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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -April 26, 2014

 



Aubrey Reuben




On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
April 26, 2014



 

04-23-14 (L-R) Cicely Tyson. Vanessa Williams announce the nominations for the 64h Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards at the New York Friars Club. 57 East 55th St. Tuesday morning. 04-22-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

04-23-14 (L-R) Cicely Tyson. Vanessa Williams announce the nominations for the 64h Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards at the New York Friars Club. 57 East 55th St. Tuesday morning. 04-22-14
 

 




Cicely Tyson
 and Vanessa Williams announced the 64th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards Nominations at the New York Friars Club. Among the many worthy nominations, I must mention A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, which received 11, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical and All The Way as Outstanding New Broadway Play. Among the individual performances, Outstanding Actor in a Play Bryan Cranston and Ian McKellan, in a Musical Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham, Outstanding Actress in a Play Estelle Parsonsand Jessica Hecht, in a Musical Jessie Mueller and Audra Mcdonald. The winners will be honored at Sardi's on May 22.

 
Christopher Sieber and Judith Light announced the 2014 Drama League nominees at Sardi's. Many nominees are similar to those of Outer Critics Circle, but as more nominees are included in their selections, it is good to see Reed Birney, Chris O'Dowd, Daniel Radcliffe, Patrick Stewart and Denzel Washington among those recognized.The 80th Annual Drama League Awards will be held May 16 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square.

 
Fran Drescher, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez announced the 2014 Drama Desk nominations at Studio 54 Below. Many nominees are similar to those of Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League. They also included Special Awards to Veanne Cox and the ensemble casts of two plays by Will Eno. The awards will be presented at Town Hall on June 1.

 
On Broadway, Daniel Radcliffe is a famous movie star, so The Cripple of Inishmaan, by Martin McDonagh, will attract his fans. He plays a cripple, who, unbelievably, is hired to go to Hollywood to act in a film. His opportunity arises when an American film using Irish natives is made on the small island near where he lives his boring life. The director thinks he may be able to play a part in his next film. The play consists, mainly, of unintelligent local characters gossiping in a dingy shop, which may be amusing to some members of the audience. However, all the cast act their roles very well, under the direction of Michael Grandage, and Radcliffe is to be commended for appearing on stage to the delight of the young people in the audience.

 
Presented Off-Broadway many years ago, Violet was a success. After one performance at City Center last year with glowing reviews, it was moved to Broadway. It has music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Brian Crowley, and tells the story of a young lady (Sutton Foster), who makes a bus trip to visit a televangelist, hoping that he can cure her disfigured face. She meets various characters, including two soldiers, on the trip, and finds hope for her future. It is a depressing trip, made tolerable by a superb Foster in the title role. The music is quite good, but loud, the set design minimal, and the love interest between Foster an the two soldiers seems more like a fantasy than real. However, Sutton Foster, as always, is magnificent. She is a musical theatre treasure.

 
The opportunity to see 86 years-old Estelle Parsons on stage is the only reason to see the 90 minutes The Velocity of Autumn, by Eric Coble. She plays a widow, who is aging and whose children want to put her in a nursing home. She has barricaded herself in her brownstone with Molotov cocktails, and plans to blow up herself and the building. Her estranged son (Stephen Spinella) climbs in through a window to persuade her to change her mind. The play is silly, but Parsons is a gem, and delivers a fine performance, under Molly Smith's direction.

 
Neil Patrick Harris is well known as a television star, but he has also appeared on Broadway, and hosted the Tony Awards. He is very popular ,and his fans will rush to see him in the Rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, book by John Cameron Mitchell, music and lyrics by Stephen Trask. It was a cult favorite in an Off-Off-Broadway theatre many years ago, and made into a film. Now it is on Broadway, modernized, and still extremely loud. The story is about a transgender singer, whose sex operation was not a success, and his/her life growing up in East Germany and moving to America. Also, it is about a relationship with a successful Rocker performing that night in Times Square. Harris dominates the 90 minute production, skillfully directed by Michael Mayer

 

 

 
 

 
 

 

 
 

 


 


 


 


 

 
 

 


 


 
 

 

 
 
 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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Playwright Harvey Fierstein knows a lot about cross dressing, and it is the theme of his new play Casa Valentina, based on a little known bungalow colony, where in the 60s, heterosexual men went to relax and dress in women's clothes. Blessed with a magnificent cast, directed by Joe Mantello, this unusual play has many moments of interest. At other times, it feels like a lecture for men to engage in their female desires, shown primarily by wearing dresses and wigs. All the cast, headed by Patrick Page and Reed Birney, give splendid performances, and that is the reason, one can overlook the melodramatic parts in this overlong play.

