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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - February 6, 2016

 

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
February 6, 2016

 




 

The Hairdresser, by Susan Charlotte, is a production by Cause Celebre, in association with Nancy Jackman and Rosemarie Salvatore. It is a Location Theatre Project, a new form of theatre, which was presented in The Rossi Salon, 30 West 56th St, starringLouise Lasser and Stephen Schnetzer. It is an interesting concept, and the two actors were just fine. We congratulated them after their performance at a reception in the hair salon.

I was invited to a charming Italian restaurant, Bocca East, 1496 Second Avenue, for a delicious press luncheon to announce the 3rd SR Socially Relevant Film Festival to take place at the Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea from March 14-20. Appropriately, the restaurant served bow tie pasta as the main course! In the first two years, 108 films from 33 countries were seen. Actress/filmmaker/curator Nora Armani made a short speech explaining the purpose of the festival, and its origin and history. The festival has four competition categories, and a list of of eight feature length narratives and eight documentaries were distributed. The other two categories are short films and screenplays. Where my schedule permits, I hope to attend the festival.

MoMA is presenting All That Jack (Cole), Jan 20-Feb 4, an eighteen film series, featuring the choreography and staging of Jack Cole, influential on screen during the 1940s and the 1950s. Eadie Was a Lady, by Arthur Dreifuss, USA, 1945, features Ann Milleras a student in a private girls school, who wants to become a Broadway star. She works in a burlesque show, while hiding her identity. It is a silly story redeemed by her magnificent dancing. 

The Thrill of Brazil, by S.  Sylvan Simon, USA, 1946, also features Ann Miller, but in a secondary role. The film stars Keenan Wynn and Evelyn Keyes, who contribute little to the ridiculous plot. However, the final dance number of faux Brazilian type dancing is a joy to watch.

Tars and Spars, by Alfred E. Green, USA, 1946, stars four wonderful actors. Alfred Drake made his film debut after starring on Broadway in Oklahoma, followed by other stage triumphs, and sings a beautiful song with is mellifluous voice. Janet Blair, already a film star, later became a Broadway star in The Pajama Game, and plays Drake's lover. Marc Platt, a remarkable dancer, steals the film when he performs a Russian style dance number at the beginning of the film. Sid Caesar, in his film debut revealed his enormous talent as a comedian, which led to a successful career on television.

 

The unbelievable plot is about men in the Coast Guard during World War II, who want to see action against the Germans. 

Kismet
, by Vincente Minnelli, USA, 1955, features four wonderful singers, Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Vic Damone and Dolores Gray. Thanks to them, and the beautiful songs, plus the exotic choreography and staging by Jack Cole, the film is enjoyable. Based on a Broadway show, which actually won the Tony Award for Best Musical, the tale of a poet who survives many incredible adventures in a mythical Middle East is far fetched and unbelievable, and not very funny. But the music, based on the works of Borodin, is enchanting, and the Stranger in Paradise, sung as a duet by Blyth and Damone is still one of its finest creations. 

Let's Make Love, by George Cukor, USA, 1960, is about a French billionaire (Yves Montand), who learns he is being mocked in an Off-Broadway revue. He visits a rehearsal and sees a chorus girl (Marilyn Monroe). What follows you can imagine. It is quite an enjoyable film and the two stars are delightful. There is a funny scene with Montand wanting to learn to tell jokes, sing and dance, and he hires Milton Berle, Bing Crosby and Gene Kelly! However, this was the last film with a Jack Cole choreography, and his sixth film with Monroe.

This series has been one of the best at MoMA, thanks to dance critic/co-curator Debra Levine, who introduced every film with still photos and intelligent comments. She also invited wonderful choreographers, dancers and writers to share the stage with her. It is a tribute to Jack Cole for his brilliant, imaginative, and inventive choreography. Every film enthusiast owes a debt of gratitude to MoMA, which is one of the treasures of New York.

A commercial film Embrace of the Serpent, by Ciro Guerra, Colombia, 2015, was filmed in the Amazonian rainforest. Based on a true story, a shaman, the last survivor of his people, over forty years, beginning in 1909, forms a friendship with two different scientists, who are searching for the psychedelic Yakruna plant. The horrors they encounter, first as a young man with one scientist and a guide, and then years later as an old man with another scientist, are realistically shown. It is wonderful to travel the world by film. I would not like to have ventured with these scientists in the jungle. It is a fascinating film, exquisitely photographed.
 

 

02-03-16 Actress/Filmmaker/curator Nora Armani shows the pizza that was being served as an appetizer at the press luncheon for the 3rd SR Socially Relevant Fim Festival at Bocca East. 1496 Second Avenue. Tuesday afternoon. 02-02-16.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

02-02-16 Cast members (L-R) Stephen Schnetzer. producer Rosemarie Salvatore. Louise Lasser. writer Susan Charlotte at "the Hairdresser" at The Rossi Salon. 30 West 57th St.. Monday night. 02-01-16.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben


02-03-16 Actress/Filmmaker/curator Nora Armani shows the pizza that was being served as an appetizer at the press luncheon for the 3rd SR Socially Relevant Fim Festival at Bocca East. 1496 Second Avenue. Tuesday afternoon.
02-02-16

02-02-16 Cast members (L-R) Stephen Schnetzer. producer Rosemarie Salvatore. Louise Lasser. writer Susan Charlotte at "the Hairdresser" at The Rossi Salon. 30 West 57th St.. Monday night. 02-01-16

 

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

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