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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -August 22, 2015


 

 

Aubrey Reuben

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

August 22, 2015

 
Off-Broadway, a wonderful, intelligent, well acted play Informed Consent, by Deborah Zoe Laufer, is a joint Primary Stages and Ensemble Studio Theatre production at the Duke on 42nd Street. A genetic anthropologist played by an excellent Tina Benko is assigned to investigate why a tribe of American Indians living in the Grand Canyon suffer from diabetes. She persuades them to have their blood analyzed, against their tribal beliefs. She also writes articles and gives lectures about other genetic problems. This resulted in an actual law suit by the tribe against Arizona State University. The terrific five member cast, directed by Liesl Tommy, make this play one of the highlights of the season.

 
Mercury Fur, by Philip Ridley, at the Pershing Square Signature Center, is a production of the New Group. An excellent eight member cast is directed by Scott Elliott. It is a bleak, dystopian view of the future. Two brother hold parties in a dilapidated, abandoned apartment, and invite six strange characters. They drink beer, take drugs, and the scene turns violent. The opening night party at Lightbox, 339 West 38th St, was much more pleasant with delicious, healthy food and fine wine and beer.

 
The 49th Mostly Mozart Festival continued with a program of a Mozart symphony and a Beethoven piano concerto. Cristian Macelaru conducted the orchestra, that offered a superb interpretation of Symphony No. 39 in E-flat major, K.543, and Lars Vogt was the soloist in the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58. Vogt gave a brilliant, powerful performance of the wonderful concerto. His rapid, skillful playing was a joy to behold. It was the last concert that I was able to attend, but the six concerts, that I saw, were the highlight of the summer season. The delightful Mostly Mozart Festival gets better every year, and I eagerly anticipate with pleasure the 50th.

 
MoMA is presenting Scorsese Screens August 5-September 6. La Ronde, by Max Ophuls, France, 1950, is based on the play by Arthur Schnitzler. Like a carousel, the scenes go round and round, with a prostitute meeting a soldier, and the soldier dancing with a chambermaid, and the chambermaid seducing her young master, who in turn makes love to a married woman, and so on, until we arrive at the final scene with the prostitute sleeping with an officer count. Anton Walbrook narrates the story, and the finest film actors in France at that time appear in this delightful film, including Simone Signoret, Simone Simon, Daniel Gelin, Danielle Darrieux and Gerard Philipe.



Le Plaisir,
 by Max Ophuls, France, 1952, is three short stories by Guy de Maupassant. The first Le Masque and the third Le Modele are very short, and cynical. The first is about an old man wanting to retain his youth, and the third is love turning sour with a forced marriage. The second one La Maison Tellier is a light hearted look at a brothel in a provincial town. The actresses are wonderful, including Madeleine Renaud and Danielle Darrieux, with Jean Gabin stealing the film as a French peasant.

The third film by Max Ophuls, France, 1953, Madame de...(The Earrings of Madame de...) is a moralistic tale. The wife (Danielle Darrieux) of a general (Charles Boyer) is in debt. She sells her diamond earrings, which her husband gave her as a wedding present, to a jeweler. She lies that she has lost them. The little white lie has grave, tragic consequences. The earrings begin a journey to Constantinople and return to Paris with an Italian diplomat (Vittorio De Sica), who becomes enamored with Darrieux, giving her the earrings as a gift. The three lead actors are superb. The dialogue is intelligent, and the twists to the plot are riveting. It is considered one of the classics of French films.

 
A commercial film When Animals Dream, by Jonas Alexander Arnby, Denmark, 2014, takes place in small Danish fishing village. A young girl (Sonia Suhl) is suffering from abnormal hair growth over her body, which will turn her into a monster. She has just begun work at the local fish factory, where her vicious co-workers torment her. As she becomes more monstrous, she will exact her violent revenge. It is a well made, well acted, humorless film. It is strictly for horror film fans. 

 
A superb exhibition Sinatra: An American Icon is on display at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. With it, films are being shown in the Bruno Walter Auditorium. The Detective, by Gordon Douglas, USA, 1968, stars Frank Sinatra as a dedicated policeman. For twenty years, he has been following his father in the same career. The film opens with the murder of a homosexual, and he pursues the possible murderer, getting involved with the homosexual culture in New York. The film is one of the first to show this theme on film. We also see police brutality, police corruption, and the involvement of politicians. It is an unsentimental, realistic, powerful film, with many wonderful actors like Ralph Meeker, Robert Duvall and Jack Klugman in supporting roles, but Sinatra has never been better in a serious role
 
 
 

08-19-15 Cast member Tina Benko at the opening night party of "Informed Consent" at Tir Na Nog. 315 West 39th St. Tuesday night. 08-18-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

08-20-15 Cast members (L-R) Zane Pais, Jack DiFalco at the opening night party of "Mercury Fur" at Lightbox. 339 West 38th St. Wednesday night. 08-19-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

08-19-15 Cast member Tina Benko at the opening night party of "Informed Consent" at Tir Na Nog. 315 West 39th St. Tuesday night. 08-18-15

08-20-15 Cast members (L-R) Zane Pais, Jack DiFalco at the opening night party of "Mercury Fur" at Lightbox. 339 West 38th St. Wednesday night. 08-19-15

 

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

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