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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben March 4, 2017



Aubrey Reuben

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

March 4, 2017



The Metropolitan Opera presented I Puritani, by Vincenzo Bellini, one of the most melodious operas of all time. The production is a traditional one, thank goodness. It is not necessary to modernize a perfect opera. Just give the audience magnificent singers, which the company did to the delight of the enthusiastic audience. Javier Camarena (Arturo), who I have now reviewed in three different bel canto roles, continues to give great pleasure to opera lovers. He has a glorious voice in all registers, and reaches his high notes with ease. He certainly is one of the leading tenors in the world today. Diana Damrau (Elvira) was in wonderful form, both as an actress as well as a singer. Her powerful voice is a joy to hear. Her mad scene in Act II brought down the house. She is an operatic treasure. Luca Pisaroni (Giorgio) and Alexey Markov (Riccardo) supported the two stars excellently, with strong voices, making their duet concluding Act II one of the highlights of the evening. The chorus, conducted by Donald Palumbo,was, as always, terrific, and the orchestra, under the baton of Maurizio Benini never sounded better. It was a night of marvelous singing and splendid music.


On Broadway, Significant Other, by Joshua Harmon, at the Booth Theatre, was seen Off-Broadway, where it received good reviews, and has now transferred to Broadway. A gay young man (Gideon Glick) has three female friends (Sas Goldberg, Rebecca Naomi James), all of whom get married during the play, leaving him alone, and sad. Barbara Barrie (Photo below) plays his wise grandmother, and Trip Cullman directed the fine cast. The opening night party took place at the Redeye Grill, 890 Seventh Avenue, with an open bar and delicious food, where we congratulated the talented cast and creative team.


Off-Broadway, The Penitent, by David Mamet, at the Linda Gross Theatre, is a production of the Atlantic Theater Company. It is a tale of a psychiatrist, who is reluctant to testify in court for the defense of a young man he was treating for mental illness, and had murdered people. The play consists of short scenes between two people at a time, with his wife, with his lawyer and with another attorney. It is the typical Mamet dialogue, with the occasional F... word. It also more like an acting exercise, rather than a play. Neil Pepe directed the four member cast.


Dear World, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, based on The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux, is one of the Musicals in Mufti series by the York Theatre Company. A splendid thirteen member cast, headed by Tyne Daly, and directed by Michael Montel, with Christopher McGovern at the piano and Louis Tucci with bass/accordion, presented a delightful production of the musical. The story is whimsical, about some eccentric people saving Paris from a group of businessmen who want to drill for oil and destroy the city. The opening night party took place in the Lounge of Saint Peter's Church at Citicorp. It was a very pleasant party.




All the Fine Boys
, written and directed by Erica Schmidt, is a production of The New Group, about sexual awakening by two teenage girls, searching for love with two feckless older men, and being disappointed. The four member of the cast, Abigail Breslin, Isabelle Fuhrman, Joe Tippett and Alex Wolff are very convincing. We congratulated the cast at the opening night party at Green Fig Urban Eatery, 570 Tenth Avenue, with complimentary wine and delicious Israeli food. Among the guests were Sara Bareilles, Peter Dinklage, Ethan Hawke, Josh Hamilton, Billy Crudup and Alex Wolff's parents Polly Draper and Michael Wolff. It was a wonderful party.

Turning Page
, written and performed by Angelica Page, directed by Wilson Milam, at Dixon Place, is the story of the life of the wonderful actress Geraldine Page, the mother of Angelica Page. The one woman show begins with the early life of her mother, who was determined to be an actress, and succeeded, winning an Oscar for The Trip to Bountiful. She tells us about her three husbands, acting with stars like James Dean, John Wayne and many others too numerous to name. She starred in film, directed byWoody Allen, and in plays by Tennessee Williams. I knew her personally, when she appeared on Broadway in Agnes of God, with Amanda Plummer and Elizabeth Ashley. At the opening night party at Freemans at the end of Freeman Alley on Rivington between The Bowery and Chrystie, I gave Angelica two photos of her mother from 1983. One was at Sardi's at a party for the first anniversary of Agnes of God, with Carrie Fisher replacing Amanda Plummer, and one in her dressing room, where my first wifeMaria Elena interviewed her for Canales Magazine. Among the guests at Angelica's party was Mary Owen, whose mother Donna Reed won an Oscar for From Here To Eternity in 1953. I photographed the two proud daughters of two great actresses.


A wonderful event was Discover Great British Design, celebrating British creativity, at New York's Decoration & Design Building, at 979 Third Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets. We visited nine showrooms from 3-5pm, and four other showrooms from 5-7pm. at each of participating showrooms like Chesney's, de Le Cuona, Farrow & Ball. We saw bespoke furnishings, ornamental wall coverings and luxurious fabrics, while being invited to drink tea with scones, champagne, gin & tonic, and taste a variety of chocolates. It was a delightful afternoon.

The Actors Fund and Mount Sinai Doctors opened a clinic, conveniently located, for members of the theater community. Brian Stokes Mitchell cut the ribbon for the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts, 729 Seventh Avenue. The ceremony was attended by many people, including the Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, SAG-AFTRA New York Local President Mike Hodge and President & CEO of the Actors Fund Joseph Benincasa. It was a very important event.



The New York Public Library Riverside Branch presented Strawberry Blonde, by Raoul Walsh, USA, 1941, starring James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland and Rita Hayworth. It is moderately interesting, but is famous for its theme song And the Band Played On. The words appeared on the screen after the film, and the audience was requested to sing along. Those present for the screening left in a happy mood.




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

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