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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - February 13, 2016

 

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
February 13, 2016

 

Off-Broadway, Smart People, by Lydia R. Diamond, at 2econdStage Theatre, features four fine actors, directed by Kenny Leon, playing four educated. obnoxious characters. The overlong play proves that four highly educated people can be annoying and irritating when they talk nonsense about racial relations and engage in meaningless sex.


 

A revival of Buried Child, by Sam Shepard, a production of the New Group, directed by Scott Elliott, at the Pershing Square Signature Center, opens on February 17. My comments will appear in next week's column.
 


 

The New York City Ballet presented a program of three Balanchine ballets. It began with Ballo della Regina, music by Verdi, with Megan Fairchild replacing Tiler Peck as the principal dancer with Gonzalo Garcia. They both danced splendidly, as did the four soloists and ensemble. The third ballet was  Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3, in which in the fourth section Tema con variazoni, Tiler Peck replaced Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette replaced  Joaquin de Luz. They both danced brilliantly, as did all the principal dancers and ensembles in all four sections. The two ballets were a joy to watch and reflected the genius of the grand choreographer. The second ballet was Kammermusik No. 2. The composer was Paul Hindemith, whose music is an acquired taste. Unfortunately, I have not acquired it. The dancers, both the two principal couples and the eight member male ensemble, have to perform awkward steps, and their arms and hands are placed in strange shapes. It is not my favorite ballet.


 

The New York City Ballet presented La Sylphide, music by Herman Severin Lovenskjold, choreography by August Bournonville, staged by Peter Martins. it is one of the highlights of the ballet's repertoire. it is a production of the Pennsylvania Ballet. It takes place in Scotland, where James (Joaquin de Luz) is awakened by a sylph (Sterling Hyltin), and is captivated by her on his wedding day to his fiancee (Brittany Pollack). He pursues the sylph into the forest. The ballet ends on a tragic note, when an evil, old crone (Georgina Pazcoquin) has her revenge, after James had insulted her in the first act. The dancing was impeccable by all the principal dancers. The program concluded with Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, choreography by George Balanchine. It is a plotless ballet, beautifully danced by principal dancers Teresa Reichlen and Tyler Angle, with soloist Ana Sophia Scheller. The skillful piano soloist was Susan Walters, and Andrew Litton conducted the orchestra, which played the score wonderfully. It was an impressive night at the ballet.
 


 

Jessica Hecht and David Hyde Pierce were the host of the Williamstown Theatre Festival's 2016 Annual Benefit at City Winery, 155 Varick St. Among the guests were Jo Bonney, Stafford Arima, Dylan Baker and many more.
 



I attended a Meet & Greet for The Effect at the Barrow Street Theatre. The playwright Lucy Prebble, the director David Cromer, and a consultant Paul Browde M.D. who is a psychiatrist spoke about the play which deals with a clinical trial of a new antidepressant pill. The four member cast and the producers were all present. It sounds interesting and I look forward to opening night.

 

I photographed the producers, creative team and the cast of Eclipsed at the Golden Theatre. One of the producers Alani "LaLa" Anthony announced that they will  launch 10,00 Girls Campaign to bring  10,000 girls to see the show. Opening night is March 6, and I plan to be there.

 

I attended a champagne and chocolates reception at the boutique of celebrity jewelry designer Margo Manhattan, 1202 Madison Avenue. It was a Passion & Desire Secret Valentine’s Event & To Celebrate the Launch of www.margomanhattan.com I enjoyed being with the charming host, guests and drinking delicious champagne.

 

Film Society of Lincoln Center held press screenings for Manoel de Oliveira's Tetralogy of Frustrated Love: February 25-28. Benilde, or the Virgin Mother/Benilde ou a Virgem Mae, Portugal, 1975, is based on a play,and is filmed like a play with three acts. A young girl, obsessed with religion, finds herself pregnan,t and believes she is impregnated by an angel and is still a virgin. It is a slow moving, tedious film, almost claustrophobic, confined to small dark rooms, with repetitious dialogue. 

 

Past and Present/O Passado e o Presente, Portugal, 1972, is also based on a a play, but is a revealing picture of attractive, well-to-do, middle class people, discontented with married life. The heroine, married twice, falls in love with her husbands after they died. It is a highly amusing film and is a wonderful dissection of marriage. It is clever, intelligent and realistic. It is photographed beautifully.


 

Doomed Love/Amor de Perdicao, Portugal, 1979, is based on an 1862 popular novel about two lovers, whose marriage was opposed by their families.. It is an almost four-and-a half- hour film, and is a typical melodrama of that period about unrequited love. It requires the patience of a saint to watch this tale for such a long time, even with a short intermission.


 

Francisca, Portugal,1981, is also based on a nineteenth century novel, about a terrible marriage between a nobleman, who has a mistress, and an innocent young girl, whom he marries reluctantly. His brutal treatment of his wife is repugnant. An actor plays the novelist Camilo Castelo Branco as a character in the film, and reflects cynically on the behavior of the callous husband. Again, the film is slow moving, and the characters are unsympathetic. However, the filmmaker in the three films, that take place in the nineteenth century, captures the atmosphere of the period perfectly, and the photography of all four films is a delight. One feels that one has lived the nineteenth century life, and one should be grateful for living in the twenty-first century.

 

02-12-16  Cast member Lupita Nyong'o of "Eclipsed" poses for a photo on the set at the Golden Theatre. 252 West 45th St. Thursday morning. 02-11-16.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

02-10-16 Director David Cromer and playwright Lucy Preeble at a Meet & Greet for "The Effect" at Barrow Street Theatre. 27 Barrow Street. Tuesday afternoon. 02-09-16.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

02-12-16 Cast member Lupita Nyong'o of "Eclipsed" poses for a photo on the set at the Golden Theatre. 252 West 45th St. Thursday morning. 02-11-16

02-10-16 Director David Cromer and playwright Lucy Preeble at a Meet & Greet for "The Effect" at Barrow Street Theatre. 27 Barrow Street. Tuesday afternoon. 02-09-16

 

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

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