Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Velocity of Autumn

I am more aware of articles that have to do with aging.  I read one recently about men who become Grumpy Old Men at age 70--and hope that doesn't happen to the one I live with.  (I'm not too worried actually!)

Yesterday's NYT had a review of a play called "The Velocity of Autumn."  I'm not sure if I should be encouraged by it or not.  The title refers to the "speed with which the frailties of old age can descend." In the play, Alexandra, played by 86 year old Estelle Parsons,  refuses to go to a nursing home and would rather blow up her Brooklyn brownstone with Molotov cocktails than give in.    At one point she says, "What the world is taking away from me, what time is taking away from me, what God is taking away from me--is me!"   Charles Isherwood, the reviewer, states that "Mr. Coble's play rises above its slightly formulaic structure to become a dry-eyed, moving rumination on the hard fact that the progress of human life being what it is truly happy endings are rare indeed."

So that's the negative part--but that is the play, not the reality.  The reality is that at age 86, Estelle Parsons is given a rave review by Isherwood for her "starchy, sentiment-free performance...."  He says that at the end of a 90 minute, two-actor play, she appears ready to run a half-marathon as an encore!

Good for her!  Maybe Alexandra is more typical than Estelle, but I think I'll ruminate on the reality, not the play.

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