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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben February 25, 2017



Aubrey Reuben

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

February 25, 2017


On Broadway, a revival of Present Laughter, by Noel Coward, will open at the St. James Theatre on April 5th. We had a Meet & Greet for the cast, the director Moritz von Stuelpnagel and the producer Jordan Roth at the Royal Suite at The Carlyle, where we enjoyed refreshments accompanied by champagne. Among the star studded cast are Kevin Kline, Kate Burton, Kristine Nielsen and Cobie Smulders. I eagerly await the opening.


Sunday in the Park with George, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, opened at the newly renovated Hudson Theatre. As it will not be considered for an Outer Critics Circle award, I did not review it. The New York Times did review it, and gave it a rave review. I did, however, photograph the arrivals and the opening night party at the New York Public Library. Among the guests were Producer of Amelie David Broser and his charming wife LorieBernadette Peters (photo below), Holland Taylor, Fran Drescher, Steven Levenson, Barlett Sher, Rita Moreno glorious at 85-years-old with her daughter Fernanda Luisa Gordon, Cameron Mackintosh, Rosie O'Donnell, Barry Weissler and Amy Irving, and at the party, the all star cast arrived, headed by Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford.


Off-Broadway, All Aboard!, music and lyrics by Al Tapper, book by Tony Sportiello, at the Laba Theater at the 14th Street Y, is a charming musical, featuring three talented performers, Brian Demar Jones, Nathan Oesterle and Sammi Sadicario, directed by Warren Scott Friedman. In 90 minutes, it tells three separate stories between two couples riding a train, overseen by a conductor, who introduces them and comments on their journeys. The music is melodious, the lyrics are intelligent, and the three actors are endearing. I guarantee you will have a very enjoyable theatrical experience.


The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking, book and lyrics by Anthony Caporale, at the Bar at New World Stages, is a delightful show, in which one receives a thorough education about drinking intoxicating drinks, and in which three drinks are served to members of the audience with popcorn. A Shandy, beer with ginger ale, a cocktail of scotch whiskey and bitters and a gin and tonic. Anthony Caporale gives the history with great humor, with three back-up singers and actors, singing various traditional drinking songs a capella, plus acting out characters mentioned from cavemen to medieval  monks. It is a very entertaining show, and you will not leave the bar thirsty.


Fish Men, by Candido Tirado, at Intar Theater, is a play, which takes place in Washington Square Park at two chess tables, where three hustlers await their victims to lose at games of chess, and relieve them of their money. One of the victims turns out to be not so naive. The five member cast, directed by Lou Moreno, give excellent, believable performances. Chess lovers, especially, will enjoy this remarkable production.


If I Forget, by Steven Levenson, at the Laura Pels Theatre, is a Roundabout Theatre Company production. It is an overlong play, with a convoluted plot. An unseen teenager is in Israel searching for her Jewish heritage. Her Jewish father, a college professor, is married to a non-Jew. His overbearing sister is married to a weak man, and they have a sullen teenage son. His younger sister is having an affair with a married man from Guatemala, who rents her grandfather's store. This dysfunctional family of seven actors are directed by Daniel Sullivan


Man From Nebraska, by Tracy Letts, at 2econd Stage Theatre, is a slow moving play, that features a distinguished stage actor, the incomparable Reed Birney, as a middle aged religious man, facing a crisis of his belief in God. His pastor tells him to take a vacation. He goes to London alone to the distress of his faithful wife. He indulges in alcohol, drugs, disco dancing, and unfulfilled sex with a woman with Playboy size uncovered breasts (voyeurs may enjoy that scene), and decides he wants to be a sculptor, before he returns to his senses. In spite of the ridiculous plot, Birney's understated performance is the reason to see the play.

The Drama Book Shop presented In Discussion: John Kander and Greg Pierce. The composer and playwright spoke about their new musical Kid Victory, which opened at the Vineyard Theatre on February 22. I photographed the two gentlemen, before the interesting program began.
 The opening night party took place at Florian, 225 Park Ave South, where among the guests, many of whom I photographed at the arrivals, were Chita Rivera (photo below), Kathleen Chalfant, Paula Vogel, Terrence McNally, Tom Kirdahy and the splendid cast. 

