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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -January 28, 2017

 

 

Aubrey Reuben

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

January 28, 2017

 
 
 







Off-Broadway, 
The Liar, by David Ives, adapted from the play Le Menteur by Pierre Corneille, at the Classic Stage Company, is, as the title indicates, about a young man, who is a habitual liar. It takes place in Paris in 1643, and his lies cause many complications. One must admire the playwright, who wrote the play in verse, but lie after lie becomes far-fetched, and it is tedious for the audience. The eight member cast directed by Michael Kahn struggle to make it entertaining.
 


 

Yours Unfaithfully, by Miles Malleson, is a production of the Mint Theater Company. Although the play takes place in 1933, it is as modern as today. A married couple (Max von Essen and Elisabeth Gray) decide to engage in an open marriage. As usual, when the man gets involved with his wife's friend, the result is not as ideal in practice as in theory. The five member cast, especially Elisabeth Gray, is superb, directed by Jonathan Bank. It is an intelligent, perceptive view of a modern marriage. The opening night party at the West Bank Cafe, 407 West 42nd St, was a lovely affair, where I was able to photograph the excellent cast, and congratulate Maya Cantu, who wrote a splendid article about the playwright in the program
 


 

Incident at Hidden Temple, by Damon Chua, is a production of the Pan Asian Repertory. It takes place in 1943, when the American Flying Tigers were battling the Japanese in World War II. A seven member cast, some playing double roles, directed by Kaipo Schwab, produce a strange, atmospheric play noir, with scenes of murder, fist fights, and a supernatural temple. The acting is excellent, and the set design by Sheryl Liu and lighting design by Pamela Kupper create wondrous effects on a small stage. We celebrated opening night at Ollie's Sichuan, 411 West 42nd St, which was a delightful way to celebrate the company's 40th anniversary and the Chinese Lunar New Year. I sat next to cast member Dinh James Doan, who plays two roles, a Blind Man and Chiang Kai-Shek, brilliantly. 


 

The Bolshoi presented The Sleeping Beauty, music by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreography by Marius Petipa with new choreography by Yuri Grigorovich, from Moscow on HD Transmission. I have seen many productions of this ballet, but this one is the most perfect. The dancing by the entire company was sublime. Olga Smirnova as Aurora was simply phenomenal. Her leg extensions were incredible. They were breathtaking, and her speed in her turns was amazing. She is one of the finest ballerinas today. Semyon Chudin was also superb. Again his speed was amazing, and his aristocratic presence was impressive. He was the perfect prince and partner for Smirnova. Two more individual dancers must be mentioned. Yulia Stepanova as the Lilac Fairy was enchanting, and Artemy Belyakov as the Bluebird in the final scene was magnificent with his high jumps and floating presence. It is a glorious production, with sumptuous scenery and costumes, a pleasure for the eyes. The orchestra played the marvelous music excellently.


 

The New York City Ballet presented five ballets with music by Igor Stravinsky. Scenes de Ballet, choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, was charming, with a multitude of young dancers from the School of American Ballet practicing their steps in their classroom. The Cage, choreography by Jerome Robbins, is a fascinating ballet, which featured the brilliant Sterling Hyltin as the Novice. Eight Easy Pieces, choreography by Peter Martins and Scherzo Fantastique, choreography by Justin Peck are pleasant short works. The program concluded with Stravinsky Violin Concerto, choreography by George Balanchine, a perfect way to end a fine evening of dance.

 


 

The New York Asian Women's Center (NYAWC) held a press conference to change its name to Womankind to mark its 35th anniversary of providing life-saving services to survivors of violence at Kirkland & Ellis, 601 Lexington Avenue.

Board member Karen Elizaga spoke eloquently, as did Executive Director Larry Lee, to explain their mission. A clip from a short film Rise Above, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival the weekend before, focused on Brittany, a South Asian survivor of sexual violence. Queen V then performed a song. Photos were taken, and a delicious lunch was served. It was an important event for a very worthy cause.


