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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -August 10, 2013


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
August 10, 2013


08-06-13 (L-R) Cast members Elizabeth Masucci. Gia Crovatin. playwright Neil LaBute at the opening reception for "Summer Shorts 2013" at the Museum Tower. 15 West 53rd St. Monday night 08-05-13

08-06-13 (L-R) Cast members Elizabeth Masucci. Gia Crovatin. playwright Neil LaBute at the opening reception for "Summer Shorts 2013" at the Museum Tower. 15 West 53rd St. Monday night

On Broadway, First Date, book by Austin Winsberg, music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, is a musical about a blind date between a nervous, immature young man and a tough talking, know-it-all young girl. There are also four other cast members in multiple roles as a kind of Greek chorus, plus a waiter in the restaurant, where the show takes place. The plot is flimsy and infantile, the music forgettable, the dialogue silly and irritating, as are the characters portrayed. 

Off-Broadway, Harbor, by Chad Beguelin, is an absorbing, well acted play about an irresponsible mother and her teenage daughter disrupting the lives of a married gay couple. They show up uninvited at the home of her brother, and are allowed to stay for several weeks with devastating results. It is an intelligent play, with excellent, realistic dialogue. The opening night party took place at the Park Avenue Armory with guests Saundra Santiago, Jonathan Tolins and Alfred Uhry.

Mostly Mozart continued with an all Beethoven program, beginning with Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, with the experienced Emanuel Ax as soloist, and Andrew Manze conducting the orchestra. It was a splendid performance by the veteran performer, especially in the fast tempo of the third movement. He received a well deserved, thunderous ovation. After the intermission, the orchestra gave a wonderful interpretation of Symphony No. 6 in F major ("Pastoral"). All the individual players performed brilliantly from flute to horn. It was a short, but memorable program, and the audience left completely satisfied.

Michael Urie had a portrait unveiling for the Broadway Wall of Fame at Tony's Di Napoli. It was also his birthday, and many friends were there to celebrate the occasion, includingVanessa Williams, Alan Cumming, Annaleigh Ashford and Shalita Grant.

MoMA held a press preview for America Modern: Hopper to O'Keeffe. August 17-January 26, 2014. It is a superb exhibition of drawings, paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs, made between 1915 and 1950, by more than 50 artists. Over a hundred pieces are included, with outstanding works like Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World. It is a splendid display of a magnificent collection that no art lover should miss.





































MoMA presented A View from the Vaults: Warner Bros. Today until August 14. I saw Gran Torino, by Clint Eastwood, USA, 2008, with Eastwood starring as an embittered, prejudiced, retired widower. As a veteran of the Korean war, he is unhappy that his neighbors are Hmong refugees. Unpleasant incidents occur, but a friendship develops between him and the family. Eastwood gives a terrific performance in a strong, powerful film. It is highly recommended.

MoMA presented ContemporAsian: Focus on South Korea. I saw Azooma, by Lee Ji-Seong, South Korea, 2012, a very unpleasant film about child molestation. An impatient, hysterical woman pursues her 10-year-old daughter's molester, and gains her revenge on the criminal, with a horrendous scene in a dentist's chair. The film also goes back and forth, with an annoying repetition of scenes. It is hard to recommend this film.

MoMA also is presenting An Auteurist History of Film. I saw a short documentary Night and Fog, by Alain Resnais, France, 1956, about the concentration camps created by the Nazis during World War II and the horrors suffered by the inmates. It leaves a deep, indelible impression on the mind of the viewer. It was shown with Hiroshima mon amour, by Resnais, France, 1959, which again reveals the horrors of war, with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima during World War II with footage of the aftermath and film of the museum created to memorialize the devastation. A French actress, making a film in Hiroshima, meets a Japanese architect, and they spend many hours together making love and conversing about their lives,which were greatly affected by the war. Again, it leaves a deep impression on the viewer.

A lovely opening reception was held for Summer Shorts 2013 on the terrace of Museum Tower. All the cast members and playwrights attended for fine wines and liquor and delicious hors d'oeuvres on a beautiful evening. Among the guests were Tina Howe, Neil LaBute, Michael Countryman, Caroline Lagerfelt and the original cast member ofNine, Camille Saviola, who over 30 years ago I interviewed for the glossy Italian magazine Attenzione.  It was a pleasant reunion.

Opera in Cinema from Emerging Pictures presented Aida, by Verdi, from Teatro alla Scala, from a live performance from December 2006. It was a spectacular production, with staging and scenic design by Franco Zeffirelli. This was truly grand opera. What a relief from recent minimal sets! The cast was excellent, with Violeta Urmana in the title role,Roberto Alagna as Radames, Ildiko Komlosi a powerful Amneris, Carlo Guelfi as Amonasro and Mario Spotti a sonorous King. The orchestra was superb, under the baton of Riccardo Chailly. It was wonderful to see grand back where it belongs in opera


08-07-13 (L-R) Cast members Erin Cummings. Paul Anthony Stewart. Randy Harrison. Alexis Molnar at the opening night party for "Harbor" at the Park Avenue Armory. 643 Park Avenue. Tuesday night 08-06-13

08-07-13 (L-R) Cast members Erin Cummings. Paul Anthony Stewart. Randy Harrison. Alexis Molnar at the opening night party for "Harbor" at the Park Avenue Armory. 643 Park Avenue. Tuesday night 08-06-13







joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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