Film Society at Lincoln Center presented press previews of 
Rendez-Vous with French Cinema: March 1-12. In Bed with Victoria/Victoria, by Justine Triet, France, 2016, is about a lawyer, a single mother with two young children, and the many crazy men in her life. As she is mentally unstable, it is difficult to believe in this love story.  She also spends a lot of time, taking drugs, drinking, on a couch whining to her psychiatrist, and inviting a variety of weird men into her bedroom for unsatisfying sex. Three animals, a monkey, a dog and a rabbit appear in the film for no good reason. I also felt sorry for her two young girls who play her daughters in the film. 

Slack Bay, Ma loute
, by Bruno Dumont, France/Germany, 2016, is a silly film, that is excruciating to watch. People are disappearing in a coastal village. Every character is weird and irritating, and falls down constantly. Charlie Chaplin did it better. It is, I suppose, meant to be a comedy, but there is nothing to laugh at. There is lots of gratuitous violence, which I do not appreciate. A couple of characters fly in the air. Why? I have no idea. A lot of fine actors are wasted in this film.


The Odyssey/L'odyssee, by Jerome Salle, France, 2016, is a wonderful film about the life of Jacques-Ives Cousteau and his achievement in preserving nature, after exploring the sea. The photography is breathtaking, especially the under the water scenes.Lambert Wilson gives a magnificent performance as Cousteau and Pierre Niney as his rebellious son Philippe is equally good. It shows the warts and all of Cousteau as a selfish individual, a womanizer with an unhappy wife, and his desire to achieve unrealistic aims. It is a fascinating film.

The Paris Opera/L'oper
a, by Jean-Stephane Brun, France, 2017, is a splendid documentary about a season of ballet and opera at the opera house, with all the frustrations and triumphs that producing great works on stage entails. A national strike erupts forcing the cancellation of a ballet. Union leaders of the chorus voice their unhappiness over certain desires of their chorus master. A major singer is sick at the last minute forcing the management to find a suitable replacement from another country. At the same time, we listen to selections of the glorious operatic and ballet music. There are two principal scenes that will delight audiences. We see a program for young, adorable children learning to play instruments, resulting in a fine concert. Another program for new singers focuses on a Russian baritone, whose final concert is a resounding success. Opera lovers will delight in watching this marvelous film.


The Frick Museum presented a press preview Turner's Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages through Time. February 23-May14. It is a magnificent exhibition featuring paintings, watercolors, sketchbooks and prints. The Frick is one of the finest museums in New York, and no one should miss these wonderful paintings by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), one of the greatest British painters of the nineteenth century.

The Leopard at des Artistes, 1 West 67th Street, has occupied the space that was formerly Cafe des Artistes, which was one of my favorite restaurants in New York, which I visited first in 1971. I was heartbroken when it closed. Well, rejoice! The new restaurant replacing it is magnificent.The space is completely different, more modern, and the splendid murals of gorgeous naked ladies remain the same, only lighter and cleaner. The food is  exquisite, and the wine list is extensive. Henry Nekrasov is the charming maitre d', and his suggestions were a culinary delight. We began with a regional three-course tasting featuring Puglia for me, and a la carte choices for my wife. Each couple of months, a different region of Italy is featured. One can chose from three choices in antipasti, primo or secondi, and dolci, accompanied by three fine regional wines. My wife and I shared our delicious dishes. We began toasting with a dry spumante, and a tasting of four rice balls. A burrata, a creamy cheese, with grilled octopus with heart of escarole salad, celery, Castelvetrano olives, pickled onions, extra virgin oil and lemon dressing followed with a glass of white wine. A plate of enormous size gnocchi accompanied the antipasti. The primi was busiate trapanesi, a pasta with a variety of seafood, mainly shellfish. Again with a glass of a different white wine. The secondi, main course for my wife was a pan-seared duck breast "porchetta" with fennel pollen, cipolini with aged balsamic vinegar, pickled raisins and vegetable caponata, accompanied by a glass of red wine. For me, it was halibut "in brodetto" with baby artichokes and fingerling potatoes, and a glass of white wine. The Leopard temptations that we chose were a traditional torta di mascarpone "tiramisu" style, and a bigne filled with hazelnut cream and wild berry sauce. A cappuccino for my wife completed a most memorable Italian dinner. The wine list features sparkling wine, including two French champagnes, red wine and white wine from the North and Center of Italy,
 plus one rose, 
and five select beers. Dinner is served from 5pm - 11pm Monday to Saturday, and on Sunday 5pm - 10pm. On Saturday and Sunday, brunch is served from 11:30am -3pm.





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

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