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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben March 10, 2018

 

 

Aubrey Reuben

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

March 10, 2018

Good for Otto, by David Rabe, is a production of the New Group. It is an overlong play (over three hours) about two doctors at a mental health clinic, interviewing a variety of patients and their families. If you are interested in watching actors talking about their mental problems while sitting in chairs, you may enjoy this undramatic stage production.
 

Three Wise Guys, by Scott Alan Evans & Jeffrey Couchman, is a TACT production at Theatre Row. It opens on Sunday, March 11. My review will appear in the next column.

Jean Shafiroff (photo below) 
was the Master of Ceremonies at the 66th Annual New York Junior League Winter Ball at the Pierre Hotel. The theme was Riviera Romance. It was a lovely affair, beginning with a cocktail reception, a silent auction, dinner. a live auction and an awards ceremony, followed by dancing and dessert. The ladies looked elegant in their gorgeous gowns, especially Jean Shafiroff, and the men wore black tie. It was a memorable event.

 

MoMA is presenting El Indio: The films of Emilio Fernandez, March 1-13. I married my first wife, who was Mexican, in Mexico City in 1956. We were classmates at the National University. We spent every other summer in Mexico for the next 39 years. Seeing these films for me is nostalgia for the happy life we shared until her death in 1995. I saw the following four films. Victimas del pecado (Victims of Sin), by Emilio Fernandez, Mexico, 1950, is a melodrama which takes place mainly in two different cabarets, and featured a dance called rumbera to Afro-Caribbean music. The heroine dances in both clubs and is treated badly by men. It is a grim tale of the seamy side of life. However, the music recalls the pleasant period of the times with singers like Pedro VargasRita Montaner and the orchestra conducted by Perez Prado. There are also mariachis. 

 








The second film was El rincon de las virgenes (Nest of Virgins), by Alberto Isaac, Mexico, 1972,  starring Emilio Fernandez as a fraudulent healer. This is the only film in color. His adventures with credulous villagers is occasionally funny, and really quite silly. It is, however, fairly entertaining. 

 

Maria Candelaria, by Emilio Fernandez, Mexico, 1943, stars Dolores del Rio as a native Indian girl, shunned by her community for her mother's transgressions. Her lover is another Indian played by Pedro Armendariz. It is a melodramatic love story, a tearjerker, which ends in tragedy. Dolores del Rio gives a lovely, tender performance. She was a famous film actress in Mexico, and was a star in Hollywood.

 

Rio Escondido, by Emilio Fernandez, Mexico, 1947, stars Maria Felix. She was also a famous film actress in Mexico, and in the film she plays a teacher sent to a rural village. The mayor is a tyrannical brute, who treats his community badly. She is the heroine, who kills the mayor, and then dies, but her memory lives on. It is another grim, depressing melodrama. 

 

All four films show the horrible treatment of the Indian population, that has suffered since the conquest of Mexico by Cortes in 1519. Their poverty is appalling, and today with the drug cartels running rampant, it is one of the most crime ridden and violent countries in the world.

 

MoMA also presenting Modern Matinees: Delmer Davies and H.C. Potter, March 1-April 27. The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, by H. C. Potter, USA, 1939, stars Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire as the dancing couple, who rose to fame throughout Europe and America before World War I. It is a delightful film, and it is a joy to watch the two dancers perform.

 
 
Lillo Brancato, Jr, is starring in a documentary entitled Wasted Talent. I attended an after party for the film at Tuscany Steakhouse, 117 West 58th St. I photographed him with Noel Ashman, who produced the film, ((photo below), and enjoyed delicious Italian hors d'oeuvres and fine wine, while chatting with members of the film's creative team and actors from the cast.
 
       

Jean Shafiroff was the Master of Ceremonies at the 66th Annual New York Junior League Winter Ball at the Pierre Hotel.  Photo by: Aubrey Reuben

Lillo Brancato, Jr, and Noel Ashman.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben


 
 

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

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