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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - January 14, 2012

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben

Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!

January 14, 2012
 

01-10-12 Honorees Zak Kunish. Jordan Roth. Briggs Inc. President Anthony Napoli. Bruce Schiemo. David Bouley received the 10th Annual June Briggs Awards at the Mandarin Oriental. 80 Columbus Circle. Monday night 01-09-12

01-10-12 Cast members (L-R) Director Alex Lippard. Jeffrey Carlson. Angelica Page. Laurence Lau. Jan Leslie Harding. producer Barbara Ligeti at a photo op for "Psycho Therapy" at Shetler Studios Penthouse 2. Monday morning 01-09-12

01-10-12 Honorees Zak Kunish. Jordan Roth. Briggs Inc. President Anthony Napoli. Bruce Schiemo, David Bouley received the 10th Annual June Briggs Awards at the Mandarin Oriental. 80 Columbus Circle.
Monday night 01-09-12

01-10-12 Cast members (L-R) Director Alex Lippard. Jeffrey Carlson. Angelica Page. Laurence Lau. Jan Leslie Harding. producer Barbara Ligeti at a photo op for "Psycho Therapy" at Shetler Studios Penthouse 2.
Monday morning 01-09-12

 
01-11-12 Cast members (L-R) Matt Dellapina. Li Jun Li. Sonequa Martin-Green. Nelson Lee at the opening night of "Outside People" at the Vineyard Theatre. 108 East 15th St. Tuesday night 01-10-12 01-12-12 "Newsies" Director and choreographer Jeff Calhoun (center) is surrounded by Broadway Kids Care young Broadway performers after a Q & A at "Dinner with a Director" Education Series in the New Amsterdam Room in the New Amsterdam Theatre. 214 West 42nd St. Wednesday afternoon 01-11-12

01-11-12 Cast members (L-R) Matt Dellapina. Li Jun Li. Sonequa Martin-Green. Nelson Lee at the opening night of "Outside People" at the Vineyard Theatre. 108 East 15th St. Tuesday night 01-10-12

01-12-12 "Newsies" Director and choreographer Jeff Calhoun (center) is surrounded by Broadway Kids Care young Broadway performers after a Q & A at "Dinner with a Director" Education Series in the New Amsterdam Room in the New Amsterdam Theatre. 214 West 42nd St. Wednesday afternoon 01-11-12

 
01-13-12 Adapter Suzan-Lori Parks (L) and cast member NaTasha Yvette Williams at the opening night party for "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" at the McKittrick Hotel. 530 West 27th St. Thursday night 01-12-12 01-13-12 Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson at the unveiling of the caricatures for Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson at Sardi's. 234 West 44th St. Thursday afternoon 01-12-12

01-13-12 Adapter Suzan-Lori Parks (L) and cast member NaTasha Yvette Williams at the opening night party for "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" at the McKittrick Hotel. 530 West 27th St. Thursday night 01-12-12

01-13-12 Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson at the unveiling of the caricatures for Angela Bassett and
Samuel L. Jackson at Sardi's. 234 West 44th St.
Thursday afternoon 01-12-12

 

01-13-12 Cast member Marco Zunino of "Chicago" performs a song at the Ambassador Theatre. 219 West 49th St. Thursday afternoon 01-12-12

01-14-12 Richard Thomas with a bottle of Medea Vodka which he signed for Charities to benefit the National Meningitis Association at Columbus Wines & Spirits. 1802 Broadway. Friday morning 01-13-12

01-13-12 Cast member Marco Zunino of "Chicago" performs a song at the Ambassador Theatre. 219 West 49th St. Thursday afternoon 01-12-12

01-14-12 Richard Thomas with a bottle of Medea Vodka which he signed for Charities to benefit the National Meningitis Association at Columbus Wines & Spirits.
1802 Broadway. Friday morning 01-13-12

 
On Broadway, as an Outer Critics Nominator, I was invited again to Follies. Unfortunately, it will close on January 22, which is shame, because it is one of the best musicals this season. The cast is marvelous, the songs are wonderful and the production is first class. It will be remembered at awards nominations time. I won two tickets at a raffle at the press conference for the 100th performance of Chinglish. So once again, I saw this fascinating play about miscommunication between Americans and Chinese in China. The cast is superb, the play is intelligent and funny, and the magnificent scenic design by David Korins deserves an award. I urge avid theatregoers to see this play. You will enjoy a terrific night at the theatre. The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess is a shortened version of the original opera, and features a splendid cast headed by Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, David Alan Grier, and a powerful performance by Phillip Boykin as the vicious Crown. The gorgeous music alone is worth the price of admission. Road to Mecca, by Athol Fugard, opens Tuesday January 17. It is about an elderly lady in a small town in South Africa in 1974, who has to make an important decision about how she will spend the remaining days of her life. The superb three member cast features Rosemary Harris, Carla Gugino and Jim Dale.
 
Off Broadway, The Canterbury Tales Remixed, written and performed by Baba Brinkman, is hip-hop telling of two ancient stories ( Gilgamesh and Beowulf) and three of Chaucer's tales. If you are a hip-hop fan, you will enjoy this talented performer. Outside People, by Zayd Dohrn, is a play about a young American, who falls in love with a Chinese girl in Beijing, and complications occur because of cultural differences. The four actors are fine, the set by Takeshi Kata is inventive, and the play is interesting.
 
