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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben September 2, 2017



Aubrey Reuben

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

September 2, 2017



What does one write about Prince on Broadway, at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, a production of the Manhattan Theatre Club? The esteemed director/producer deserves a tribute for his magnificent achievements and contributions to the Broadway Theatre for seven decades. Unfortunately, this production was not it. He brought outstanding musicals like West Side Story, Follies, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Showboat, and The Phantom of the Opera to the Broadway stage, and many other delightful musicals. In this production, nine competent singers sing a potpourri of selections from a number of these shows, under the direction of Harold Prince, and the co-director and choreographer Susan Stroman, with a book by David Thompson and new songs, arrangement, orchestration and music supervision by Jason Robert Brown. Some were pleasant to listen to, but one wondered why many of the most remarkable songs were missing, and other less memorable songs were included, and one, especially, was in bad taste. All nine performers come on stage as Prince to mention moments in his professional life. For a musical, this one has little choreography, except for The Right Girl, a  solo, danced by Tony Yazbeck. Among the singers, Chuck Cooper stole the show with If I were a Rich Man, as Tevye, from Fiddler on the Roof and Ol' Man River, as Joe, from Showboat, but many of the voices were loud and harsh. Hal, you deserved better!





If Only..., by Thomas Klingerstein, at the Cherry Lane Studio Theatre, takes place in a living room in a townhouse in New York, 1901. A black man (Mark Kenneth Smaltz) pays a visit to a white married lady (Melissa Gilbert), with whom he had a unfulfilled romantic encounter 36 years previously after the American Civil War. They talk. They read books aloud. It is a slow moving dull 85-minute play. The four member cast (photo below), which includes an adorable 6-year old actress Korinne Tetlow, are fine, under the direction of Christopher McElroen. We toasted the cast with a glass of prosecco at Fifty restaurant, 50 Commerce Street, to celebrate their opening.

Distinguished costume designer William Ivey Long was honored on his 70th birthday (and he only looks half his age!) with a caricature at Sardi's. The largest crowd of friends and colleagues that I have ever seen at a caricature unveiling came for William. He deserves it. David Henry Hwang spoke about William and Laura Osnes sang a song for him and restaurant owner Max Klimavicius presented him with the caricature (photo below). Among the the many guests were Chairman of the Shubert Organization Philip Smith, legendary Broadway producer Elizabeth Ireland McCann, playwright Christopher Durang, Kennedy Center Honoree Carmen de Lavallade, Broadway star Karen Ziemba, New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel, director/set designer Tony Walton, and many others too numerous to mention. With hors d'oeuvres and an open bar, it was a delightful occasion




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

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