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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -March 22, 2014


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
March 22, 2014


03-18-14 (L-R) Playwright Lanie Robertson. cast member Audra McDonald. director Lonny Price at a photo op. for "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" at Pearl  Studios. 500 Eighth Ave. Monday morning 03-17-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

03-18-14 (L-R) Playwright Lanie Robertson. cast member Audra McDonald. director Lonny Price at a photo op. for "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" at Pearl Studios. 500 Eighth Ave. Monday morning 03-17-14

On Broadway, Aladdin, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin, is another addition to the mediocre musicals (except for The Lion King) on Broadway by Disney. The extremely loud music will have a deleterious effects on one's hearing. The fairy tale story of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp is acceptable as family entertainment for five-year-olds. The music is pleasant, the lyrics banal and the choreography is occasionally interesting. Casey Nicholaw is responsible for the direction and choreography. However, two stars shine through this overlong production. In the second act, the two lovers take a ride on a magic carpet. It is beautifully performed, and worth the price of admission. The other star is a star. The genie, performed by James Monroe Iglehart, enlivens every scene in which he appears. A massive presence with enormous energy, he is a pleasure to have on stage.

Les Ballets de Monte Carlo presented LAC (After Swan Lake), choreography by Jean-Christophe Maillot, March 14-16 at City Center. It is a modern interpretation of the classic ballet, with most of the music of Tchaikovsky on tape. The story is completely changed. and is quite confusing. The scenery is minimal and the costumes are garish. The dancers are attractive and quite good. This version is an interesting addition to, perhaps, the greatest ballet ever produced.

I attended a photo op for Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, by Lanie Robertson, starring Audra McDonald, directed by Lonny Price.  It will open on April 13 at Circle in the Square. I can hardly wait.

Joanna Christie and Paul Alexander Nolan of Once received a portrait for The Broadway Wall of Fame at Tony's di Napoli. Valerie Smaldone was the Emcee and Bruce Dimpflmaier provide the delicious  food and drink. It was a festive occasion.

Film Society of Lincoln Center is presenting press screenings for Art of the Real April 11-26. La Ultima Pelicula, by Raya Martin and Mark Peranson, Mexico/Canada/Denmark/Philippines, 2013, is disjointed, incoherent mess of a movie. An egotistical, irritating filmmaker (Alex Ross Perry) goes to Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula to film the Mayan prediction of the last day on Earth. Unfortunately, he never stops talking, and repeating himself, and rubbing his face. Nothing he says has any interest for any intelligent filmgoer. The Mayan ruins and a scene with a lovely actress swimming in a cenote are a small pleasure.

Change of Life, by Paulo Rocha, Portugal, 1966, tells the story of a soldier returning from Angola to his home in a fishing village in Portugal. The back and white film captures the way of life of these hard working people, and the increasing lack of opportunity for the younger generation. It is a wonderful, realistic, honest picture of basically decent people overwhelmed by their circumstances. You will feel compassion for every character in this remarkable film.












































, by Robert Green, USA, 2014, seems to be a phony, unbelievable documentary, about a one time television actress, Brandy Burre, who became a suburban housewife, when she had two children by a dull partner, whom she cheated on. When he left her, she realized she had to find a job to support herself and the two children. She never stops whining and crying. If it is a true story, I feel extremely sorry for the two little children.

Lukas the Strange, by John Torres, Philippines, 2013, is about making a film in a tiny village. The photography is terrible, the scenes are disjointed, the villagers are unattractive, and the entire project seems pointless.

Red Hollywood
, by Thom Andersen and Noel Burch, USA, 1996, focuses on four directors, who made films which were considered propaganda for communist causes during the 30s and 40s in Hollywood. They are interviewed as talking heads, but the best part of the film is the actual film clips from the various films they made. It appears that rather than trying to overthrow the government, they were just seeking social justice for all Americans. It is a fascinating look at a shameful period, in which filmmakers were blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee, and its pernicious influence on what was to be shown on Hollywood screens. Censorship is always evil.

Film Society at Lincoln Center is presenting Permanent Vacation: The Films of Jim Jarmusch April 2-10. Dead Man, USA/Germany/Japan, 1995, is considered the director's masterpiece. An accountant (Johnny Depp) travels West to a small town for a job, and finds it has already been given to someone else. He travels further West with an Indian (Gary Farmer), who teaches him the ways of the indigenous people of the America. As the accountant's name is William Blake, there are lots of references to the mystical English poet. The film features boring conversation, a stultifying soundtrack by Neil Young, and every scene has the two killing everyone they meet on their trip. Both finally die, and the film mercifully ends

MoMA is presenting Vienna Unveiled: A City in Cinema through April 20. Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession, by Nicolas Roeg, Great Britain, 1980, received an X rating from the British censors, when it was first presented. 34 years later, it is not quite so shocking. It is an intelligent film, about a psycho-sexual relationship between a jealous psychiatrist (a surprisingly good Art Garfunkle) and an unstable lady (Theresa Russell). It is told in flashbacks, as she is rushed to the hospital after an attempted suicide. The many sex scenes are quite daring for its time, and the final one, especially, where Garfunkle ravishes a comatose Russell. The film leaves a deep impression.

We Are The Best!, by Lukas Moodysson, Sweden, is the best film about teenagers that I have seen in years. It takes place in Stockholm in 1982. Two rebellious teenagers decide to form a punk band, and manage to persuade a shy guitar playing student to join them. It is the most honest portrayal of teenagers, who cannot fit in to their school society. Every word of dialogue sounds truthful, and the three young ladies, Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin and Liv LeMoyne, give remarkable performances. It is a pleasure to watch their adventures. They are never boring, just plain exhilarating. I enjoyed every minute of this wonderful film.

Nymphomaniac Volume II, by Lars von Trier, continues from Volume I, which I did not see. An unconscious, battered woman (Charlotte Gainsbourg) in an alley is rescued by a middle-aged bachelor (Stellan Skarsgard). He brings her to his apartment, and she tells him her sexual history as a nymphomaniac in flashbacks. We witness, among many scenes, her sexual encounter with two black men, her sessions with a professional sadist, who punches her in the face, and for whom she submits to horrendous whippings, until her buttocks are bleeding, a lesbian relationship with a young girl she mentors, and  the violent attack in the alley, where her former lover punches her in the face and beats her into unconsciousness, while the young girl urinates on her prostrate body. For sadomasochistic voyeurs, this may seem an interesting film. For normal people, it will be insufferable.


03-19-14 (L-R) Bruce Dimpflmaier. cast members Joanna Christie. Paul Alexander Nolan. Valerie Smaldone at the unveiling of a portrait for the Broadway Wall of Fame of "Once" at Tony's di Napoli. 147 West 43rd St. Tuesday night. 03-18-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

03-19-14 (L-R) Bruce Dimpflmaier. cast members Joanna Christie. Paul Alexander Nolan. Valerie Smaldone at the unveiling of a portrait for the Broadway Wall of Fame of "Once" at Tony's di Napoli. 147 West 43rd St. Tuesday night. 03-18-14






joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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