I attended a photo op for Sunset Boulevard, by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which opens at The Palace Theatre on Thursday February 9. The director Lonny Price spoke about the new production, and I photographed one of my favorite Broadway stars Glenn Close, plus three other cast members Michael Xavier, Fred Johanson and a pretty Siobhan Dillon. I eagerly await the opening night. 


 

The new issue of Metropolitan Magazine features Cindy Guyer and Dale Noelle on the cover as entrepreneurial women. A party was held at Guyer's, 268 Columbus Avenue, where delicious wines and scrumptious flatbread pizzas were served. Cindy, of course, is the lovely owner of this wonderful wine bar and restaurant. Dale is the President and Founder of True Model Management. She is a charming and beautiful lady. Many models attended the party. Among them were pretty Janel Koloski, model and Travel Channel Star, and handsome Rob Morean, model and also a singer, actor and dancer from Venezuela. I met three members of Anne Fontaine, 837 Madison Avenue, Samantha Giunta, the Store Manager, Mariana Mahoney and Ivana from Ecuador. They were delightful company, and they laughed at all my jokes! The three were wearing Anne Fontaine clothes, and they looked fabulous. It was a magnificent evening.



The 53rd Street Library presented Camelot, by Joshua Logan, USA, 1967, based on the Broadway musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. It is a tale of a love triangle with King Arthur (Richard Harris), his wife Guenevere (Vanessa Redgrave) and her lover Lancelot (Franco Nero). The film features most of the lovely music and intelligent lyrics of the composer and lyricist, and the three leading actors are a pleasure to look at. It is almost three hours long, but it is time worth spending.


The Riverside Branch Library presented The Talk of the Town, by George Stevens, USA, 1942, a fascinating serious/comic film, with three wonderful stars, Cary Grant, Ronald Colman and the adorable Jean Arthur. Grant escapes from prison, where he has been wrongly arrested. He seeks shelter in his old friend Arthur 's house, who has just rented it to Colman, a famous law professor. There are lots of funny, slapstick scenes, but it is also an indictment on the miscarriage of justice. It is a fine film.



 

The Columbus Branch Library, 742 Tenth Avenue presented The Man Who Knew Too Much, by Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1956, a wonderful suspense thriller, starring James Stewart and Doris Day. They are an American couple visiting Morocco, when they get caught up with spies, murder and an assassination plot. When their young boy is kidnapped, they pursue the abductors to London. There is a fabulous scene at a concert in the Royal Albert Hall (where, incidentally, Liza Minnelli gave a concert in 1992, at which I met Princess Diana). The film is beautifully photographed, and the acting by the entire cast is marvelous.


 

Woody Allen has written and directed many wonderful films. Cafe Society, USA, 2016, at the 58th Street Library, unfortunately, is not one of them. The leading actor and leading actress are dull, boring, and lacking in chemistry. A young man goes to Hollywood, where is his uncle is a powerful man in the film industry. He meets his uncle's secretary/lover. They fall in love. He returns to New York, and opens up a swanky nightclub. She stays behind and marries his uncle. There are many, too many, unattractive, unpleasant minor characters, who populate the screen, and add nothing to the plot. They are also unfunny. Woody, better luck next time!

 

 
 
       

01-28-17 (L-R) Cast members Mikaela Izquierdo. Elisabeth Gray at the opening night party for "Yours Unfaithfully" at the West Bank Cafe. 407 West 42nd St. Thursday night. 01-26-17.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

01-27-17 (L-R) Playwright Damon Chua. cast member Rosanne Ma at the opening night party for "Incident at Hidden Temple" at Ollie's Sichuan. 411 West 42nd St. Thursday night. 01-26-17.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

01-28-17 (L-R) Cast members Mikaela Izquierdo. Elisabeth Gray at the opening night party for "Yours Unfaithfully" at the West Bank Cafe. 407 West 42nd St.
Thursday night. 01-26-17

01-27-17 (L-R) Playwright Damon Chua. cast member Rosanne Ma at the opening night party for "Incident at Hidden Temple" at Ollie's Sichuan. 411 West 42nd St. Thursday night. 01-26-17

 
 

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

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