 
A revival of Cabaret, book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, at Studio 54, is the final show of the Broadway season. This is the exact, same production, which was a success in 1998. Only many of the cast members have been changed. Tony winningAlan Cumming again leads the cast, and he is, once again, terrific. Michelle Williams, Bill Heck, Linda Edmond and Danny Burstein are the new, supportive cast members. Everyone does a fine job, under the co-direction of Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall. It is a splendid musical, about a dingy cabaret club in Berlin, during the rise of the Nazis, with wonderful music and an intelligent story. It is good to have it back. 

 
I was invited to see A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder again. It was a terrific performance, and the musical is definitely one of the best musicals of the season.

 
I was also invited to see The Realistic Joneses again. The four member cast give fine performances, and the play is quite amusing. It has already received a Drama Desk Special Award for the cast and playwright, and is nominated by Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League in the best new play category.

 
Off-Broadway, Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra, by Kirk Lynn, seems like two plays in one. The first act has a couple deciding to tell all about their sexual experiences before they marry. The second act has the father confronting his daughter over her sexual activity. The acting is fine, under Anne Kauffman's direction, but I was disappointed not to learn anything about Kama Sutra.The opening night party was held at the West Bank Cafe.

 
Annapurna, by Sharr White, stars the popular television actors, husband and wife, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. For their fans, it will be a splendid opportunity to see them on small stage. Unfortunately, the play does not live up to expectations. A wife, after a twenty year disappearance, shows up at her ex-husband' refuge in the mountains of Colorado. They fight, she screams constantly, and they resolve their differences, which are totally unbelievable. The opening night party was held at KTCHN in the OUT NYC with guests Parker Posey, KatieFinneran and Janeane Garofalo.

 
Inventing Mary Martin, conceived and written by Stephen Cole, at the York Theatre, opens on April 27. My comments will appear in the next column.

 
The 28th Easter Bonnet Competition is a wonderful event, and I have attended everyone since its inception. It raises funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The show is always great fun. The stars of Broadway appear, and among the judges were Patrick Page, Carly Rae Jepsen and Michael McKean, and on stage, Idina Menzel, Fran Drescher, Bryan Cranston, Denzel Washington, Tyne Daly, James Franco among many others.

 
MoMA is presenting Ongoing An Auteurist History. Belle de Jour, by Luis Bunuel, France, 1927, starring a beautiful Catherine Deneuveas a cold, frigid wife, who decides to become a prostitute in her afternoons while her husband is working as surgeon in a hospital. Apparently, having sex with a number of different men, some quite horrible to look at, releases her sensuality. It is ridiculous story, full of erotic dream sequences, made palatable by beautiful photography and the lovely leading actress.

 
MoMA is presenting ContemporAsian. Bends, written and directed by Flora Lau, China 2013, is a lovely, leisurely film, which contrasts the lives of a rich wife living a luxurious life in Hong Kong, and her driver, with a child and a pregnant wife, suffering in poverty living on the border with Hong Kong in mainland China. The acting is realistic, intelligent, and leaves a profound impression. The two lead actors give superb performances. It is a wonderful film.







 




04-23-14 (L-R) Idina Menzel. Bryan Cranston. Fran Drescher. Denzel Washington announce the winners of the 28th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition at the Minskoff Theatre. 200 West 45th St.. Tuesday afternoon. 04-22-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

04-23-14 (L-R) Idina Menzel. Bryan Cranston. Fran Drescher. Denzel Washington announce the winners of the 28th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition at the Minskoff Theatre. 200 West 45th St.. Tuesday afternoon. 04-22-14
 


 




 




 



 

 

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