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Originally published Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM

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Joel Grey has busy day celebrating 80th birthday

Joel Grey partied into the night while celebrating his 80th birthday.

Associated Press

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Joel Grey partied into the night while celebrating his 80th birthday.

The festivities began at curtain call at his Broadway show "Anything Goes," when the cast wheeled out a big blue birthday cake.

Then stage and screen legend Bernadette Peters came out to lead the audience in a few celebratory verses of "Happy Birthday."

"Eighty is the new 60," Grey told the audience at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

Backstage, still in costume and makeup, Grey admitted being surprised by the gesture, and equally happy to see his old friend.

"Anytime I see Bernadette, it's thrilling to me. I love her," Grey said.

Grey also said that he's feeling better than ever, saying: "Everything seems fresh and new and exciting to me."

Later in the evening the celebrations continued with a party at the McKittrick Hotel, the home of the immersive, mask-filled, genre-bending Chelsea show "Sleep No More." Grey held court at its bar and also toasted the 40th anniversary of the Oscar-winning "Cabaret."

Then at midnight, Grey took the stage for an impromptu performance of "Willkommen," one of the best known numbers from the film.


John Carucci covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him at

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