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The Gray Areas of the Graying Years 

In Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire's musical revue Closer Than Ever, each of the songs is a self-contained little story. The theme that links them is that of middle age — what it means to grow older and supposedly wiser, even though, one character notes, "the longing is a given." That longing may be for a new romance or just for the shorter-sighted viewpoint of youth — but at this point in life, it's too late to begin again. Middle age means half your life is already gone, true, but there's still a second half to enjoy. "Closer than ever" to the end, or closer than ever to happiness? That's what Maltby and Shire's 25 songs investigate and illuminate. Avalon Theatre Company presents Closer Than Ever at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (March 15 through 25) at Union United Methodist Church (3543 Watson Road; 314-351-6482 or www.avalontheatre.org). Tickets cost $15 to $25.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: March 15. Continues through March 25

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