In Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles, the character Vera (played by Mary Louise Wilson) laments that she is the last living member of a circle of octogenarian friends and how her memory is slowly fading. However, if you remove yourself from the intimacy of the Lincoln Center's 4000 Miles production and look around, there have been several wonderful performances recently by octogenarians on the New York City stage.
Joel Grey just joined the club in April and entertains in the musical Anything Goes as Moonface Martin. Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones liven the stage in Gore Vidal's The Best Man. Dick Latessa speaks his mind in the dark comedy The Lyons. Mary Louise Wilson gives us tenderness in Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles. And recently, Rosemary Harris lit up the Broadway stage in Athol's Fugard's The Road to Mecca.
These actors show little sign of weakening, reminding theatergoers that we can go strong at any age, even in our 80s.