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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben March 31, 2018

 

 

Aubrey Reuben

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

March 31, 2018

The National Chorale is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. My good friend, Artistic Director Everett McCorvey leads this magnificent group, and is presenting Beethoven's 9th Symphony at Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, on Friday, April 13. Before the concert, there will be a grand reception, a fundraiser, with a brief musical performance and a silent auction for benefactors, supporters, contributors and friends. The Chorale also supports music in New York’s public schools with its Artists in Residence vocal programs. The highlight of this program is their partnership with the Professional Performing Arts School which provides a pre-conservatory style vocal program in which 72 students perform. Their annual school choral festivals display the prodigious talents of multiple New York City elementary, middle and high school choruses. Board member Peter Perlman is sponsoring the reception at the Phillips Club, 155 West 66th St. It will be a grand occasion to show your generosity to this wonderful organization. To contribute, please contact The National Chorale, 1650 Broadway, Suite 301, New York, NY 10019, (212) 333-5333.


A revival of Angels in America, by Tony Kushner, at the Neil Simon Theatre, is  a revised version of the play that captured the attention of Broadway audiences in 1993. At that time, AIDS was the scourge of the nation. Fortunately, today, there are cures for the illness. However the subtitle of the play is A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, and it is as relevant today as it was in 1993. Andrew Garfield, as a gay young man with AIDS, who utters the last word at the end of the 7 and one half hour two part play, will be nominated for a well deserved Tony Award. His performance is riveting. Nathan Lane, a Broadway treasure, is also splendid as Roy M. Cohn. His first scene in his office is hilarious. Lee Pace, Denise Gough, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and James McArdle give outstanding performances. The first two as a Mormon couple, with Nathan as a black hospital nurse and James as the Jewish lover of Andrew. In 1993, there was diversity in casting.  Marianne Elliott directed the superb cast, and the play still leaves an indelible impression on the audience. The opening night party was at Espace, 635 West 42nd St.
 

A revival of the Off-Broadway play, Lobby Hero, by Kenneth Lonergan, at the newly renovated Hayes Theater, formerly known as The Helen Hayes Theater, is a play that takes place in a dilapidated lobby, where a security guard Jeff, (Michael Cera) acts as a doorman. His supervisor, William (Bryan Tyree Henry) checks on him, and tells him about a serious problem involving his brother in the murder of a nurse. Two policemen on duty, Bill and Dawn (Chris Evans and Bel Powley) stop by each night. Bill visits apartment 22J to have sex with a prostitute, while his female partner waits for him in the lobby. Jeff cannot stop talking, and his big mouth causes trouble for all the the four pathetic characters, who  cannot utter a sentence without using profanity. The dialog is so revolting, that I am fed up with being bombarded by the f... word. It is grim, depressing tale, directed by Trip Cullman. Security people and members of the police department should do well to avoid this play.


The Stone Witch, by Shem Bitterman, at the Westside Theatre, features three splendid actors, Dan LauriaRupak Ginn and Carolyn McCormick. directed expertly by Steve Zuckerman. It is about a famous children's book writer and illustrator, who lives isolated in the woods.


 
A young man arrives at his cabin to inspire him to write again. Besides being a fascinating, well acted story, the scenic design & illustration art by Yael Pardess and the projection design by Brad Peterson are most impressive, especially in an Off-Broadway production. The opening night party took place at The  Palm, 250 West 50th St. and was the finest opening night party that I have ever attended, with guests like Byron Jennings, Edward Hibbert and Lorna Dallas.

A revival of 
A Walk in the Woods, by Lee Blessing, at the Barrow Group Mainstage Theatre, features two superb actors, K. Lorrel Manning and Martin Van Treuren, directed by Donna Jean Fogel. They play two diplomats, one American, the other Russian, who are in Geneva, Switzerland trying to negotiate an arms treaty between their two countries. It is a serious, intelligent, funny, well acted play. I enjoyed every minute of it. A champagne reception for the opening night followed in the lobby, where we toasted the two fine actors.
 

I was invited again to see Once on this Island, book & lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen Flaherty, at Circle in the Square. The musical is quite enjoyable and the cast is delightful. There is a goat in the production, and the children in the first row squealed with delight when they petted him. It is a perfect family show, with an excellent cast and pleasant music.


 

Founding Artistic Director Susan Charlotte presented Cause Celebre Musical Brunch Series at Chez Josephine, 414 West 42nd St, one of my favorite restaurants. KT Sullivan performed Songs by 29 Women and 2 Men!, accompanied by Jon Weber at the piano. As well as the watching a fine performer. the guests enjoyed a delicious lunch of a choice from three appetizers, followed by a choice from three entrees and a special dessert, with a choice of a cocktail or wine. It is always a lovely event. Following the three hour luncheon, certain guests were invited to Susan's penthouse for fine conversation with a glass of wine.
 

MCC Theater presented MISCAST 2018 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The honoree was Laurie Metcalf. Among the multitude of guests and performers were James Monroe Iglehart, Michael Esper and Alison Pill. The evening began with a cocktail reception followed by dinner and a performance. It is always a lovely event.


I went to Treadwell Park, 1125 1st Ave, for A Night of Classics, celebrating the work and writing of Michael Jackson: The Beer Hunter. There are Talks and Tastings in The Cellar beginning 6:30pm. There are three more different talks each half hour  at 7, 7:30 and 8 with speakers and samples of beer. They include Schneider Aventinus, Saison Dupont, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Cascade Hops and Dogfish Head 90 Minutes. I tasted Saison Dupont, St.Bernardus Tripel and Cask: Greene King Abbot Ale. All three were delicious. The restaurant has a full bar, with 20 selections of Draught Beer, and Bottled Beer from many countries. I tasted a fine Sauvignon Blanc La Petite Perriere from France, 2016. It also serves food from an extensive menu, plus a weekend brunch. Beer lovers rejoice! You have a wonderful restaurant in which to indulge your favorite beer.

I attended an intimate party for Andre Holland, who is directing Dutch Masters, by Greg Keller, at the Wild Project from April 3-April 21. It took place at Tuscany Steakhouse, 117 West 58th St, where delicious hors d'oeuvres were served with fine wine. Ian Duff, who is one of  the two cast members in the play attended. It was a delightful party.

 
       

Nathan Lane, a Broadway treasure, is also splendid as Roy M. Cohn. His first scene in his office is hilarious. Lee Pace, Denise Gough, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and James McArdle .  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben


 
 

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

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