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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben April 29, 2017



Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!

April 29, 2017

The 67th Annual Awards Outer Critics Circle Awards announced the 2016-17 Season Nominees at the Algonquin Hotel by Jane Krakowski and Danny Burstein. It contained few surprises. A Doll's House, Part 2 was nominated  as Outstanding New Broadway Play and Come From Away as a musical. Kevin Kline as Outstanding actor in a play. Laurie Metcalf in a play. Andy Karl in a musical and Bette Midler in a musical. The winners will be announced on May 8th. I imagine that those mentioned above may win, as will Hello, Dolly! as a revival.

The 62nd Annual Drama Desk Awards announced the 2016-17 Season Nominees at Feinstein's/54 Below by Laura Benanti and Javier Munoz. Like The OCC above, it contained few surprises; in fact, every nomination mentioned above was confirmed by the Drama Desk. There will be more awards given at Town Hall on Sunday, June 4, and Michael Urie will host the event.


Anastasia, book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, at the Broadhurst Theatre, is a musical based on two motion pictures, about a young girl (Christy Altomare), posing as a surviving daughter of the Tsar Nicholas II, when the family was murdered during the Russian Revolution.  It is a convoluted story, with pleasant music and a good cast, which included John Bolton and Mary Beth Piel, directed by Darko Tresnjak, The projection design, by Aaron Rhyne, of Paris, was a delight for the eyes.

Bandstand, music by Richard Oberacker, book and lyrics by Rob Taylor and Richard Oberacker, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, tells the story of six World War II veterans returning home to Cleveland in August 1945, after suffering post traumatic shock. They form a band to compete in a swing band national competition in New York City, and engage a widowed female singer (Laura Osnes). She falls in love with the leader of the band (Corey Cott). The music is loud, and not particularly interesting. The lyrics are pretentious, and the dancing, consisting of shaking hips and the females being thrown over the heads of the males, is repetitious. A fine director/choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler has done better work. One more word. The costume design of Paloma Young made every actor look drab, and was unappealing to the eye.

Six Degrees of Separation, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, was written by John Guare, and is a revival of the very successful Off-Broadway and then Broadway production reviewed 27 years ago at Lincoln Center. Although well acted, with Allison Janney as the deceived socialite by Corey Hawkins, posing as the son of Sidney Poitier, directed by Trip Cullman, I was less impressed with this production compared with the original that made the title and the playwright famous

Possibly, it is because there are many unbelievable characters on the stage performing at a high decibel level, from the children of the Fifth Avenue couple seduced by the impostor, a naked hustler in a ridiculous scene, (I suppose for the titillation of the audience), plus another society couple and a wealthy doctor taken in by the same con artist. 

The revival of 
Hello, Dolly! book by Michael Stewart, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, at the Shubert Theatre, has the biggest box office advance in Broadway history, over 40 million dollars. The reason is simple. The audience loves Bette Midler. It is a love fest. Of course, it is a fine production. The music is melodious, the dancing, choreographed by Warren Carlyle, is excellent, and it is just a plain good musical. People leave the theater happy. The entire cast is splendid, directed by Jerry Zaks The audience also loves David Hyde Pierce as much as Bette. When they reunite at the end, the applause is tumultuous. Broadway is never better than this.


I attended a party for the pilot of Nunsense: The TV Series, at the Greenroom 42 at the Yotel, 570 Tenth Ave. While we ate fish & chips and tiny hamburgers, and enjoyed cocktails or wine, we watched the hilarious first episode about a group of merry nuns in Hoboken, who want to raise funds for their school's music program by putting on a show. It premiered on April 25. Dan Goggins, who created the Off-Broadway show Nunsense in 1985 and was performed all over the world, has now turned his creation into a TV series. I predict it will be as successful as his stage show. Many extremely talented performers, some from Broadway like Mary Stout, Beth Leavel, Dee Hoty, Karen Ziemba and Jeff Blumenkranz, are in the cast, and some of them came to the party. The episode was very funny, and delighted everyone.

The 31st Annual Easter Bonnet Competition
, at the Minskoff Theatre, is always a worthy event, which raises funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Broadway dancers and singers compete representing the shows they are in, and stars of various shows, like Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole from War Paint introduce them. Gavin Creel, David Hyde Pierce and Bette Midler from Hello, Dolly announce the winners at the second performance. It is a very entertaining afternoon.

I attended the 2017 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards at the Edison Ballroom. It is always a wonderful event. Costume designers in stage, film and television are honored.. Catherine Zuber was honored with the Irene Sharaff Award for her lifetime achievement in costume design. After the ceremony, I mingled with my two favorite designers, my good friends William Ivey Long and Tony Walton, while sipping white wine and tasting delicious desserts.






Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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