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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -August 1, 2015



Aubrey Reuben

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

August 1, 2015


Off-Broadway, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, written and performed by James Lescene, directed by Tony Speciale, at the Westside Theatre, is a one man show,with Lescene playing a dozen characters. He begins as a detective in a small town in New Jersey, searching for a missing, flamboyant youth. Playing male and female small town citizens, he gives a remarkable performance.

The 49th Mostly Mozart Festival opened with an all Mozart program. It began with a brief Overture to Des Schauspieldirektor ("The Impresario"), and concluded with the three movement Symphony No. 34 in C major, K.388. Before the intermission, Emanuel Ax was the soloist in Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat major, K.449. He gave a splendid performance, revealing great dexterity and enthusiasm. It was delightful. After the intermission, Erin Morley performed two concert arias, Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio! and No, che non sei capace, that Mozart wrote for another composer's opera to be sung by his sister-in-law. Morley displayed a strong voice, and interpreted the difficult second aria with aplomb. She received a well deserved ovation. The festival has begun on a high note.

MoMA is presenting Glorious Technicolor: From George Eastman House and Beyond June 5-August 5. Lady in the Dark, by Mitchell Leisen, USA, 1944, stars Ginger Rogers as the editor of a fashion magazine. She is suffering mental depression, and the highlight of the film are her three dream sequences. In the final one, she sings The Saga of Jenny, from the musical, on which the film is based. It is a wonderful song, and she performs it excellently. Otherwise, it is a weak film, about her having to make a decision to marry one of two men. She ends up making a surprising choice. 

Artists and Models, by Frank Tashlin, USA, 1955, stars Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. I have never seen a Martin and Lewis film before. I believe it is an acquired taste. I do not have it. Dean Martin is good looking and sings well. Jerry Lewis makes weird faces, and engages in a lot of physical activity. None of which is funny. The film is silly, and the plot makes very little sense.  Martin is a painter, and Lewis is a writer obsessed with comic books. He dreams about the stories and says them out loud repeatedly. It is annoying and irritating. I guess one must be French to appreciate Jerry Lewis.

MoMA presented Mexico at Midnight: Film Noir from Mexican Cinema's Golden Age July 23-29. Crepusculo (Twilight), by Julio Bracho, Mexico, 1945, stars Arturo de Cordova as a surgeon in love with the wife (Gloria Marin) of his best friend. It is a slow moving, psychological drama, that maintains the viewer's attention. When Cordova is forced to perform surgery on a brain injury his friend suffers, we await the result. Again, Cordova has a beautiful co-star Marin, a joy to watch.



En La Palma de tu mano (In the Palm of Your Hand), by Roberto Gavaldon, Mexico, 1951, is another film starring Arturo de Cordova. This time, he is a fake clairvoyant attempting to steal money from a wealthy widow (Leticia Palma). There are many plot turns in this fascinating tale, which holds the audience's interest. As usual, his co-star is quite attractive, and, in this case, quite devious.

La Otra (The Other One), by Roberto Gavaldon, Mexico, 1946, stars Dolores del Rio, playing two roles as a poor manicurist with a wealthy twin sister. When she murders and replaces her sister, it brings her tragic consequences. It is a wonderful film. I saw del Rio make her stage debut in 1958 in Mexico City in Oscar Wildes's Lady Windermere's Fan. She was wonderful. I met her and photographed her backstage at the Metropolitan Opera, when she attended Manon Lescaut, starring Placido Domingo. I sent her the photo, which she returned, with a lovely dedication. She was a beautiful lady.

La Noche Avanza (Night Falls), by Roberto Gavaldon. Mexico, 1952, stars another famous Mexican film star, Pedro Armendariz, as a leading jai alai player, who is arrogant and proud, and treats women like dirt. He double-crosses a gangster when he agrees to lose a game, but goes on to win, and then receives his comeuppance in this exciting film. Almendariz is superb in a repulsive role.

Que Dios me perdone (May God Forgive Me), by Tito Davison, Mexico, 1948, is the second film in the series, starring Maria Felix. She plays a mysterious European refugee (a Sephardic Jew) in Mexico, during World War II. Unfortunately, like the first filmLa Diosa arrollada (The Kneeling Goddess) four years later, it is overlong, and the plot is confusing, and totally unbelievable. In one scene, she, again, sings in a nightclub leaning on a piano, and, fortunately, does not dance. She handles that song well. Trying to explain the convoluted story would take too much time. She marries a wealthy middle aged widower. She is forced to have an affair with a blackmailer, who drowns her husband. He also dies with him in Lake Patzcuaro. And to compound the tragedy, she learns that her only daughter died in a concentration camp.  

Distinto amanecer (Another Dawn), by Julio Bracho, Mexico, 1943, stars Pedro Armendariz as an idealistic union activist, with incriminating evidence against the government. During a long night, he is pursued by gangsters, representing the corrupt Governor of the state. He, accidentally meets a former university friend (Andrea Palma) from fifteen years ago, as he hides in a cinema. She is unhappily married, and decides to help him. Their adventures form the plot of the film



07-12-15 Hosts Andrew Rannells and Bernadette Peters pose for photos at the 17th Annual Broadway Barks! at the John Golden Theatre. 252 West 45th St. Saturday afternoon. 07-11-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

07-14-15 Regis Philbin attends the opening night of "Ruthless!" at the St. Luke's Theatre. 308 West 46th St. Monday night. 07-13-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

07-12-15 Hosts Andrew Rannells and Bernadette Peters pose for photos at the 17th Annual Broadway Barks! at the John Golden Theatre. 252 West 45th St. Saturday afternoon.

07-14-15 Regis Philbin attends the opening night of "Ruthless!" at the St. Luke's Theatre. 308 West 46th St. Monday night. 07-13-15


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

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