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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -October 3, 2015



Aubrey Reuben

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

October 3, 2015


It is laudable to offer the opportunity for deaf actors to appear on Broadway. A revival of Spring Awakening, book and lyrics by Steven Sater, music by Duncan Sheik, based on a play by Frank Wedekind, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, features deaf actors, Daniel N. Durant and Sandra Mae Frank, in two of the three leading roles, with two speaking and singing actors behind them, while they use their hands for American Sign Language. The third leading actor, Austin P. McKenzie, speaks and sings, but also uses his hands to sign. The entire cast, consisting of speaking and deaf actors, sign throughout the performance. The musical has a pop/rock score, consisting of mainly guitars and percussion amplified at an ear-splitting level. It takes place in a repressive provincial German town in the 1890s. A group of adolescents are sexually obsessed, and we see graphic examples of pregnancy, abortion, homosexuality, masturbation, suicide, and partial nudity. The minimal set design by Dane Laffrey consists of mainly huge movable metal ladders, with characters walking up and down for no discernible reason. The cast works tirelessly, under the direction of Michael Arden.

Off-Broadway, The Quare Land, by John McManus, is a production of the Irish Repertory Theatre. It is a two character play, about a hotel owner (Rufus Collins), who makes an unannounced visit to the home of a man (Peter Maloney) who is taking a bath, his first in four years. He wants to purchase a field from him. The two actors give fine performances, under the expert direction of Ciaran O'Reilly. It is a funny play of an intermissionless 80 minutes, with a surprising ending.  We celebrated the opening night with a party at Shades of Green, with Tony Walton, John McEnroe (the father, not the tennis player} and the cast and creative team.

There was a lovely party for Renee Elise Goldberry, who is on the cover of the September issue of the glossy magazine Resident. It took place in apartment 54B, One57 West 57thSt, with spectacular views of the city. The delicious food was served from Il Valentino Osteria, accompanied by exquisite cocktails. It was a delightful evening.
I attended Bright Lights Shining Stars, a benefit for NYC Dance Alliance Foundation at NYU Skirball Center. The marvelous program of song and dance began after a  cocktail reception. Among the speakers were Executive Director Joe Lanteri, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Robert Fairchild and Phylicia Rashad, whose sister Debbie Allen was honored with the Ambassador For The Arts Award. As Debbie Allen was nominated twice for Tony Awards, there were two selections from Sweet Charity and West Side Storyin which she appeared on Broadway. There was an after-party buffet on the 10th floor after the program. It was a wonderful evening. The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation raises funds to give scholarships for college to students who are preparing for a professional career as dancers. It is a most worthy cause, and the performance by many of the students was at a high professional level. Executive Director Joe Lanteri can be proud of what his organization has achieved.  
Geraldo Rivera is on the September 2015 cover of 25A Magazine, and we celebrated with a party at Four Cuts Steakhouse, 1076 First Avenue, with delicious hors d'oeuvres and fine wines.
Shirley MacLaine received the Rolex Dance Award presented by Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones at the Career Transition For Dancers 30th Anniversary Pearl Jubilee at City Center. It was a wonderful dance program.
Omara Reyes is the charming owner of an exquisite jewel of a restaurant Aqua Marina, featuring Italian Cuisine, at 4060 Broadway, corner of 171st St. We tasted a large selection of delicious dishes, with two appetizers, (one was stuffed mushrooms), four entrees, (one was Veal Saltimbocca) and a sweet dessert. This, accompanied by fine wines, was a dinner for a king. For a marvelous dining experience, visit Aqua Marina.
There was a photo op for Allegiance, book Jay Kuo, music Marc Acito, directed by Stafford Arima, starring George Takei and Lea Salonga at the Longacre Theatre. We saw three selections of songs from the show about Japanese Americans interned during World War II, based on a true story. The musical opens on November 8, and I eagerly await the opening night.

The Hungarian composer/pianist Havasi played four selections of his music at a press conference at the Cutting Room, 44 East 32nd St.  He looks like a rock star, displays a great  deal of charisma, and is a talented musician. He is appearing in his debut in the United States at Carnegie Hall on Monday, October 26, with guest star Lisa Gerrard. I will be there.

MoMA presented Ingrid Bergman: A Centennial Celebration until September 10. To celebrate her 100th birthday, her children chose and introduced many of her films. Viaggio in Italia (Journey to Italy), by Roberto Rossellini, Italy, 1954, starred Ingrid Bergmanand George Sanders as an unhappily married English couple traveling to Naples to  sell a property they had inherited. The two stars are terrific. Sanders is bored in Naples, sarcastic, and despises the Italians and their culture. Bergman is a romantic, who visits museums, churches, and the ruins of Pompeii. They fight constantly, but it has a surprising ending when they are caught in the midst of of a Neapolitan festival. It is a pleasure to see such wonderful actors on the screen.
Hostsonaten (Autumn Sonata), by Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1978, is a somber look at a mother (Ingrid Bergman) and daughter (Liv Ullmann) relationship. The daughter felt neglected as a child  and grew up with feelings of hatred towards her classical pianist mother, who was always on tour, abandoning the family. When the mother comes to visit her daughter, after not seeing her in seven years, there is a violent verbal explosion between them. The mother leaves the next day. The acting, by the two stars, is simply spendid. The subject matter, however, is depressing. There is not one light moment in the film.

