Reviews

Senior Living ****

By: Paulanne Simmons

May 8, 2023: Alicia Littman’s show, Senior Living, at Pangea on May 4, is both a celebration and a proclamation. The proclamation comes first, with Stephen Sondheim’s iconic I’m Still Here.” Littman is an octogenarian who’s lived in Manhattan for fifty years, so when she sings, “Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all.” we believe her.

By: Paulanne Simmons

May 8, 2023: Alicia Littman’s show, Senior Living, at Pangea on May 4, is both a celebration and a proclamation. The proclamation comes first, with Stephen Sondheim’s iconic “I’m Still Here.” Littman is an octogenarian who’s lived in Manhattan for fifty years, so when she sings, “Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all,” we believe her.

Littman’s repertoire includes many songs we may have never heard or heard only once or twice. She always chooses the unexpected. Then she delivers these gems with a knowing smile and a gentle nod.

Some songs are about the trials and tribulations of life in New York City. Portia Nelson’s “Confessions of a New Yorker” lists all our traditional grievances (“the garbage and the traffic,” “the bikers that appear out of nowhere,” “subways that get lost somewhere in space”) as well as our joys (“the skyline after dark,” “a stroll through Central Park,” “The Garden, the Yankees and the Mets”). And although Rick Jensen can’t find much nice to say about the Big Apple, many of us would agree with his resigned sentiments in “(Well I Guess) New York City Is My Home.”

Other songs are about survival. Littman, who like many in her generation, was a wife, a mother and a divorcée before the age of 30, knows something about overcoming adversity, and she shares that knowledge with us: Get a good lawyer (David Frishberg’s “My Attorney Bernie”), don’t diet (Jack Yellen’s “I Don’t Want to Get Thin,”) and take what you can get while you hope for better (Sting’s “Practical Arrangement”).

When all else fails, you can always laugh. With Pam Peterson’s parody of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Memory,” Littman asks important senior questions such as “Where the hell did I put my keys?” and “What did I walk in this room for?”

But you must always recognize your good fortune, which Littman does with Leonard Bernstein’s “Lucky to Be Me” and her final song, Artie Butler’s “Here’s to Life.” And that’s where the celebration comes in.

Cause there’s only one alternative to living past eighty.

Pangea is located at 178 2nd Ave.