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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -October 11, 2014


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
October 11,


10-10-14 (L-R) Sarah Jessica Parker and cast member Matthew Broderick at the opening night party for "It's Only A Play" at the Marriott Marquis. 1535 Broadway. Thursday night.10-09-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben


10-10-14 (L-R) Sarah Jessica Parker and cast member Matthew Broderick at the opening night party for "It's Only A Play" at the Marriott Marquis. 1535 Broadway. Thursday night.10-09-14

Rarely does a Broadway theatregoer experience anything like the one that awaits you at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Simon Stephens, based on the book by Mark Haddon, is an inventive, imaginative play, with a brilliant performance, by a young actor, Alex Sharp, in the leading role, in his Broadway debut, having just been graduated from Juilliard in May. He deserves to be nominated for a Tony award, and could possibly win it. He plays a 15-year old student in a small town in England, suffering from something like autism or Asperger. Although he is a math genius, his social skills are lacking. He has no friends, hates to  be touched, and lives in a world of own, unable to relate to the rest of the world. When his neighbor's dog is killed by a pitchfork, he resolves to find the murderer. This leads to all types of incidents, with his unhappy mother (Enid Graham) and father (Ian Barford), with the police, and with his teachers and neighbors. All the cast is exceptional, under the magnificent direction of Marianne Elliott. You will never forget this memorable night on Broadway.

Thirty years ago, this play appeared Off-Broadway, and it was quite funny. Now, Terrence McNally has updated his play, and it is still quite funny. It's Only A Play, at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, stars Nathan Lane, and  he is a theatre treasure. He can do no wrong. Every line that leaves his mouth is hilarious. Every gesture he makes is funny. For him alone, it is worth seeing this play. Fortunately, the rest of the cast is equally good, under Jack O'Brien's expert direction, especially Stockard Channing as a drug  addicted leading lady. The play takes place on opening night in a producer's townhouse. The producer (Megan Mullally), the playwright (Matthew Broderick), the director (Rupert Grint), a critic (F. Murray Abraham) and a young man hired to take the guests' coats (a very good Micah Stock). along with Channing and Lane, a TV star and best friend of the playwright, await what turns out to be devastating reviews. There is name dropping galore, and some are quite vicious. The audience loves the gossip. The opening night party took place at the Marriott Marquis filled with celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Marilu Hener, Julie Taymor, Norman Lear and John Slattery

New York New York a helluva town, a Career Transition For Dancers 29th Anniversary Jubilee held a preview of two selections at City Center. The Ballet Hispanico presented El Beso (2014), choreography by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, music from zarzuelas, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, presented Mother Popcorn, an excerpt from Return, choreography by Robert Garland, music by popular singers, like James Brown. The dancers were superb, and the two companies were a pleasure to watch. At night after the show, a dinner gala was held at the New York Hilton. As always, it was a festive occasion.

























































A wonderful cocktail reception was held at the Lotos  Club to honor Suzan-Lori Parks and Dan O'Brien, the recipients of  the 2014 Horton Foote Prizes. AndrewLeynse introduced the two playwrights, and Oskar Eustis presented the prize to Parks, whose proud mother Francis Parks watched her receive a $15.000 cheque. Among the guests were Donald Margulies, Jo Bonney and members of the Foote family. It was a lovely event.

The press screenings for the 52nd New York Film Festival September 26-October 12, 2014 continue. Inherent Vice, by Paul Thomas Anderson, USA, 2014, is the first film adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel. Joaquin Phoenix is a drug addicted private detective in California in the early 70s, searching for his ex-girlfriend (a beautiful Katherine Waterston), who has suddenly disappeared. For an overlong two and one half hours, we follow him being knocked unconscious with a baseball bat, being arrested on a murder charge by a neurotic police detective, hung from the ceiling in handcuffs, and a multitude of adventures too numerous to mention. A large cast appear in the film with small roles. They include Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, and Owen Wilson. Nothing about the film is realistic or believable, except for the constant smoking of marijuana, and the sniffing of cocaine. It is also supposed to be amusing, but I found very few occasions to laugh.

Tales of the Grim Sleeper, by Nick Broomfield, USA/UK, 2014, is a fascinating documentary about a serial killer, who was arrested in 2010 for murdering at least ten women in a poor neighborhood in Los Angeles. Young black women began disappearing in 1988, and perhaps he murdered one hundred of them. That it took so long to finally capture this killer is the focus of this remarkable film. With the help of a former prostitute who knows everyone in the neighborhood, the filmmaker manages to interview many of the women, who were able to escape what could have been their devastating fate. Obviously, for the police in Los Angeles, the disappearance of young black women, many of whom were drug addicts and prostitutes, was not a priority. It is a memorable documentary. A Q & A with the  filmmaker and the former prostitute followed the screening.

Clouds of Sils Maria, written and directed by Olivier  Assayas, Switzerland/Germany/France, 2014, is, like many films in the festival, an overlong (123 minutes) film, about an aging actress (Juliette Binoche), who consents to appear in a play, that made her famous twenty years ago, playing an ambitious, young girl who drives an older woman to commit suicide. However, this time she is to play the older woman. She, now, has mixed emotions, as she runs her lines with her personal assistant (Kristen Stewart). We are subjected to listening to these lines over and over again, as they walk along mountain trails in the picturesque Alps. Binoche is an esteemed actress, but, in this tedious film, she is dull. Theatergoers know that plays can be exciting to watch, but rehearsing lines are uninteresting. The beautiful views of the Alps would make a nice travelogue.

Listen Up Philip, by Alex Ross Perry, USA, 2014, features Jason Schwartzman as a neurotic young novelist, awaiting the publication of his second novel. He meets his idol (the always wonderful Jonathan Pryce), a famous novelist, who has withdrawn from society, and is living isolated in the country. They bond as mentor and student. A third character is the young man's unhappy girlfriend (Elizabeth Moss), a photographer. The film features numerous close-ups of the three main characters, which is unpleasant, as they are not particularly attractive. Also, the hand held camera is jerky, which is irritating to the eyes. But,  the main problem with the film is that the leading character is just not a likable person, and it is annoying to have spend so much time with him. He is basically a spoilt, immature baby, and the viewer could not care less about what happens to him.

Foxcatcher, by Bennett Miller, USA, 2014, is based on a true story, about a wealthy, weird John E. du Pont (Steve Carrell), who is obsessed with wrestling, and attempts to create a USA national team for the 1988 Olympics. He persuades two brothers, wrestlers Dave (Mark Ruffalo) and Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), to join his organization on a sprawling estate in Pennsylvania. The project ends tragically. The story is fascinating, and the acting is very good, but the film. like many in the festival, is overlong (133 minutes), and similar scenes are repeated over and over again. What is wrong with these new directors?. Are they not able to edit their films? Are they so self indulgent, that they feel every scene is so valuable and must be preserved in the film?


10-07-14 Suzan-Lori Parks and Dan O'Brien received the 2014 Horton Foote Prizes at the Lotos Club. 5 East 66th St. Monday night 10-06-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

10-07-14 Suzan-Lori Parks and Dan O'Brien received the 2014 Horton Foote Prizes at the Lotos Club. 5 East 66th St. Monday night 10-06-14





joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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