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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -April 12, 2014


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
April 12, 2014


04-09-14 The cast members (L-R) Veanne Cox. Jennifer Lim at the opening night party for "The Most Deserving" at Brasserie Cognac. 1740 Broadway. Tuesday night. 04-08-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

04-09-14 The cast members (L-R) Veanne Cox. Jennifer Lim at the opening night party for "The Most Deserving" at Brasserie Cognac. 1740 Broadway. Tuesday night. 04-08-14

On Broadway, Will Eno is a young playwright, whose plays have provoked controversy. Some people like  his work. Others don't. The Realistic Joneses will continue that discussion. A middle aged couple are sitting in their yard, when a young couple, who have just moved in a house next door, invade their privacy. In a series of short scenes in the intermissionless play, we learn about their lives and frustrations. Four excellent actors, Tracy Letts, Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall and Marisa Tomei, are expertly directed by Sam Gold. The dialogue is surreal at times, but quite funny. Many people may enjoy the play. Others may not. But, definitely, decide for yourself. The opening night party at the Redeye Grill attracted Joan Rivers, Laura Osnes and Jerry Dixon among others. 

Bullets Over Broadway, written by Woody Allen, based on his film with the same title, at the St. James Theatre, is a disappointing musical. With an excellent cast and a superb creative team, it turned out to be a dispiriting production, full of tired jokes, most not even funny. It is a one silly idea about an unproduced playwright (Zach Braff), having his play on Broadway, thanks to the money invested by a gangster (Vincent Pastore). A member of his gang (Nick Cordero) rewrites the play, which becomes a hit. Allen insisted on using old 20s songs instead of an original score. Some work. Some don't; especially, the final selection Yes! We Have No Bananas. Susan Stroman is responsible for the direction and choreography, which is pleasant, but not very imaginative. Among the actors, Marin Mazzie is amusing as an alcoholic diva, Braff performs well as the playwright and Cordero steals the show as a mobster with literary instincts.

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, at the Longacre Theatre, opens on April 16. My comments will be the next column.

Off-Broadway, a revival of The Threepenny Opera, book and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht, music by Kurt Weill, is another dull production of what was one of the most exciting shows ever seen Off-Broadway in 1954 starring Weill's wife, Lotte Lenya. With an all star cast, mostly miscast, it is one of the most lethargic productions ever offered, in which a bulldog, for no good reason, outperforms the human members on stage. This misguided production was directed and choreographed by Martha Clarke.












































The Most Deserving, by Catherine Trieschmann, is a wacky, funny play about a five member arts council in Kansas, who have to award a $20,00 grant to a deserving artist, who needs the help. The cast is superb, well directed by Shelley Butler, but it is Veanne Cox as the frustrated head of the council, who steals every scene. To watch her perform is worth the price of admission. We celebrated the opening night at Brasserie Cognac.

The Heir Apparent, by David Ives, is an exhausting production of a minor seventeenth century French play. An impoverished nephew wants his dying uncle's money, in order to marry his sweetheart. He employs two servants to help him. They disguise themselves as an American relative and three women with faces of pigs. To no avail. Never has a cast worked so hard for so little, while speaking in rhyming couplets with modern day references and slang which serve very little purpose in this unfunny play.

Film Forum is presenting from April 23-May 6 Bicycling With Moliere, by Phillippe Le Guay, France, 2013, a wonderful, intelligent, literate film about two actors, one (Fabrice Luchini) retired on an island off the French coast and the other (Lambert Wilson) a successful television soap opera star. The latter wants to return to the stage as the star of Moliere's play The Misanthrope, and hopes to persuade the retiree to join him. What follows is a delightful power play between the two, as they rehearse scenes and get involved with an Italian divorcee. The acting by the entire cast is splendid, and the photography of the island is charming.

MoMA presented The Aesthetics of Shadow, Part 2: Europe and America April 1-17. Shanghai Express, by Josef von Sternberg, USA, 1932, is a an adventure story about a train trip, with a group of foreigners, being held up by Chinese rebels. Marlene Dietrich stars as Shanghai Lily, a prostitute, and the film reveals her devastating beauty and charm. She is a joy to behold, and one can understand her success in Hollywood. Over 80 years later, the film and the star are still a delight to watch.

Ongoing An Auteurist History of Film presented Bonnie and Cyde, by Arthur Penn, USA, 1967, is a fascinating film about two actual bank robbers (Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway) in the 1930s, who end up killing many innocent people in their crime spree. The film is quite frank about their life, including their sexual problems. The rest of the cast is excellent, and includes Oscar winner Estelle Parsons. Almost 50 years later, it still packs a wallop.


04-07-14 Cast member Toni Collette at the opening night party for "The Realistic Joneses" at the Redeye Grill. 90 Seventh Ave, Sunday night. 04-06-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

04-07-14 Cast member Toni Collette at the opening night party for "The Realistic Joneses" at the Redeye Grill. 90 Seventh Ave, Sunday night. 04-06-14






joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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