No Theater / Young@Heart, End of the Road

Review in Issue 21-4 | Winter 2009

I had seen the More4 documentary on the Young@Heart choir a couple of years ago, and was pretty astounded by the strength, tenacity and imagination of this group of people from Massachusetts, who are aged between 73 and 89. They are a choir, but a choir unlike any other. I went to the show with some positive expectations, but also expecting a fair amount of nostalgia and schmaltziness. But this wasn’t merely a group of old people singing – it was a performance of great breadth and depth. The set was fantastic, featuring a see-through revolving door through which many of the performers appeared, and a bar. Other performers just wandered on to the stage. Most of the ones coming through the revolving door were dressed to the nines, as if going out to a show. They didn’t acknowledge the presence of the audience. Some of the musicians also wandered on from the wings; others joined them later.

It was an amazingly moving and powerful experience, living up to the publicity for the show, which described it as ‘a hauntingly beautiful show about age, memory and the power of music.’ It gave me a completely new perspective on what being older means. It challenges the stereotypes and social norms of old age without once ever overtly referring to these things. Hopefully, Young @ Heart will return to the UK – if they do, go see!

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Date Seen
  1. Jul 2009

This article in the magazine

Issue 21-4
p. 31