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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben August 26, 2017



Aubrey Reuben

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

August 26, 2017

I am not a fan of directors, who modernize traditional operas, but, in this case, I am impressed and overwhelmingly enjoyed Don Giovanni, K.527 (Prague version) (1787), by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, at the Rose Center, as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival, in a production by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, under the conductor and director Ivan Fischer. Two famous arias are eliminated in this version, but it makes little difference, as what is left is sublime. Also, the set and costume design by Edit Zeke deserves a round of applause. It consists of two dark blocks, one with stairs, and sixteen students who form statues, benches, windows, act as dancers and in the final scene form a magnificent group of furies who drag Don Giovanni to Hell. The singers, everyone of whom was superb, but Christopher Maltman in the title role, and Jose Fardilha as Leporello, were outstanding. I could watch their performance and listen to their singing forever. The orchestra played the brilliant score beautifully. It was a memorable evening,



The 53rd Street Library opposite MoMA presented Sabrina, by Billy Wilder, USA, 1954. What a joy to see a well made film by a brilliant director, with three great film stars, Aubrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden! The dialogue is intelligent, without a vulgar word in it, and Hepburn is enchanting. An innocent young chauffeur's daughter (Hepburn) on a large estate of a wealthy family goes to Paris for two years and returns a changed woman, sophisticated and elegant.




The two brothers (Bogart and Holden) are amazed by her reappearance, and one falls in love with her. It is a charming, delightful film. Mature, sensible people prefer these wonderful films of the past compared to present day modern (if you pardon the expression) junk.



The 53rd Street Library also presented Dog Day Afternoon, by Sydney Lumet, USA, 1975, based on a true story of a bank robbery in Brooklyn. A neurotic bank robber (Al Pacino) robs a bank to obtain money for his male lover's sex change operation. However, he is forced to remain in the bank with the bank employees, when the police surround the bank, as he tries to arrange his escape. The acting is believable and realistic, and Pacino, in virtually every scene, is superb, and dominates this unforgettable picture. It is again one of those films from the past by a fine director, that makes today's new film seem immature for mindless audiences.


The Suitcase Under the Bed, by Teresa Deevy, at Theatre Row, The Beckett Theatre, is a production of the esteemed Mint Theater Company. It consists of four short one-act plays, acted by seven marvelous actors in multiple roles, directed expertly by Jonathan Bank. As a neglected Irish playwright, the company has rediscovered this clever Irish playwright, and has already presented some of her full length plays. In each of these one-act plays, a young woman faces the possibility of a marriage, or in one case, watching her two brothers and their wives, while she faces a future as a spinster. All the ladies compromise in their choice of husbands. The four ladies in the cast are excellent, but outstanding in three of the plays is Sarah Nicole Deaver (photo below). The three male actors (two in the photo below) are equally fine. We congratulated the cast at the opening night party at West Bank Cafe.




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

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