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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -November 14, 2015



Aubrey Reuben

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

November 14, 2015


In 1942, America removed 120,00 Japanese-Americans from the West Coast to Wyoming. The television actor George Takei was five-years-old, when he and his family were sent to a camp guarded and supervised by the American Army. This is the basis of the musical Allegiance, book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, music and lyrics by Jay Kuo, at the Longacre Theatre. A son (Telly Leung) becomes a war hero in World War II, when a unit of Japanese-Americans is formed in 1944 to fight the Germans in Italy. His sister (Lea Salonga) marries an activist (Michael K. Lee), who is imprisoned for activities protesting the American treatment of his people, and her father (Christopheren Nomura) is imprisoned for refusing to sign a loyalty oath. Both prisoners suffer from the brutality of the American soldiers. George Takei plays two roles as the grandfather, and as the war hero as an elderly man. The music is semi operatic. The cast act and sing beautifully, under the direction of Stafford Arima. The choreography byAndrew Palermo is minimal, but the subject is depressing and sad. The opening night party at Bryant Park Grill was delightful, with guests Rita Moreno, Victoria Clark and the charming producer Karen Tanz and her lovely family.

Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games
, conceived, produced, directed and choreographed by Michael Flatley, at the Lyric Theatre, is a magnificent show. It is a spectacular production, with an excellent cast of beautiful dancers, singers and musicians. The glorious Irish step dancing, the lovely costumes by Debbie Bennett, the brilliant scenic design and lightning by Paul Normandale and the video creation and content by JA Digital is a delight to the eyes. The soloists are remarkable, and the final minutes feature a surprise appearance by Michael Flatley, who shows he can dance as well as anyone on the stage. The opening night celebration took place in the Dress Circle Lobby, with the entire cast toasting the evening with champagne, wine, hard cider and beer. It was a delicious ending to a memorable night.

Misery, by William Goldman, based on the novel by Stephen King, starring Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf, at the Broadhurst Theatre, opens on Sunday November 15. My review will appear in next week's column.

Off-Broadway, Lost Girls, by John Pollono, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, is a production of MCC Theater. A six member cast is terrific, with an outstanding performance by Piper Perabo as a divorced, single mother of a teenage daughter, under the direction ofJo Bonney. It is basically two stories. One is about a lower class family living in a house in New England, whose new car is stolen by a runaway daughter. The second is about two runaway teenagers in a motel, having sex, and hoping for a brighter future. The opening night party took place at 49 Grove, with Eric Bogosian, Amber Tamblyn, Keith Nobbs, and the proud parents of two of the cast members, George and Mary Perabo for Piper, and Ken Greenwald and Sheri Steinberg for Josh Green.  It was a lovely party.

Iolanthe, or The Peer and the Peri
, libretto by William S. Gilbert. music by Arthur Sullivan, is a production of the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Lovers of the wit and music of Gilbert and Sullivan will enjoy the opportunity to thank Artistic Director and conductor Albert Bergeret for presenting their wonderful operettas, which we rarely see in New York. As always, it is a first class production, with excellent singers and a fine orchestra, that does justice to two of the most brilliant writers and composers that England has ever produced. James Mills dominated the operetta as the Lord Chancellor, but the entire cast was superb.

I went to the Cutting Room, 44 East 32nd St, for the Lilly Awards, in order to photograph the wonderful songwriters and performers, but, unfortunately, I had to leave early, as I had the opening night of Lost Girls. I am sure it was a splendid evening, which I was sorry to miss. Hopefully, next year.

I attended a press preview for  Once Upon a Mattress. The director Jack Cummings III introduced five selections from the show, starring Jackie Hoffman and John "Lypsinka" Epperson. It was very entertaining, and the show opens on December 13 at the Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street.

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation's 18th Annual Collaborating for a Cure Gala at Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall Street, was a lovely event, hosted by Elin & Michael Nierenberg. Chris Wragge, Co-Anchor CBS2 News This Morning was the Emcee, and John Fogerty was the Music performer. The honoree was the menswear designer John Varvatos.
Adult film star Jayden Lee celebrated the release of her new movie Dirty Little Secrets, and being the Cover Girl on VNB Magazine, at VIVID Cabaret, 61 West 37th St. She posed for photos with three of the VIVID Cabaret performers. It was a delightful photo op. All the ladies looked lovely, and it was a pleasure to be in their company as we sipped cocktails.

The Lady in the Van, by Nicholas Hytner, written by Alan Bennett from his memoir, is a mostly true story, about a Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), who parked her van in Alan Bennett's (Alex Jennings) driveway in London, and lived there in the van for 15 years, from 1972-1989. With a brilliant British cast, which also includes Jim Broadbent, Frances De La Tour, and Roger Allam, it is a remarkable tale, with outstanding performances by the entire cast, and, especially, by Smith and Jennings. Miss Shepherd was involved in an accident, in which a young man on a motorcycle collided with her van and was killed. Believing that she was responsible, she spent the rest of life trying to avoid prosecution by living in the van. As a young girl, she was an excellent classical pianist, who later became a nun. When forced to give up music, she was institutionalized in a mental asylum. She was definitely eccentric, and Smith portrays her wonderfully. Jennings is also quite wonderful as Bennett. It is a strange tale, but one that is fascinating to watch.

11-16-15 Susan Hilferty (L) and sage and screen actor Bill Pullman. who was honored at the New York Stage and Film Winter 2015 Gala at the Plaza Hotel. 770 Fifth Avenue. Sunday night. 11-15-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

11-16-15 Scott Elliott (L)  and screen actor Bill Pullman who was honored at the New York Stage and Film Winter 2015 Gala at the Plaza Hotel. 770 Fifth Avenue. Sunday night. 11-15-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

11-16-15 Susan Hilferty (L) and sage and screen actor Bill Pullman. who was honored at the New York Stage and Film Winter 2015 Gala at the Plaza Hotel. 770 Fifth Avenue. Sunday night. 11-15-15

11-16-15 Scott Elliott (L) and screen actor Bill Pullman who was honored at the New York Stage and Film Winter 2015 Gala at the Plaza Hotel. 770 Fifth Avenue. Sunday night. 11-15-15


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

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