Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Age and The Stage

Habima Theater

A comedy named  "What are we gonna do about Jenny"(originally an american play) is being performed at our national theater Habima .The protagonists are two veteran, esteemed actresses: Devora Keidar and Lya Koenig.

the ad of the play 

It so happened that I saw one of the two leading actresses walking on the street, and a week  after, I watched the other one on a TV interview show, called 'Intimate'.

Devora Keidar is 92 years old. Without the make up, her face shows her age. However, her gait is that of a young woman. She came out of a building , carrying her personal leather purse. I watched her walk and cross the street ;she did that with grace and easiness.

At 92 one doesn't usually care much about wrinkles; one does care about mobility and  cognitive functioning. It seems she's got them both in very good condition. In the play she performs the part of Jenny, a fresh widow  of 75 who insists on celebrating life with a lover, champagne, musicians... to the despair of her family and friends who want her to behave appropriately to her age.

Lya Koenig , Devora's collegue and friend, is younger, only 87; a very talented, active, and charismatic actress (she's Jenny's sister -in-law in the play).

The host on the TV  'Intimate' show asked her about the reason for her not having children. In reply, she invoked the usual: career, touring the world, the post -world war2 mentality of not bringing children in this gloomy world etc..

She then opened up and mentioned an episode in the hospital. Her late husband, in bed with cancer, was looking at some kids that were visiting a patient in the bed next to his. 'You know' , he said to her, 'Perhaps we've made a mistake. Who's going to make you a cup of tea when I'm gone?'

By the way,  the oldest actor in the world active on stage (according to Guiness in 2013), the romanian Radu Beligan, died in July. He was 97 and he had appeared successfully on stage until April 2016!


  1. There is hope for me yet, then! At nearly seventy I can be considered the junior to these two lovely ladies!

  2. What a lovely post! You show such respect for them.
    We finally took a trip to Toronto. You regale your readers with fabulous sights, I'm finally glad to reciprocate!

  3. Vera,

    Of course there's hope, provided you've got their acting talent. I know you've got musical talent; perhaps that would do.

  4. Jennifer A.Jilks,

    Thank you. Well, I do have respect for the two actresses.
    I'm about to visit your trip to Toronto post. I'm sure I'll greatly enjoy it.

  5. I googled them and they are both lovely ladies, more beautiful now with age and wisdom. I can only hope to be so active at that age if I even live that long!

  6. Alicia,

    Hope you found on Google enough info in english as the two are not internationally very famous. Anyway, I've noticed that in my post the family name Keidar is written without the letter 'i', so I'm going to correct it.
    Yes, we would all like to live that long and be as active as they are.

  7. Amazing, amazing! Woo hoo for them all! Kudos to the ladies! It's great that you saw Ms Keidar on the street, that must've made your day. She and her colleague are an inspiration to all of us, and a reminder to remain active! Funny with the tea remark though! Great inspirational post, Duta! Take care

  8. Duta, how exciting it must have been to see this actress when she was walking across the street. She sounds interesting. This is a delightful picture of the two.

    Wow, the oldest actor was 97, that's amazing.


    ps I am showing some of the wedding pics tomorrow if you want to see them. :)

  9. Pam,

    The two are indeed an inspiration to other women, showing that it's possible to stay active, mentally and physically, even at an advanced age. Lya and her late husband (playwriter and actor) were a very happy couple, so his worry for her future (the cup of tea) was genuine.

  10. Red Rose Alley,

    The truth is I'm past the age of excitement when seeing a celebrity, but I was curious about her, knowing she was 92. Well, she moved and walked like a much younger woman. I suppose she's exercising daily, besides being active on the stage.
    I'll be delighted to see the wedding pictures.

  11. Wow! I couldn't remember lines at any age. That's amazing.

  12. DUTA, we have an actress by the name of Betty White who is 94 years of age and I believe she has gotten more popular in the last 10 years! She was on a fabulous show called The Golden Girls and now it seems she's in every movie made. I just love her!

  13. Sharon Wagner,

    One of the most asked questions about actors - how do they remember the lines.
    Well, some of them have good photographic memory even in old age.

  14. Alicia,

    I'm familiar with the name and the face. I've seen her on TV many times.
    Well, Guiness has honored her too in 2013,(the year of the romanian actor's recognition) as having the longest TV career for a female entertainer.

  15. Wow it is great she can be fit at 92! She should be wrinkled at 92 and makeup can hide it.....still like to see someone able to get around at that age

  16. kim,

    Yes, make-up can do wonders, but I guess she's got enough of it on the stage, so outside the stage she probably wants to be free of all that stuff.

  17. Tanya Lynne Reimer,

    Thank you. After all, the post is about two inspirational figures.

  18. That Talent and having a career always helps you keep in step.
    It's when they go to a nursing home they fade away. Having seen
    them and then the play must have made it special.
    That is a nice Theater, looks new. We need the Arts.

  19. La Petite Gallery,

    The building of the theater was renovated several years ago (the work began in 2007 and ended in 2011).
    Having talent and a career sure helps with longevity and quality of life.

  20. Wow. Way to go for both those actors. I think today people are living longer and also better. My neighbour, age 96 died two months ago. She lived alone in a big old house and had the best attitude of anyone I know - always positive, friendly and aware of everything.

    I wonder what those actors did to keep themselves as active and involved as they did.
    Have a great week Duta.

  21. Nikki (Sarah),

    Indeed, people live longer today, but if there's a formula for longevity I'm not familiar with it. Generally,I think keeping away of stress and practicing good nutrition may contribute to a longer life.

  22. This is a sweet story, I enjoyed reading it. My mom was 96 when she passed over five months ago.

  23. Angelina Pratt,

    Hi Angelina,
    I do remember the story of your late Mom, and how devastated you were by her death. May she rest in peace! I hope her sisters and the entire family is ok following the big fire in Fort McMurray.

  24. I could hang out with those 2 on the bike. They look like FUN.
    This week I have been feeling awful. My bones ache, I hope it's the weather.
    Thanks for the comment, we had a wonderful time, I think my stepson will come back Christmas, maybe Hanuka. He misses the big dinners.

  25. La Petite Gallery,

    You'll fit perfectly as the third biker.
    It's the weather, Yvonne. Cloudiness affects our bones and joints. Feel well, soon!

  26. Such inspiration indeed :) they sound like amazing women!

    I wish you a pleasant weekend!!

  27. Optimistic Existentialist,

    Amazing women, indeed. And great actresses too.
    Thanks for stopping by.