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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -December 21, 2013


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
December 21, 2013


12-16-13 Cast member Carol Lawrence at the opening night of "Handle With Care" at the Bea restaurant. 403 West 43rdSt. Sunday night 12-15-13.  photo by:  aubrey reuben

12-16-13 Cast member Carol Lawrence at the opening night of "Handle With Care" at the Bea restaurant. 403 West 43rdSt. Sunday night

Off-Broadway, Handle With Care, by Jason Odell Williams, is a sitcom type comedy about a grandmother (Carol Lawrence), bringing her granddaughter from Israel to America to find a husband for her. It was a pleasure to see Carol Lawrence on stage again. The opening night party took place at Bea restaurant with guests Joe DiPietro, Elizabeth A. Davis and Joseph Sirola.
A Meet & Greet was held for The Bridges of Madison County at New 42nd Street Studios, where we saw three selections performed by members of the cast. Jason Robert Brown wrote the music and lyrics, Marsha Norman the book, Bartlett Sher directed, and Kelli O'Hara, Steven Pasquale and Hunter Foster sang. I am eagerly awaiting opening night.

Susan L. Shulman held her Annual Holiday Party, with her famous chopped liver, in her office. It was a fun and a delicious event.

The Crowne Plaza Times Square Hotel was where the Goa's Department of  Tourism presented  a delightful program of dances, and short speeches about the beauty of the former Portuguese colony on the Western coast of India, with glorious beaches, a perfect climate, historic buildings and delicious food, which was tasted at a buffet following the presentation. The slides and videos showed the why tourists are enjoying wonderful vacations there.  

Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Jewish Museum are presenting press screenings for the 23rd Annual New York Film Festival January 8-23, 2014. Friends from France, by Anne Weil and Philippe Kotlarski, France/Germany/Canada/Russia, 2013, takes place in Odessa in 1979. A French couple on a guided tour are on a mission to meet and help "refuseniks", Jews who are being persecuted by the Soviet regime and want to emigrate to Israel. It is a fascinating look at the horrors that Russian Jews suffered at that time. There is a coda to the film ten years later in Israel, with a twist to the story. The acting is excellent in this sad film. 

Ana Arabia, by Amos Gitai, Israel/France, 2013, has a journalist interview a group of Jews and Arabs living in a small community, who have isolated themselves form normal life in Jaffa. Unfortunately, they seem to be narrow minded, with numerous prejudices, based on their ignorance and lack of education. Listening to their cliches about life is excruciating. For example, one man claims America is full of earthquakes where millions die each year. Enough said. 

The Congress, by Ari Folman, Israel/Germany/Poland/Luxemberg/France/Belgium, 2013, is a live and animated film about an aging actress Robin Wright, who is persuaded by her agent (Harvey Keitel) to appear in animated films, in which she reluctantly has to give up her choice as to what films she will appearing in. It is an interesting concept.
Ida, by Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland, 2013, is about a young novitiate nun, who is told that she must visit her aunt, her only living relative, before taking her vows. What she discovers about her family background unsettles her. It is a beautiful film, absorbing and intelligent, with splendid acting by the entire cast. It is one of the highlights of the press screenings, and I heartily recommend it.






































The Jewish Cardinal
, by Ilan Duran Cohen, France, 2012, is based on the true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger (portrayed by a wonderful Laurent Lucas), son of Polish-Jewish parents, who rose to become the Archbishop of Paris in 1981, and friend of the Polish Pope John Paul II (Aurelien Recoing). It is fascinating story, well acted and beautifully photographed. It is also one of the highlights of the press screenings, and I urge every film lover to see it.

Before the Revolution, by Dan Shadur and Barak Heymann, is a documentary about Israelis living in Iran during the Shah regime and enjoying the good life when economic and political relations between Israel and Iran were beneficial for both countries. It is an interesting film, which is all more saddening because of the current volatile relationship today between the two important, powerful Middle East nations.

When Jews Were Funny, by Alan Zweig, Canada, 2013, is a documentary about interviews with Jewish comedians by the director, who appears to have serious problems about his own Jewish identity, and who, at the age of 60, is married to a Christian woman and father of a two-year old daughter. He is a poor interviewer, and, unfortunately, most of the comedians interviewed are not particularly articulate (nor funny). The archival footage of old-time comedians doing their routines from television in the 60s, like Alan King, Henny Youngman, Rodney Dangerfield and Jackie Mason, is the only reason for watching the film.

Film Society is presenting The Discreet Charm of George Cukor December 13-January 7. Rich and Famous, USA, 1981, is basically a soap opera about two female college students (Jacqueline Bisset and Candice Bergen), whose life we follow from 1959 until 1981. Both have success writing fiction, but their private lives are a disaster, except for their friendship. There are some very daring scenes between Bisset and a couple of her lovers. It was Cukor's last film.

The Marrying Kind, USA, 1952, is a tale of the trials and tribulations of a working class marriage. Judy Holliday and Aldo Ray are the young couple, who relate their problems to a sympathetic divorce judge. It is always a pleasure to watch Holliday on screen, but the story itself has many unbelievable moments.

MoMA presents an ongoing An Auteurist History of Film. Gertrud, by Carl Theodor Dreyer, Denmark, 1964, requires a lot of patience from the viewer. There is virtually no action, mainly intelligent conversation between a frustrated woman and her husband and three lovers. She was a former opera singer, who informs her husband she is leaving him to search for a perfect love. To ask a man to give up his quest for power and money in order to devote himself full time to loving her is unrealistic, and, unfortunately, it results in a very lonely life. 

Ballet in Cinema from Emerging Pictures presented The Sleeping Beauty, music by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, choreography by Marius Petipa, revised by Yuri Grigorovich, from a live performance from the Bolshoi Theatre on November 20, 2011. It is a beautiful, sumptuous scenic production by Ezio Frigerio, with gorgeous costumes by Franca Squarciapino. It is a delight for the eyes. The cast was magnificent, led by the brilliant Svetlana Zakharova as Princess Aurora. She is, without doubt, one of the finest interpreters of the role. David Hallberg was her ardent, handsome Prince Desire, and partnered her wonderfully. Maria Allash was a superb Lilac Fairy, and the Corps de Ballet were without equal. What a splendid company is the Bolshoi!
Vassily Sinaisky
 conducted the enchanting score, and the orchestra never sounded better.

12-17-13 (L-R) Director Bartlett Sher. cast members Kelli O'Hara. Steven Pasquale. book Marsha Norman. music and lyrics Jason Robert Brown at the Meet & Greet for "The Bridges of Madison County" at the NEW 42nd Street Studios". 227 West 42nd St. restaurant. Monday morning 12-16-13.  photo by:  aubrey reuben

12-17-13 (L-R) Director Bartlett Sher. cast members Kelli O'Hara. Steven Pasquale. book Marsha Norman. music and lyrics Jason Robert Brown at the Meet & Greet for "The Bridges of Madison County" at the NEW 42nd Street Studios".
227 West 42nd St. restaurant. Monday morning







joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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