One of the most charming afternoons was spent at the New Amsterdam Room at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Newsies Director and choreographer Jeff Calhoun gave a Q & A to Broadway Kids Care young Broadway performers in its Dinner with a Director Education Series. The children were bright and amusing, and asked great questions, and the director responded by giving them a penetrating insight into what it takes to succeed in show business. The children just loved Jeff, and deservedly so.
 
The book launch of Revelations by Micki Pellerano, with an exhibition of his drawings, took place at envoy enterprises. We toasted his fine work with a glass of Pernod.
 
I went to Columbus Wines & Spirits for a photo op for the unveiling of Medea Vodka Bottles for Charities. Richard Thomas signed a bottle to benefit National Meningitis Association and the cast of The Fantasticks signed a bottle for Bide-a-Wee. I don't know how the vodka tasted, because we were served bottled water and cookies.
 
All art lovers must visit the New American Wing Galleries for Painting, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They are magnificent and the artwork has never been displayed better. Room after room reveal the marvelous treasures produced by great American painters, sculptors and craftsmen. Also visit a delightful Coe Collection of American Indian Art. Again we can admire the wonderful artistry of our first settlers in the New World.

92Y Lyrics & Lyricists is a wonderful series of programs at the 92nd Street Y Theresa L. Kaufmann Concert Hall. Deborah Grace Winer is the series artistic director, and she has done a magnificent job presenting the most entertaining shows. I attended Makin' Whoopee: Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn and the Jazz Age. It was fabulous. Robert Kimball was the erudite narrator, and soloists Christine Andreas, Jason Graae, Howard McGillin, Laura Osnes, plus William Bolcom & Joan Morris were fabulous, with outstanding music played by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. Every song is a musical treasure, and the audience even got to sing along with the title song. I recommend these programs highly. You will leave the concert hall happy and singing.

 

 

 




I attended a photo op for Psycho Therapy, which stars Angelica Page and Jeffrey Carlson. I'm looking forward to opening night of this comedy, about a menage a trois on a therapist's couch.
 
One of the best events of the season is The 10th Annual June Briggs Awards Ceremony, which took place this year at the Mandarin Oriental. The honorees were David Bouley, Jordan Roth, Zac Kunish and Bruce Schiemo. Briggs Inc. President Anthony Napoli presented the awards, after a performance by Kevin Duda from The Book of Mormon. It was a festive occasion.
 
Former New York Governor David Patterson saw the 100th performance of The Mountaintop and came backstage to congratulate cast members Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Freedman. Later in the week, I went to Sardi's for the unveiling of the caricatures of the two stars.

 
Marco Zunino is the new, talented Billy Flynn in Chicago, and he performed two songs for the press at the Ambassador Theatre. We then we went for delicious refreshments afterwards at E & E Grill, where we had the opportunity to meet and talk with Marco.


The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Dance Films Association present Dance on Camera January 27-31. The films shown at press screenings have been terrific, and I urge all lovers of dance to see them. Joffrey:Mavericks of American Dance, by Bob Hercules, USA, 2011, is a documentary about one of the great American ballet companies, founded by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino. When they were located in New York, I spent many hours reviewing their works, and they were wonderful. Now, they have relocated to Chicago, but the works of the late founders are being continued under the leadership of former dancer Ashley C. Wheater. Ballet lovers will delight in this film. Musical Chairs, by Susan Seidelman, USA, 2011, is a sweet, adorable fantasy about a charming couple, a dance teacher Mia (Leah Pipes) and a young man obsessed with dancing Armando (EJ Bonilla). When Mia is injured and confined to a wheelchair, Armando helps her by entering her into the first competitive wheelchair ballroom competition. Although the romantic story defies credibility, the serious look at handicapped patients in wheelchairs is brilliantly presented and one gains sympathy and understanding for people who suffer from this tragic disability. The film is a tearjerker, but you will leaves the cinema moved. The Space in Back of You, by Richard Rutkowski, USA, 2011, will also leave the viewers emotionally moved by this documentary about Suzushi Hanayagi, a dancer and choreographer from Japan, who fused kabuki training with modern dance and had a profound influence on Robert Wilson, and partnered him in fifteen theatrical and operatic works over twenty years. She now suffers from Alzheimer's disease and is confined to a nursing home in Osaka at the age of 90. The effects of aging is sad, but Wilson produces a dance piece as a tribute to her. It's a loving portrait of a remarkable woman. Check Your Body at the Door, by Charles Atlas and Michael Schwartz, USA, 2011, is a documentary about the so-called House dance culture, in which archival footage is shown of the people who went to unknown clubs to perform their unusual dance movements. Many of them are around today and were interviewed. It is quite fascinating. Balanchine in Paris, by Dominique Delouche, France, 2011, is a marvelous look at the influence of Balanchine at the Paris Opera Ballet. We see new dancers rehearing selections from four of his ballets, including Palais de Cristal (in the USA known as Symphony in C). The film reveals the great choreographer totally dedicated to his dancers. It is a beautiful film, with  three of his original dancers, Alicia Markova, Nina Vyroubova and Violette Verdy seen coaching the dancers. This is a film which will delight passionate ballet fans.

 
MoMA is screening Global Lens, 2012 from January 12-28. The first one is Gise Memuru, by Tolga Karacelik, 2010 Turkey, a story about a toll booth attendant in a boring job and his unhappy relationship with his sick father, with whom he lives. Although slow moving, it is an absorbing look at the unhealthy life the 35-year-man is living and its resulting tragedy. The acting is superb, and it will leave an indelible impression on the viewer.

 

Joyce Brooks

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