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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - April 9, 2016

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
April 9, 2016

 

1776, one of my favorite musicals was presented by New York City Center Encores!. At the matinee I sat behind William Daniels, who starred in 1776 on Broadway in 1969 and in the film in 1972 as John Adams. He went on stage with the cast for a talkback, and cast member Santino Fontana (John Adams) knelt before him as he shook his hand.The audience went wild. Daniels is charming, and has good stories to tell, about the show performing for President Nixon at the White House. He praised Fontana's superb performance. The entire cast was excellent, under the expert direction of Garry Hynes. John Larroquette (Benjamin Franklin) was very funny. John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson) was charming. Christiane Noll (Abigail Adams) and Nikki Renee Daniels (Martha Jefferson) sang beautifully. The orchestra, conducted by Ben Whiteley, played the score splendidly. The story of the signing of the Declaration of Independence has never been presented better. It was a magnificent afternoon.


 

Cagney, book by Peter Colley, music & lyrics by Robert Creighton & Christopher McGovern, at the Westside Theatre, features a superb performance by Robert Creighton as the film star James Cagney. He acts, sings and dances brilliantly. The other five members of the cast, playing multiple roles, are equally good, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse and directed by Bill Castellino. It tells the story of Cagney as a poor Irish young man in New York becoming a vaudeville song and dance man, and then winning fame in gangster roles in Hollywood. His difficulties with Jack Warner, the head of the studio (a very good Bruce Sabath) are revealed. In spite of all Cagney's trials and tribulations, it is a very entertaining show. We celebrated the opening with a party at BEA restaurant with an open bar and delicious hors d'oeuvres. Among the guests were Tony Roberts, Julie Halston and Karen Mason. 
 


 

Dance Theatre of Harlem opened its 2016 Season at New York City Center with a delightful program of three ballets. It began with Divertimento, choreography by Elena Kunikova, music by Mikhail Glinka, a classical ballet for three couples, danced exquisitely by all six dancers.

 

The second ballet was Change, choreography  by Dianne McIntyre, music by Eli Fountain, a modern ballet for three female dancers, impressively performed.
The closing ballet was Return, choreography by Robert Garland, music of James Brown, Alfred Ellis, Aretha Franklin and Carolyn Franklyn, a fusion of modern and classical dance for the entire company, a lively piece. Before each ballet, Former First Lady of New York Joyce Dinkins was honored with an award presented by Chirlane de Blasio, and Gladys Knight by Robert Garland. It was a wonderful night of dance.

Dear Evan Hansen,
 book by Steven Levenson, music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, opens May 1 at 2econd Stage Theatre. We attended a preview, and I will reserve my comments until after it opens.

 

The Father, by Florian Zeller, at the Samuel F. Friedman Theatre opens on April 14. My review will appear in next week's column.
 

 

One of my favorite actresses is Marisa Tomei, who was honored at the MCC Theater's Miscast 2016 gala at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Among the many guests and performers were Lea Salonga, Linda Lavin and Julianna Margulies. As always, it is a splendid event. I took two photos for Marisa taken in 1990 and 1992 with Ed Begley, Jr and the other with Whoopi Goldberg. How time flies!


 

Bella New York Magazine invited us to a book party at Mamo, 323 West Broadway, a new French/Italian restaurant in Soho. Dr. Robi Ludwig's new book is entitled Your Best Age Is Now, and I am sure it will appeal to many ladies. Delicious hors d'oeuvres and fine wines were served at this elegant restaurant to celebrate the occasion.


 

The sculptor/painter Eleanora Kupencow, Southampton and Brooklyn Resident had an exhibition of her work at Anderson Contemporary Gallery, 180 Maiden Lane in lower Manhattan, April 8 – May 1, 2016. The gallery is a lovely space, and the painter is a charming lady, who was surrounded by her many friends and admirers. The hors d'oeuvres were delicious with fine wines. It was a lovely event.

 

04-09-16 Honoree Marisa Tomei at the MCC Theater's annual Miscast 2016 honoring Marisa Tomei at the Hammerstein Ballroom. 311 West 34th St. Monday night 04-04-16.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

04-09-16 (L-R) Cast members Bruce Sabath. Danette Hollden. Robert Creighton. Ellen Zolezzi. Jeremy Benton. Josh Walden at the opening night party for "Cagney" at BEA restaurant. 403 West 43rd  St. Sunday night 04-03-16.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

04-09-16 Honoree Marisa Tomei at the MCC Theater's annual Miscast 2016 honoring Marisa Tomei at the Hammerstein Ballroom. 311 West 34th St.
Monday night 04-04-16

04-09-16 (L-R) Cast members Bruce Sabath. Danette Hollden. Robert Creighton. Ellen Zolezzi. Jeremy Benton. Josh Walden at the opening night party for "Cagney" at BEA restaurant. 403 West 43rd St. Sunday night 04-03-16

 

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

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