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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - November 16, 2013


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
November 16, 2013

11-12-13 Honoree Christopher Durang (L) and Tommy Tune at the Primary Stages Annual Gala at the Edison Ballroom. 240 West 47th St. Monday night 11-11-13.  photo by:  aubrey reuben

11-12-13 Honoree Christopher Durang (L) and Tommy Tune at the Primary Stages Annual Gala at the Edison Ballroom. 240 West 47th St. Monday night 11-11-13

On Broadway, c
redit must by given to the esteemed Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance for performing in the title role in Richard III and as a lady Olivia in Twelfth Night. at the Belasco Theatre. It is a remarkable achievement. He has recreated the production as if presented five hundred years ago in the time of William Shakespeare. All the sumptuous costumes and set design, with audience members seated in boxes on stage, by Jenny Tiramani, are as authentic as possible, as is the music of Claire van Kampen played on ancient instruments of that period. All the female roles are played by men, and one watches the actors being dressed and applying their makeup on stage a half hour before the plays begin. It is quite an impressive accomplishment. The audience is transported to England in the sixteenth century. All the actors are superb, under the expert direction of Tim Carroll, but it is two time Tony winner Rylance who steals the scenes. I suspect two more Tony nominations are in his future.

Off-Broadway, Domesticated, by Bruce Norris, is a play about a dysfunctional family. Jeff Goldblum is a sexually frustrated politician, who resigns his position, and begins his downward spiral. Many of the characters shout, yell and whine, and are thoroughly irritating. It is an overlong, disappointing play.

Little Miss Sunshine, book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by William Finn, is a mediocre musical about a family car trip from New Mexico to California, so that their little daughter can compete in a preteen pageant. The trip is 800 miles, but the 100 minute musical feels longer.

All That Fall, by Samuel Beckett, was a radio play, that is being produced in a stage version, with an excellent cast, headed by Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon. It is 75 minutes of brilliant acting, as an old lady (Atkins) goes to the railway station to meet her blind husband (Gambon) to bring him home. On the way, she encounters various neighbors and arrives at the station on time to meet the mysteriously, delayed train. We celebrated the opening, at a party at Amali with Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse, Karen Akers and Penny Fuller among others. Afterwards, I dropped by the West Bank Cafe for the opening night party for The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters, by Marlane Meyer. I photograhed cast member Rob Campbell with guests Danny Mastrogiorgio and Denis O'Hare.

American Ballet Theatre (ABT) concluded their second week with a program of three modern ballets. Bach Partita, music of Bach, choreography of Twyla Tharp, is one of the choreographer's better ballets, and was given a perfect performance by six of the finest dancers of the company, Polina Semionova, James Whiteside, Gillian Murphy, Marcelo Gomes, Stella Abrera and Calvin Royal III. The Moor's Pavane, music by Henry Purcell, choreography by Jose Limon, features four dancers in a melodramatic dance piece. It is, basically, slow moving movement, walking rather than dancing, recreating the tale of the murder of of Desdemona by Othello. The third ballet Piano Concerto #1, music ofDmitri Shostakovich, choreography by Alexi Ratmansky, is a fast moving ballet, with the two leading ballerinas, Christine Shevchenko and Xiomara Reyes, being lifted, turned, spun, and thrown by the male dancers. It is exhausting, but thrilling, and the dancers are just fine. 

Lee Roy Reams gave a splendid cabaret performance at Studio 54 Below, singing songs from his forty years of various Broadway musicals and telling anecdotes about the composers and fellow artists he knew. It was an entertaining show to a sold out house, with his famous friends like Bebe Neuwirth, Tony Danza and Arlene Dahl rewarding him with a stand up ovation.












































Billy Porter was honored at The New York Musical Theatre Festival 10th Season Gala at the Hudson Theatre. Among the many guests were Lillias White, Beth Leavel,Hunter Bell and Heidi Blickenstaff. It was a joyous occasion.

