Off-Broadway, Lonely, I'm Not, by Paul
Weitz, is a play with a six member cast, four of whom play multiple
roles. It appears to be a romantic comedy about an unemployed, aimless
young man in love with a blind lady. Unfortunately, none of the quirky
characters seem remotely realistic.
It is a rare opportunity to see Man and
Superman, by Bernard Shaw, so hurry to the Irish Repertory,
in a co-production, with Gingold Theatrical Group for a stimulating
evening of excellent theatre. A splendid ten member cast, headed by
Brian Murray, and directed by David Staller, will entertain
you, and we celebrated the opening at Jake's Saloon with Tony Walton,
his actress/granddaughter Georgia Warner and Stanley Jaffe.
The 92nd Street Y presented an entertaining Lyrics
& Lyricists program Mad Dogs & Educated Fleas: Noel and Cole, A
Battle of Wits. Mark Waldrop was the host, and six performers
sang, including Harriet Harris and Edward Hibbert. Some
less well known songs were included, but it is always a pleasure to hear
classics like Begin the Beguine and (Let's Do It) Let's Fall
in Love. This is a wonderful series of programs that the artistic
director Deborah Grace Winer presents each year.
The 30th Fred & Adele Astaire Awards
Nominations reception took place at the Lambs Club and among the
nominees who attended were Kathleen Marshall, Matthew
Broderick and Elena Roger, and I look forward to the
ceremony, which takes place June 4th at Skirball Center.
TACT/The Actors Company Theatre' Spring Gala
honored Victor Garber at the Loeb Boathouse Central Park. Among
the guests were John Benjamin Hickey, Lee Roy Reams and
Scott Ellis. Simon Jones was the Master of Ceremonies.
The New Group held a special reading of Women
Behind Bars, and then held a reception at Il Punto. Among the cast
members and guests were Rosie O'Donnell with her new girlfriend
Michelle Rounds, Jennifer Tilly and Daphne Rubin-Vega.
Submissions Only held a wrap party for
their second season at Southern Hospitality and I had the pleasure of
meeting cast member/director/writer Kate Wetherhead.
Drama Desk held a Nominees reception in the
elegant Oceana Restaurant. Most nominees attended, including Linda
Lavin, Judith Light and Tracie Bennett.
Owner/chef Justin Alioni had a tasting
party at Justino's Pizzeria & Restaurant, 451 Third Ave. The food is
delicious and he insisted on making me a specialty Grandma Pizza. It was
Rick's Cabaret had a birthday party for Adult Film
Star and June Penthouse Pet of the Month Alexis Ford. Former
Adult Film Star Gina Lynn attended, but unfortunately, I had to
leave for a film screening before Alexis arrived.
Career Transition For Dancers Annual Broadway
Dance Community Between-Shows-Get-Together takes place at Sardi's,
and among the guests were Charlotte D'Amboise, Stephanie J.
Block and Jerry Mitchell. It is always a festive occasion.
The launch of Viva Broadway: The Broadway League's new audience
development partnership with the Hispanic community took place at the
New York Times Building with speakers and guests like Lin-Manuel
Miranda, Michael Cerveris and Jamie-Lynn Sigler.
Julie White was the host of the Page 73 Productions Spring Benefit at the City Winery with guests, Cady Huffman, Debra Monk and Becky Ann Baker.
Beloved, by Christophe Honore, France, 2011, stars Catherine Deneuve, and her daughter Chiara Mastroianni. It begins in 1963 and ends in 2008. This overlong film follows the lives of Madeleine (Ludivine Sagnier, later Deneuve) and her daughter Vera (Mastroianni) through tumultuous events, such as the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia to the World Trade Center September 11 attack. They consistently have love affairs with unreliable men, and they tend to lead reckless lives. Unfortunately, they are quite depressing characters, and it is hard to admire their adulteries, and their constant lovemaking is neither sensual nor sexy. Deneuve and Mastroianni sing twelve dull songs internalizing their maudlin thoughts throughout the film as they walk through gloomy streets in Paris, Prague, London, and Montreal. Deneuve has made many fine movies, but this is not one of them.
Polisse, by Maiwenn, France, 2012, is a disturbing, powerful film about the Child Protection Unit of the Parisian police. We see a team of men and women dealing with child abuse, incest, and arresting children for petty crimes. It is a realistic look at a worldwide problem. The cast is excellent and we observe their personal problems at home with their own families. It is an impressive film, that sears the memory of the viewer. Films like this need to be made, and hopefully will have a worthwhile effect on alleviating this enormous social problem.
The Invisible War, by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, USA 2012, is another disturbing film, in this case a documentary about the epidemic of rape in the United States military. The filmmakers interview women and one man, who were sexually assaulted during the time they served defending the nation. It is a horror story. The worst part of this tragic story is that the rapists escape punishment, and the victims are traumatized and their lives are ruined. It is an indictment of the lack of justice in the armed forces. Hopefully, this powerful documentary will effect a change. These last two films are painful to watch, and stir outrage, but they need to be seen by all concerned citizens.
I attended a private press screening, courtesy of Caroline Lieberman, of Chittagong, by Bedabrata Pain, India, 2012, which is based on a true story about a 14-year-old boy, Jhunku, who joined a schoolboy army under the influence of his teacher. They fought against the British colonialism in the 1930s and were considered terrorists by the English. He was eventually captured and sent to jail. It is a strong film and beautifully photographed. It attacks the injustice of colonialism. I recommend it highly. The film will open the 12th Annual New York Indian Film Festival on May 23 at the Paris Theatre followed by a gala Benefit Dinner at Jumeirah Essex House. The festival will continue until May 27 with a large selection of new Indian films. For more information, visit www.iaac.us .
I attended three screenings of the Film Society of Lincoln Center Coward on Film, May 11-13. The Astonished Heart, by Terence Fisher, UK, 1950, is a melodramatic story of adultery between a psychiatrist (Coward) and his wife's best friend (Margaret Leighton). Celia Johnson plays the suffering wife. All three actors are quite good, and enjoyable to watch. We were intended to see Bitter Sweet, by Herbert Wilcox, UK, 1933, starring Anna Neagle. Instead a print of the MGM version starring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald was presented. It was not very good, but the songs were lovely. This Happy Breed, by David Lean, UK, 1944, tells the story of a typical British family over twenty years from 1919 to 1939 in their London house with all their trials and tribulations. John Mills, Robert Newton and Stanley Holloway star in this pleasant nostalgic look at life between two World Wars.
Friday afternoon 05-11-12