Young @ Heart begins with a vast crowd on their feet, cheering a performance we haven't seen. The crowd is exultant, young, excited; the performers are a group of senior citizens called the Young at Heart Chorus. Their repertoire is varied; their average age is 80. Over the past several years they've toured internationally, acclaimed for their renditions of modern pop and rock songs, all under the guidance of their musical director Bob Cillman.
Directed by Stephen Walker, Young @ Heart follows the chorus through the rehearsals and gigs leading up to the chorus's new big show -- which they have just seven weeks to prepare for. And at once, Young@Heart takes all the standard-issue concerns of the touring band documentary -- creative differences, struggles with the material, preparation and publicity -- and reframes them all in a very different context. The members of Young at Heart aren't looking to become stars or even make a living with their music -- so why exactly are they doing it? And, more bluntly, are the crowds that come out to their shows and tours -- as they cover material from The Clash and Coldplay and Outkast and more -- laughing with the chorus, or at them?