Christopher Durang and Stephen Sultan were honored at the Primary Stages Annual Gala at the Edison Ballroom. Among the guests were Tommy Tune, Fyvush Finkel, Elizabeth Wilson and John Patrick Shanley. It was another joyous occasion.

A fun opening night party was held for Shea: Prince of Christmas at Bourbon Bar & Grille. The  attractive cast members, including Shea, Lynda DeFuria, Bethel Keith and Chaz Wolcott, enjoyed exotic drinks like a Hurricane (a cocktail containing two rums with various juices) and delicious food.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is presenting Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema November 29-December 3. I attended some press screenings. The Prophet, the Gold and the Transylvanians, by Dan Pita, Romania, 1979, is the first part of a trilogy, about two brothers from Romania searching for their brother in the Far West of the United States. He has become a famous outlaw. It is a curious film. The photography is fine, but the story is a little silly. Three Exercises of Interpretation, by Cristi Pulu, France, 2013, is a film in three parts that takes place in Toulouse. In Part One, four friends sit in the garden of a house, and talk, drink and eat. In Part Two, four different friends sit in an apartment, and talk, drink and watch a Thai film on television. In Part 3, all eight characters attend a seance in a restored warehouse with four other people. The film lasts 157 minutes. For this viewer, it seemed like an eternity. Many of the actors were unattractive to look at. Some were obnoxious. But the annoying part was to listen to their inane conversation. It is crime for a film to be boring, and to waste 157 minutes of a person's precious time on earth. Child's Pose, by Calin Peter Netzer, Romania, 2013, features Luminita Gheorghiu in a superb performance as a domineering, middle-aged mother trying to save her irresponsible son, who has just killed a 14-year-old boy when his speeding car hit him on a road. It is a provocative film, which shows how wealthy upper class families with political influence can distort justice. It is an intelligent, realistic film which leaves a profound impression on the viewer. Here...I Mean There, by Laura Capatana-Julier, Romania, 2012, is a documentary, about two young girls living with their grandparents because their parents went to work in Spain to make money ten years ago. Their dysfunctional life as a family, split apart by the separation, with occasional reunions in Romania and in Spain. is heartbreaking and sad.Shadow of a Cloud, by Radu Jude, 2013,is a fascinating short film  (30 minutes) about a priest, visiting a home to give last rites to a dying woman. His hopes to comfort the family turns into a nightmare.

Generation War, by Phillip Kadelbach, Germany, 2013, will open at the Film Forum on January 15, 2014. Do not miss this magnificent film. I attended a press screening of Part 1 (131 minutes) and was given a DVD of Part 2 (148 minutes). Five young Germans friends celebrate in Berlin in 1941, before the campaign against Russia during World War II. They are full of optimism that the war will quickly end and they will be victorious. Two are soldiers (Volker Bruch and Tom Schilling), one is a Jew (Ludwig Trepte) and two girls , a nurse (Miriam Stein) and an ambitious popular singer (Katharina Schuttler). As the film progresses, the horrors of war have a dramatic effect and the friends suffer terribly. The acting, especially by the five principals, is brilliant. The photography is breathtaking, above all the battle scenes. The story is absorbing. It will rank as one of the finest war films ever made. It is an impressive achievement.

MoMA in An Auteurist History of Film presented Lord of the Flies, by Peter Brook, Great Britain, 1963, is a remarkable film. A group of British schoolboys are stranded on a desert island, when their plane crashes. In order to survive, they try to establish an orderly life based on their upbringing and education. As time goes on, their civilized behavior decays, as they hunt, develop strange beliefs and superstitions, and turn into savages. It is a powerful film and the acting of the children is most impressive.


11-13-13 (L-R) Cast member Eileen Atkins. producer Richard Darbourne at the opening night party for "All That Fall" at Amali. 115 East 60th St. Tuesday night 11-12-13.  photo by:  aubrey reuben

11-13-13 (L-R) Cast member Eileen Atkins. producer Richard Darbourne at the opening night party for "All That Fall" at Amali. 115 East 60th St.
Tuesday night 11-12-13







joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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