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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -January 21, 2017

 

 

Aubrey Reuben

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

January 21, 2017

 
 
 






The Metropolitan Opera presented Il Barbiere di Siviglia, by Gioachino Rossini, in a delightful production, directed by Bartlett Sher. The entire cast sang and acted splendidly. Javier Camarena (Count Almaviva) sang beautifully. His voice reaches the high notes easily, and he is certainly one of the leading tenors of today. Pretty Yende (Rosina) was his equal. She is pretty and has a pretty voice. She also sparkles in her high register, and is a superb addition to the Met. Peter Mattei(Figaro) ownes the role. I saw him in the first performance of this production, and he was wonderful then, and even better now, Maurizio Muraro (Dr. Bartolo), Mikail Petrenko (Don Basilio) and Karolina Pilou (Berta) sang powerfully, and contributed to the success of the evening. The orchestra, conducted by Maurizio Benini, played the glorious music excellently, and the chorus directed by Donald Palumbo, as always, was fine. It was a memorable night at the opera, and the audience left well satisfied, granting tumultuous ovations to the cast.


 

On Broadway, Jitney, by August Wilson, at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, is one of ten plays describing Black life in ten separate decades during the twentieth century in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This one appeared Off-Broadway in 2000. It received good reviews, at that time, for its realism. The current production features a cast of nine characters, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. It takes place in a dilapidated gypsy cab office on a block, that is scheduled to be demolished. The owner (John Douglas Thompson) and his four employees have to find a way to survive. The most dramatic scene is the confrontation between the owner's son (Brandon J. Dirden) and his father, upon his return from prison after serving twenty years for murdering a white woman. It is powerful, and the acting is superb. The dialogue throughout the play is natural, and mainly small talk. But each character on stage is realistically portrayed. 


 

The New York City Ballet presented an all Balanchine program of three story ballets with three outstanding ballerinas. It began with La Sonnambula, music by Vittorio Rieti (after themes of Vincenzo Bellini), with beautiful costumes by Alin Vaes. Tiler Peck as the Sleepwalker was brilliant, well supported by Robert Fairchild as the Poet. The second ballet was Prodigal Son, music by Sergei Prokofiev, with a very modern art decor by Georges Rouault, with Teresa Reichlen as the enchanting Siren, who seduces a marvelous Daniel Ulbricht as the wayward son. The final ballet was Firebird, music by Igor Stravinsky, choreography by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, with sumptuous scenery and costumes designed by Marc Chagall. Ashley Bouder was Firebird in a wonderful performance. Her superb dancing made the audience believe she was a fluttering bird. The orchestra, conducted by Andrew Litton, played the three different scores splendidly. It was another memorable night at the ballet.


I attended a Meet & Greet for the cast and creative team of Significant Other, by Joshua Harmon, which opens on Broadway at the Booth Theatre, 222 West 45th St, on Thursday, March 2. A terrific seven member cast is directed by Trip Cullman. I look forward to opening night.

I photographed the arrivals at the 32nd Annual Artios Awards honoring achievements in casting for Film, TV & Theater at Stage 48, 605 West 48th St. The ceremony was hosted by one of my favorite actors, Michael Urie. Among the presenters were Margo Martindale, Danny DeVito, who came with his daughter Lucy DeVito, Reed Birney and Sam Waterston. Among the casting directors, I spoke with the charming Laurie Smith of Smith Talent Group. I also met David Kirschner, the husband of another casting director, who is an executive chef at dineDK.com. It was a lovely event

The Morgan Library & Museum is one of the finest buildings in New York. I attended a press preview of a superb exhibition I'm Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson., January 20-May 21.  Nearly one hundred items are on display, including manuscripts, letters, paintings, photographs and even a musket from the Civil War. It is a fascinating exhibition about a remarkable lady. Many of the myths about her are shown to be wrong. She was an outstanding poet, who insisted on living her life in her own way. I admire her for her determination.While there, I had brief look at Delirium: The Art of Symbolist Book, January 20-May 14, with artworks and books by Baudelaire, Mallarme and others. As I was unable to attend the press preview of Word and Image: Martin Luther's Reformation, October 7, 2016-January 22, 2017, I also visited this brilliant exhibition of art objects, including many paintings and portraits by Cranach the Elder. Thanks to the invention of the printing press, an unknown priest Martin Luther became one of the most important men of his age. I urge everyone interested in books and art to visit this wonderful museum.
 

I finally visited Metrograph, 7 Ludlow St, a new two theater cinema, with a lovely restaurant on the second floor. I attended a press screening of Anatahan, by Josef von Sternberg, 1953, filmed in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. The black and white film begins in 1944, when a dozen Japanese soldiers and sailors are shipwrecked on a deserted volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean. An embittered farmer, with a pretty young woman, are encountered in an abandoned village. As the years pass by, without any signs that they will be rescued, tensions arrive between the couple and the newcomers, resulting in four violent deaths.. Seven years later, they realize World War II is over, and some return home. It is an interesting story, and the cast give realistic performances. 

 
 
       

01-21-17 Presenters Reed Birney (L) and Sam Waterston at the 32nd Annual Artios Awards at Stage 48. 605 West 48th St. Thursday night. 01-19-17.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

01-21-17 Cast member Lindsay Mendez at a Meet & Greet for "Significant Other" at New Wesr 42nd Street Studios. 229 West 42nd St. Tuesday morning. 01-07-17. Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

01-21-17 Presenters Reed Birney (L) and Sam Waterston at the 32nd Annual Artios Awards at Stage 48. 605 West 48th St. Thursday night. 01-19-17

01-21-17 Cast member Lindsay Mendez at a Meet & Greet
for "Significant Other" at New Wesr 42nd Street Studios. 229 West 42nd St. Tuesday morning. 01-07-17

 
 

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

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