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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - May 13, 2017


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
May 13, 2017


Lucille Lortel was a dear friend of mine, For her, I renewed my passport, obtained a visa, and ventured into the wilds of Connecticut to her White Barn Playhouse. She was a wonderful lady, and thank goodness for the Lucille Lortel Awards, which preserves her memory. Since they began 32 years ago, I have attended most of them. The 2017 Annual Lucille Lortel Awards took place at the NYU Skirball Center. It honors Off-Broadway shows, which this season sent many of their productions to Broadway. I photographed the arrivals, which included honorees, nominees and presenters. I then watched the ceremony, where the winners thanked the audience. Among the awards, were Lifetime Achievement Award to honoree William Ivey Long, and winners like Director Bartlett Sher, Playwright J.T Rogers, Outstanding Lead Actress Jennifer Ehle (photo below), and Outstanding Featured Actor Michael Aronov, all four from Oslo. We then went to the Post-Ceremony Reception in the Rosenthal Pavilion on the 10th Floor, NYU Kimmel  Center for food and drink. I congratulated many of the honorees, like Lynn  Nottage, and winners, like Jennifer Ehle, and nominees, like Michael Emerson and Johanna Day. It was a glorious occasion. Lucille would have been delighted.


The Actors Fund Annual Gala at the Marriott Marquis honored four outstanding people, Sally Field, Danny DeVito (photo below), Jo Ann Jenkins and Harold Prince. Many Broadway stars attended, including Joel Grey, Josh Groban, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marin Mazzie and others too numerous to mention. It was a splendid event. Joseph Benincasa always provides a wonderful evening.


The actors company theatre TACT 2017 Spring Gala took place at The University Club, 1 West 45th St. Four distinguished women of the theatre were honored,  Elizabeth McCann, Nelle Nugent, Theresa Rebeck and Alice Ripley. I was invited to dine and was placed next to to David Staller, the Artistic Director of Gingold Theatrical Group with other members of the company. I had the great joy to chat with old friends like Simon Jones and Lee Roy Reams. It was a marvelous evening.


On Wednesday, the 2017 Drama Desk Awards Nominees reception at The New York Marriott Marquis is always a satisfying event, for not only do we photograph the talented people of Broadway and Off-Broadway, but fine food is served. Among the many nominees who attended, I was happy to photograph Laura Linney, Cynthia Nixon, Andy Blankenbuehler (when is going to shorten his last name?), Jayne Houdyshell, Dave Malloy, Bobby Cannavale, Ed Dixon, who immortalized my dear friend George Rose in his one man show Georgie, and many, many more. I was sorry to leave, but I had five events to cover that day. Sometimes, it's another slow day!


I went to the The Leopard at des Artistes, 1 West 67St, the second event, where the Consorzio Di Tutela Dei Vini Del Sannio and Gruppo Italiano held a very special wine tasting with Sannio wines and typical Campania dishes. The wines were marvelous. My favorite was a rose, but the whites and the red were equally remarkable. Those accompanied by delicious hors d'oeuvres, and pasta and risotto, made a wonderful combination of exquisite wines and fine food. It was a joyous occasion..


I rushed to photograph one of my favorite actresses, Tyne Daly, at Actors Connection, 630 9th Avenue, who is appearing with her brother Tim Daly and John Procaccino, directed by Adrienne Campbell Holt, in Downstairs, by Theresa Rebeck, at the Dorset Theatre Festival. This was my third event of the day. It is being presented in Vermont, and I make it my rule now, that I only review a play in a theater, that I can walk to.


My fourth event was at the Hampshire House, 150 Central Park South, in a luxury apartment on the 26th floor with a glorious view of Central Park.


The beautiful celebrity jewelry designer Margo Manhattan was previewing her newest HSN jewelry collection, with a reception featuring wonderful rose wines from Cotes de Provence. I tasted one. It was delicious. I photographed Margo. And regretfully, I had to leave quickly to arrive on time for my fifth and final event of the day.

I arrived on time to photograph the honoree Niles Rodgers, who also performed at the 23rd Annual New York City Gala to Benefit Caron's Patient Scholarship Fund at Cipriani 42nd Street. I also photographed him with two lovely ladies, the former Miss Germany Petra Levin and model/actress Kelly Bensimon. Also honored that evening was Kenneth and Elaine Langone. It was the end of another slow day on the town in New York City. 
After that, I went home to prepare myself for the events on Thursday.


On Thursday, I attend a marvelous gala at Gotham Hall. It was The Brotherhood/Sister Sol Gala honoring actor Jeffrey Wright and artist Carrie Mae Weems. Among the guests, I photographed Bobby Cannavale, Rose Byrne, Michael K. Williams, Terence Winter and Executive Director and Co-Founder Khary Lazarre-White. The dinner was delicious and everyone had a wonderful time celebrating the Harlem-based national youth development nonprofit that for 22 years has been transforming the lives of young people. It is a worthy cause, and their achievements have been spectacular.

Every night, I go to bed with a good book, or, at least, with someone, who has read a good book. Last night, I went to bed with the best book I have read in 2017. Money, murder, and Dominick Dunne: a life in several acts, by Robert Hofler, The University of Wisconsin Press, 2017, is a fascinating biography, of a gentleman I thought I knew well, as I had photographed him many times, and chatted with him at many celebrity parties. Little did I know how little I knew about him. Robert Hofler is a brilliant writer, and a true investigative reporter. His research is extensive, and he reveals how writers like Dunne will recall facts differently and incorrectly. Dunne was a wonderful writer, with his novels turned into successful television mini-series. He was a crime reporter, who covered all the many celebrity trials for Vanity Fair. He had, however, a complex personality, and experienced many tragedies, including the murder of his only daughter. Being a homosexual, his family life was troublesome, and his relationship with his children suffered. I could not put the book down, until I read the last page. It is full of delicious gossip about the most famous celebrities in the world, from Princess Diana to Elizabeth Taylor. Rush out and purchase this book. You will enjoy every minute you spend with it.

Marry Harry, book by Jennifer Robbins, music by Dan Martin, lyrics by Michael Bello, is a York Theatre Company production at the Theater at Saint Peter's, 629 Lexington Avenue.  It is a charming, delightful 80-minute musical. The excellent seven member cast, is directed expertly by Bill Castellino. The two leads, David Spadora and Morgan Cowling, sing beautifully, and the music is  pleasant, the lyrics intelligent and the book contains many pearls of wisdom about two young lovers and romance. The opening night party was a joyous occasion at a wonderful Italian restaurant, Luna Piena, 243 East 53rd Street, where they served us a multitude of hors d'oeuvres, pasta and fine wines and beer.

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players presented Patience or, Bunthorne's Bride, at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. Thank goodness New York City has Artistic Director Albert Bergeret for keeping William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan alive in New York. Their operettas are delightful. They are melodious, funny and extremely clever. The two poets, James Mills and David Macaluso, stole the show. They were hilarious. The highlight of the performance was So go to him, and say to him, sung by Caitlin Burke and Mills. The tumultuous applause brought them back for two encores. A pretty Sarah Caldwell Smith played the title role, and sang beautifully. The orchestra played the sparkling music, under the baton of the magnificent Albert Bergeret.

The New York Pops 34th Birthday Gala honored Kelli O'Hara and Bartlett Sher. (photo below).




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

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