so we talked during intermission and others around us chimed in on high school reunions and other topics. Who says New Yorkers are unfriendly?

Several of the older performers did not look anywhere near their ages. I don't know if it was my faraway view, if they had "help," or just looked great. They certainly sounded good. Jo Sullivan Loesser (who was in "Most Happy Fella" in 1956) didn't even use a mike. Maureen Silliman (a friend of neighbor J who's a little older than me) convincingly portrayed both a young girl ("I Remember Mama") and recent homecoming queen ("Is There Life After High School?"). Carole Demas from "Grease" claimed to be 70 (no way!), Marilyn Maye is 82 (whaaa?), and Michele Lee at 68 had the energy of someone half her age. Lucie Arnaz does not seem AARP vintage, and Loni Ackerman also looked much younger than her years.

Ackerman looked familiar, and I realized I'd just seen her in "Love Divided By/Times 3" on Theater Row (she was also in the Symphony Space Broadway marathon). This is a trilogy of related plays, but when I was there a performer fell ill at the last minute so we only saw 2. This was apparently no great loss, as the other plays were dark and not fun to watch. The characters either had anger management problems, or a tenuous grasp on reality. Marilyn Sokol, who I remember doing wacky (and often annoying) characters on Steve Post's radio show 40 years ago, played the mother.

Speaking of looking nowhere near one's age, 28-year-old Ayesha Antoine completely inhabited the character of 8-year-old (some reviews say 9) Winnie in Alan Ayckbourn's "My Wonderful Day" which I saw at 59E59 last November. Winnie sits quietly as the adults around her behave badly. A wonderful day of theater.
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