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New York Society News 1 2

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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben February 2, 2020


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
February 2 2020

The New York City Ballet presented an All Balanchine program of three ballets of the wonderful choreographer. It began with the delightful Allegro Brillante, music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, with Tyler Peck and Tyler Angle, with piano solo by Susan Walters. The two leads, and their supportive eight member ensemble, performed, as in the title, brilliantly. La Source, music by Leo Delibes, followed, with a fine Erica Pereira and Harrison Ball, plus soloist Rachel Hutsell and an eight member ensemble. Ball, in his solos, performed magnificently. The program concluded with a stunning version of Firebird, music by Igor Stravinsky, scenery and costumes designed by Marc Chagall, starring the incomparable Sara Mearns. It was a perfect conclusion to a splendid tribute to George BalanchineAndrew Litton conducted the superb orchestra, which played the composers' music beautifully.
Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake: The Legend Returns , directed and Choreographed by  Matthew Bourne , music by  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsk y, at City Center, will surprise the audience, that only knew the traditional version. In first place all the swans are danced by men,  Matthew Ball  dances Odette/Odile as The Swan/Stranger. The story now takes place in the present. The Prince ( James Lovell ) is asleep in his bedroom, and dreams of the Swan. The Queen ( Nicole Kabrera ) takes him to the Opera House, where he is accompanied by a young girl he met at the Palace ( Katrina Lyndon ). This is a very funny scene. Lyndon is hilarious. They remind me of the current Prince  Harry  and  Megan . At a City Park, he sees the Swan of his dreams, and becomes obsessed with it. At the Palace Ball, the Swan as a Stranger seduces the Queen, and the Prince goes crazy. After therapy, he is returned to his bedroom, where the Swan appears, and both die. The dancing is magnificent, and the concept is brilliant. As you can see, this is not a typical  Swan Lake , but it is original and spectacular. The set & costume design by  Lez Brotherson  are wonderful, a pleasure to see. The music is taped, but it is glorious. It was one of the most delightful evenings that I have spent at the ballet.
The Encompass New Opera Theatre Gala honored actress Estelle Parsons ( photo below) and composer Maury Yeston at the National Arts Club. After a reception and dinner A Musical Salute followed, concluding with champagne and dessert. Among the performers were Karen Ziemba, Melanie Long and KT SullivanSheldon Harnick presented the awards to the honorees, and I photographed Estelle and Sheldon and his wife Margery ( photo below) at the conclusion of the evening It was a wonderful event.

The York Theatre Company presented 
 A York Legacy Concert Celebration , book and lyrics by  Tom Jones , music by  Harvey Schmidt . The eight member cast, led by  Fred Applegate  and  Nick Wyman , who both appeared in the original production on Broadway 47 years ago, were directed by  David Glenn Armstrong . At the curtain call, 92-years-old Tom Jones rose from his seat to join the cast in their curtain call, to well deserved applause. It was an enjoyable afternoon.
The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, presented two exhibitions at a press preview. The first was Alfred Jarry: The Carnival of Being January 24-May 10, and the second was Jean-Jaques Lequeu: Visionary Architect, Drawing from the Biblioteque nationale de France, January 31-May 10.  Alfred Jarry (1873-1907, in his short life, was a major influence on Dada, Surrealism and the Theatre of the Absurd. His play Ubu Roi (1896) made him famous. He was an artist, book designer, puppeteer, novelist and a bicycle fanatic. For the last one, he should be alive today in New York! It is a fascinating exhibition. Jean-Jaques Lequieu (1757-1826) was an architect and draftsman. There are sixty of his works on display, and some, a nun in her habit revealing her right breast, and a lady lying on her back totally nude, are quite daring. It is another fascinating exhibition. I urge all lovers of art, who want to learn about talented artists who are not generally well known to visit the Morgan, one of the finest museums in New York City.


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