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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - March 12, 2016

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
March 12, 2016

 

Eclipsed, by Danai Gurira, at the Golden Theatre, is, without doubt, the best play on Broadway this season. The five member cast, directed expertly by Liesl Tommy, are all superbly marvelous, and must be named. They are Lupita Nyong'o, Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengbloh. They are five women trapped in 2003 during the Liberian civil war and are the captives of a rebel commander. They are sexually abused and are forced to obey their master. In order to escape this horror, some become soldiers trained to kill. That they manage to survive is wonderful, and each actress leaves an indelible impression on the viewer. Do not miss this memorable theatrical experience. The opening night party took place at Gotham Hall with numerous celebrities like Kathryn Erbe, Arian Moayed, Lillias White, Joel Grey, Bill Irwin and many, many more.


Disaster!, by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick, concept created by Seth Rudetsky and Drew Geraci, at the Nederlander Theatre, is a musical, with jukebox popular songs from many years ago, sung at a high decibel level. It takes place on a floating casino and discotheque, where it is struck by an earthquake, tidal wave and other catastrophes. The talented cast, with many Broadway veterans like Adam Rapp, Kelly Butler and a scene stealing nun played by Jennifer Simard, perform with energy and enthusiasm under the direction of Jack Plotnick, and the choreography of JoAnn M. Hunter. Based on disaster type films, it is mildly amusing. This is not for sophisticated theatergoers, but the average audience audience will enjoy a fun filled two hours.
 

 
The Robber Bridegroom, book and lyrics by Alfred Uhry. music by Robert Waldman,  opens on Sunday, March 13. My review will appear in next week's column.

 
The Royale, by Marco Ramirez, directed by Rachel Chavkin, at the Lincoln Center Theater at the Mitzi E. Newhouse, is an imaginative and inventive play, with five fine actors, about the first black heavyweight champion of the world at beginning of the twentieth century, based on the true story of Jack Johnson. 
                      

Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA are presenting press screenings for New Directors/New Films March 16-27. Suite Armoricaine, by Pascale Breton, France, 2015, is about a university art teacher (Valerie Dreville), who leaves Paris to return to her hometown in Rennes to teach. There she reunites with her old friends, who are a motley, unattractive crew, including a disturbed mother (Elina Lowensohn) and her equally mentally disturbed son (Kaou Langoet). These are people you do not want to see on screen. The film attempts to be on an intellectual level regarding discussions of art and university education, but is pretentious, and the characters are bored, and are boring for the viewer.


 

Mountain/Ha'har, by Yaelle Kayam, Denmark/Israel, 2015, is about a dissatisfied, overweight Orthodox Jewish wife (a superb Shani Klein) living with her husband, and four children, in a house in an ancient cemetery, which is used by prostitutes and their pimps at night. She becomes friendly with one of the older prostitutes and gives them home cooked meals. It is fascinating, unusual film, and a glimpse into the way of life of Orthodox Jews in Israel.


 

 

 

Eldorado XXI, by Salome Lamas, Portugal/France, 2016, is a documentary about mining in the Peruvian Andes. It begins with miners walking up and down the dark mountain trail, while voice-overs of uneducated, poor people tell about their miserable lives in the mining town La Rinconada. This goes on, seemingly, forever, and one wants to escape from the cinema and enter the sunlight.
 

Donald Cried, by Kris Avedisian, USA, 2016, is an off beat comedy, about a young uptight financier (Jesse Wakeman) returning to his home town in Rhode Island for the burial of his grandmother. He accidentally meets an old high school pal (Kris Avedisian), who convinces him to hang out together. The result is a series of comical adventures, because his pal is off the wall. I enjoyed every minute of this entertaining comedy.

 

Tikkun, by Avishai Sivan, Israel,, 2015, is about a Yeshiva student, collapsing in a bathtub and is pronounced dead. His father resuscitates him back to life. He begins to question his Orthodox faith, and engages in all sorts of sexual activities, including visiting a brothel. The final scene of him abusing the vagina of a dead woman with his hand reveals not only his sickness, but also that of the filmmaker. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this film to anyone.
 

Neon Bull/Boi neon, by Gabriel Mascaro,  Brazil/Uruguay/Netherlands, 2015, is about vaquejada rodeos in Brazil, where two men on horseback pull the tail of a bull to bring him down to the ground. It is not a pleasant sight. Iremar (Juliano Carre) travels with a single mother, her young daughter and another obese worker in a truck as they go to the different rodeos. The highlight, according to the press notes, is an "audacious and memorable sex scene", where he has sexual intercourse with an eight month pregnant security guard on a table,  where cloth is cut in a clothing factory. Apparently, he wants to be a fashion designer. 
 

Weiner, by Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg, USA, 2016, is a documentary about former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned from Congress because of his lies, and attempted a political comeback by running for mayor in  2013. He lost. Why these filmmakers wanted to film him is a mystery. He is an egotistical, sex obsessed, spoilt individual, whose family life is also peculiar. He is unattractive, and to see him, frequently, in shorts and barefoot is not particularly pleasant. One of the young plump women he pursued on the internet appears in the film attempting unsuccessfully to confront him. Obviously his taste in women is as weird as is his personality. 

 

Demon, by Marcin Wrona, Poland/Israel, 2015, is about a Polish wedding interrupted by the appearance of a dybbuk, a dead spirit. You would never want to attend a wedding like this, although its a thoroughly entertaining, occasionally scary film.

 

Happy Hour, by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Japan, 2015, lasts 317 minutes. It is a long, very long film, but surprisingly, it is, for the most part, worth the wait. Four female friends in their thirties enjoy their time together, when not working or living their dissatisfied lives at home, either, single and divorced, or going through a divorce, or married unhappily, or married with a sullen teenage son and mother-in-law. Everyone is dominated by the men in their lives. The four actresses are excellent and totally believable. It is a penetrating view of friendship and married life. The photography is beautiful.

 

 

03-07-16 Cast member Lupita Nyong'o and Rick Miramontez watches at the opening night party of "Eclipsed" at the Gotham Hall. 21356 Broadway. Sunday night 03-06-16.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

03-12-16 Producer Alani "LaLa" Anthony at the opening night of "Eclipsed" at the Golden Theatre. 252 West 45th St. Sunday night 03-06-16.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben


03-07-16 Cast member Lupita Nyong'o and Rick Miramontez watches at the opening night party of "Eclipsed" at the Gotham Hall. 21356 Broadway.
Sunday night 03-06-16

03-12-16 Producer Alani "LaLa" Anthony at the opening night of "Eclipsed" at the Golden Theatre. 252 West 45th St. Sunday night 03-06-16

 

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

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