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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - December 2, 2017



On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
December 2, 2017



Off- Broadway, 20th Century Blues, by Susan Miller, at the Pershing Square Signature Center, is a play about four women who reunite once a year to talk, eat, drink and pose for a photo. They have been doing this for 40 years when they first met in jail. The six member cast, headed by Polly Draper, is quite good, directed by Emily Mann. The play, itself, although humorous at times, is not that interesting, unfortunately. However, it is always a delight to see Polly Draper return to the stage. She alone is worth the visit. The opening night party took place at BEA. 403 West 43rd St, with guests like Gretchen Cryer, and Mandy Patinkin, who congratulated his wife/cast member Kathryn Grody. It was a lovely party.


Who's Holiday, by Matthew Lombardo, at the Westside Theatre, is a sixty-minute one woman show starring Lesli Margherita, directed by Carl Andress. It is Christmas Eve and she is living in a trailer,  awaiting her guests to arrive. She entertains the audience by relating her tough life, and invites one member to join her on stage for a drink. She passes out hors d'oeuvres and persuades the audience to sing a Christmas song with her. She is very funny, very talented, and has wonderful charisma. The audience loves her, and they rose to give her a tremendous ovation at the conclusion of her terrific performance. The opening night party took place at Southern Hospitality, 645 Ninth Ave, with a multitude of guests like Jim Caruso, Julie Halston, Alison Fraser and Charles Busch. It was again a lovely party



A Deal, by Zhu Yi, at the Urban Stages, is a play about a 25-year-0ld Chinese young lady (Wei-Yi Lin), who receives a degree from Columbia University and wants to be an actress. Her parents  (Alan Ariano and Lydia Gaston) arrive from China, and a generational conflict ensues. The six member cast are fine, under John Giampietro's expert direction. It's an interesting play about Chinese with lots of money who want to buy homes in New York.


Muswell Hill by Torben Betts, at the Mainstage Theatre, is a co-production of The Barrow Group Theatre and the Pond Theatre Company. The playwright arrived from England for a Q & A at the Drama Bookshop, 250 West 40th St, with five members of the cast, who read a scene from the play. It was a lovely event.






On Broadway, 
Meteor Shower, by Steve Martin, at the Booth Theatre, is a funny comedy about a couple (Amy Schumer and Jeremy Shamos) who entertain a bizarre couple (Laura Benanti and Keegan-Michael Key) one night in their home in Ojai, California, with disastrous results. All four actors are directed expertly by Jerry Zaks. Amy Schumer is a well known comedienne in her debut on Broadway, and she rose to the occasion. Jeremy Shamos, Laura Benanti and Keegan-Michael Key, also in  his Broadway debut, contributed to the success of the 80-minute play to the delight of the audience which gave them a standing ovation at the curtain call. Then we all went to the opening night party at La Sirena, 88 Ninth Avenue, where we congratulated the cast and creative team. Among the many guests, I enjoyed talking to some of my favorite actors like Goldie Hawn, Martin Short, Victor Garber and Marsha Mason, while we dined on delicious food and drank from a magnificent selection of fine wines and cocktails. It was a night to remember.


The Parisian Woman, by Beau Willimon, at the Hudson Theatre, stars Uma Thurman. It is a play about politics in Washington D.C. Uma Thurman has an open marriage with a tax lawyer (Josh Lucas), who wants to be nominated as a federal judge. It is a play full of cliches about modern day Washington. The cast of five actors work hard, under the direction of Pam MacKinnon. The other three actors are Blair Brown, who steals every scene in which she appears as a Washington insider, Phillipa Soo as her ambitious daughter, and Marton Csokas, in his Broadway debut, as a powerful, wealthy manipulator, who is also very good in the final scene. Thurman is the weakest on stage, in an unbelievable role, and her costumes, for a movie star, are dreadful.


Downtown Race Riot, by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, opens on Sunday, December 3, at the Pershing Square Signature Center. The seven member cast, headed by Chloe Sevigny, and directed by Scott Elliott, is a production of the New Group. My review will appear in next week's column.


Once on this Island, book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen Flaherty, at Circle in the Square, opens on December 3. My review will appear in next week's column.


I attended Laughercise, presented by Laughing Affairs, founded by comedian Felicia Madison, who introduced four comedians, Jocelyn Chia, Ophira Eisenberg, Abby Feldman and Bill McCuddyat the West Side Comedy Club at Playa Betty's restaurant, 320 Amsterdam Avenue at 75th St.  Besides enjoying their comedy routines, we were served a delicious lunch and fine wine. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.





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