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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -April 5, 2014

 



Aubrey Reuben




On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
April 5, 2014



 

04-01-14 Kate Baldwin at the VIP reception for the launch of Stage 17 The Show Must Go On Online at the Walter Reade Theater. 165 West 65th St. Monday night. 03-31-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey reuben

04-01-14 Kate Baldwin at the VIP reception for the launch of Stage 17 The Show Must Go On Online at the Walter Reade Theater. 165 West 65th St. Monday night. 03-31-14
 

 
On Broadway, Idina Menzel stars in a confused musical as a woman, who arrives in New York after twelve years in Arizona, and splits into two characters. We are forced to follow her two separate, uninteresting lives in If/Then, music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. She is a city planner, and her friends and acquaintances cover every color, ethnic group, sexual orientation imaginable, and we see every possible incident from birth of a baby to a plane crash. The dull songs all sound alike, and are mostly sung by Menzel with a loud, piercing voice. The lyrics contain a great deal of vulgarity, and feature every cliche one can find. The choreography by Larry Keigwin is a travesty of the usual high level of Broadway dance. Some fine members of the cast, directed by Michael Greif, are wasted in this production. In short, it is one of the more pathetic shows seen on Broadway this season.

 
Denzel Washington is the star of a revival of A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, but it is the wonderful play that outshines him. In fact, his performance is quite subdued, and fits perfectly within this brilliant ensemble cast, smoothly directed by Kenny Leon. Everyone is a star in this play about a poor black family, living in a depressing apartment in a slum in Chicago. An insurance cheque gives the family the opportunity to achieve upward mobility. The cast is superb. Anika Noni Rose as the sister, who wants to become a doctor, steals every scene in which she appears. LaTanya Richardson Jackson as the mother, Sophie Okonedo as Denzel's weary wife and Sean Patrick Thomas as an educated Nigerian, who pursues the sister and teaches her about her African heritage, give outstanding performances. But it is Denzel, who will attract the audience to the play, and he lives up to his reputation. He is charismatic, likable and a true superstar. Every theatre fan will love this production.

 
I returned for the third time to see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and I believe it is one of the best musicals on Broadway, and Jessie Mueller as Carole King deserves a Tony nomination. You will enjoy every minute of this wonderful show. But we and the cast were in for a surprise. When they took the curtain call, Carole King appeared on the stage. She had seen the show that night, and led the audience and the cast inYou've Got a Friend. It was a spectacular, memorable moment to the delight of everyone.

 
 

 

 
 

 


 


 


 


 

 
 

 


 


 
 

 

 
 
 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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Off-Broadway, Heathers, book, music and lyrics by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O'Keefe, is a musical based on a film of the same title. I have never seen the film, but I understand it is a cult movie. For those fans, I imagine the musical will be a nostalgic reminder. For me, the music was loud, the story is silly and the choreography minimal. Some films do not need to be musicalized. 

 
 
I Remember Mama, by John Van Druten, is a charming play about a Norwegian family living in San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century, made even more enjoyable by having a cast of ten elderly actresses play all the characters. It is a sentimental play that warms the heart, and all the actresses are superb, under the direction of Jack Cummings III. Among them, one must mention Barbara Andres as Mama. She gives a brilliant performance. The opening night party took place in the Gym at Judson with guests Mary Testa, Ann Harada and Marni Nixon.

 
I have attended all the New York City Center Encores! series since its inception. They have always been a delight, but The Most Happy Fella, book, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser reached a new height. The performance was simply brilliant, with a magnificent cast, marvelous singing, wonderful dancing, directed and choerographed by Casey Nicholaw, and gorgeous music by a superb orchestra, conducted by Rob Berman. WithShuler Hensley in the title role, supported by Laura Benanti, Cheyenne Jackson and Heidi Blickenstaff, it was a memorable night.

 
Queen of the Night at the Diamond Horseshoe, 235 West 46th St, is a three hour evening of drinks, dinner (lobster, beef, pork or mushroom paella), performances by talented acrobatic dancers, followed by dancing to finish a complete night of spectacular entertainment. For an unusual theatrical experience, it is well worth a visit.

 
Drama Desk presented a very distinguished panel Why Shakespeare? Why Now? with Julie Taymor, Michael Pennington, John Glover, DanielSullivan and Scott Shepherd at Sardi's. It was a wonderful event.

 
We attended a VIP reception and Stage 17 premiere at the Walter Reade Theater. Many clips were shown of the programs that will appear on Stage 17: The Show Must Go On Online. Among the many performers and members of the creative team were Kate Baldwin, Beth Leavel and Michael Urie. We wish Stage 17 great success.


 


03-31-14 Cast members (L-R) Lynn Cohen. Barbara Andres at the opening night party for "I Remember Mama" at The Gym at Judson. 243 Thompson St. Sunday night. 03-30-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

03-31-14 Cast members (L-R) Lynn Cohen. Barbara Andres at the opening night party for "I Remember Mama" at The Gym at Judson. 243 Thompson St. Sunday night. 03-30-14
 


 




 




 



 

 

joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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