I went to HOOTERS, 155 West 33rd St, when they had the kick-off of the 2016 Swimwear Calendar. The beautiful girls sign the calendars, the 30th Annual Calendar, and the customers could not have been happier. It is one of most attractive events of the year.

The 53rd New York Film Festival September 25-October 14 continued its press screenings with Mountains May Depart, by Jia Zhangke, China/France/Japan, 2015. It is in three parts. In part I, in 1999 Shen Tao (Zhao Tao) has to choose a husband between Zhang (Zhang Li) and Langzi (Liang Jin Dong). In part II. 1n 2014 she is separated from her husband, and he has custody of their son. In the final part, in 2025, the son and the father, now living in Australia, cannot relate to each other, and separate. Families, whether in China or the rest of the world, have problems, and in this film one senses that the director regrets the changes taking place in the modern world. The photography is beautiful, and the actress Zhao Tao gives an appealing performance.

Carol, by Todd Haynes, USA, 2015, is about a humorless, middle aged suburban mother (Cate Blanchett) attracted to a young shopgirl (Rooney Mara). When the husband takes custody of her daughter, Blanchett and Mara take a road trip across the United States. They fall in love. The film is slow moving, and the love affair is unbelievable. The two actresses are fine, but the film is excruciating to watch.

Maggie's Plan, by Rebecca Miller, USA, 2015, is about three neurotic people, working in universities in New York. Greta Gerwig is at the New School, and wants to have a baby. Ethan Hawke (an adjunct professor at the same school) is married to Julianne Moore(a domineering personality, is a professor at Columbia University). They are parents of two children. Hawke meets Gerwig, divorces his wife, marries Gerwig, and becomes a father to a daughter. We see the film in two parts. The second part takes place after a couple of years, where Gerwig realizes she is supporting a pathetic, frustrated novelist, and decides to manipulate Hawke into remarrying Moore. Miller also wrote the ridiculous screenplay, that may delight college educated women, who fantasize about being single mothers.

The Treasure/Comoara
, by Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania, 2015, is about Costi (Cuzin Toma), who lends a neighbor (Adian Purcarescu) some money to find treasure, that his grandfather had buried in his garden. They hire a man with a metal detector, and the three men go digging up the garden. It is a mild, painless comedy, with a happy ending.

Right Now, Wrong Turn, by Hong Sangsoo, South Korea, 2015, is the same two stories, which, with some few changes in the dialogue, result in two different endings, one happy and one sad. A film director (Jung Jaeyoung) comes to small town to screen one of his films and give a speech to some students. He meets a young painter (Kim Minhee), and spends the day with her. He is much older and married, but they both become drunk on soju, a Korean alcoholic drink. He attempts to seduce her. The dialogue, in both parts, is natural, and the two actors are charming. The film develops in a leisurely style, and is quite lovely.
My Golden Days/ Trois Souvenirs de ma jeunesse, by Arnaud Desplechin, France, 2015, is, perhaps, an autobiographical film. If so, the filmmaker reveals himself as an unpleasant person. Mathieu Amalric recalls memories of his past. As a child, he hates his mother, and is thrown out of his home. As a teenager, he goes to Russia on a school trip, where he gives his passport away. The main story, is his love affair as a teenager (Quentin Dolmaire) with another unpleasant personality, Esther (Lou Roy-Lecollinet). Watching the two emote and whine is insufferable. The epilogue, where Amalric meets an old friend and his wife, and displays his bitterness towards him, shows how obnoxious the filmmaker is.

Where To Invade Next, by Michael Moore, USA, 2015, is a travelogue to various countries, where the filmmaker thinks they have virtues that the United States could acquire. For example, in Portugal taking illegal drugs is not a crime. In Norway, a model prison has the prisoners leading an enjoyable life, while their only problem is being the lack of freedom. In Iceland, bankers, who caused the economic meltdown, are prosecuted, and sent to jail. He idolizes Italy, where there are many paid vacations for workers, and holidays, and two hour lunches. There is also archival footage of many prisoners being beaten by police in the USA. It is a harmless film, with, occasionally, funny moments. The photography of the beautiful scenery is pleasant to watch.

09-30-15 Restaurant owner Omara Reyes at her Aqua Marina Restaurant. Italian Cuisine. 4060 Broadway. Corner of 171st St. Tuesday night. 09-29-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

10-01-15 Hungarian composer/pianist Havasi plays selections of his music for the press at the Cutting Room. 44 East 32nd St. Wednesday afternoon. 09-30-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

09-30-15 Restaurant owner Omara Reyes at her
 Aqua Marina Restaurant. Italian Cuisine. 4060 Broadway.
Corner of 171st St. Tuesday night. 09-29-15

10-01-15 Hungarian composer/pianist Havasi plays selections of his music for the press at the Cutting Room.
 44 East 32nd St. Wednesday afternoon. 09-30-15


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

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