Video: The meaning of life, from the Morristown holiday seniors party to Maggie Smith

As time gets the better of us all, we face two choices:

Surrender…or give Mother Nature a run for her money.

Strong cases for the latter were made on Wednesday in Morristown–on the dance floor of the annual seniors holiday party at town hall (video above), and onscreen at Headquarters Plaza, where the New York Film Critics series screened a charming new movie, Quartet.

Dustin Hoffman, making his directorial debut at age 75, tells the story of four opera singers in a retirement home, struggling to rally for one last performance.

The marvelous cast is led by the ageless Maggie Smith (lately of Downton Abbey fame) and features Scottish comedian Billy Connolly (a former bandmate of the late Gerry Rafferty), Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine), Tom Courtenay (Dr. Zhivago) and Michael Gambon (Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series).  Andrew Sachs–remember Manuel from Fawlty Towers ?--also has a minor role.

The plot centers on three singers trying to coax Maggie Smith’s character, a diva long past her prime, to join them in the famous quartet from Verdi’s Rigoletto at a benefit concert to save their stately home.

It raises the question: Should you keep doing what you love, when you can’t hit the high notes anymore?  (Wednesday’s 12/12/12 concert for Hurricane Sandy relief inadvertently raised the same question.)

We don’t want to give away much more about the movie; make sure to see Quartet when it hits theaters next month.

The holiday party at town hall, meanwhile, was a cheery affair. Restaurants from across town donated great food, served by town employees. Santa Claus and his helper made an appearance.  Mayor Tim Dougherty and First Lady Mary Dougherty reprised their yearly roles as game-show-hosts-in-training, distributing raffle prizes with flair.

ROCKIN' ROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE: Alice Karnai, 93; Vincent Aguanno, 89, and Bob Karnai, 66, get down at the 2012 Morristown seniors holiday party. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

ROCKIN' ROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE: Alice Karnai, 93; Vincent Aguanno, 89, and Bob Karnai, 66, get down at the 2012 Morristown seniors holiday party. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

“We all have the same hair dresser!” the white-haired Mayor quipped to a table of senior ladies, to peals of laughter.

The highlight, though, came when “Party Pete” Limone Jr. cranked up his Yuletide deejay machine.

First on the dance floor?

Alice Karnai, whose 94th birthday is just around the corner, and Vincent Aguanno, 89 years young.

“They ought to have these more often!” Vinny said over the pulsating music. “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”

Please click icon below for captions.



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