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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - May 20, 2017

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
May 20, 2017

 

One of my favorite events is the 2017 83rd Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. The charming, beautiful Board President Jano Herbosch always fills the dais with the creme de la creme of theatre talent. Among the many celebrities, I photographed the hosts, Audra McDonald and Will Swenson, and guests Reed Birney, Michael Emerson, Glenn Close (a vision in white), Kate Baldwin, Josh Groban, Jennifer Ehle with her mother Rosemary Harris, whom I love (please do not tell my wife), and many, many more. I also photographed the honorees Bill Berloni and Michael GreifThe third honoree, Bette Midler made a diva appearance during the luncheon, accepted her award, and disappeared through the kitchen. The other winners were Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen, Oslo,  Hello, Dolly! and Jitney. It was another wonderful afternoon with great theatre talent


 

New York City Center Encores! presented The Golden Apple, music by Jerome Moross, written By John Latouche, the first Off-Broadway show to transfer to Broadway in 1954. I was serving in the United States Army overseas during the Korean War when it opened, and when I returned home, it had disappeared. Fortunately, we have it revived in a magnificent production, with a sterling cast; everyone a marvelous singer, with excellent voices. It is the story based on Homer and The Odyssey, updated to after World War I when the American soldiers returned home to their small provincial town. The music is gorgeous, sung-through without a break for spoken dialogue.  Rob Berman conducts the fabulous Encores! orchestra. Outstanding among the leads are Ryan Silverman (Ulysses), Lindsay Mendez (Helen) and Mikaela Bennett (Penelope) in her successful debut on stage, directed by Michael Berresse. The female dancers, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, are lovely and sexy, and the male dancers reveal acrobatic skills as well as fine dancing, especially Barton Cowperthwaite (Paris). Thanks goodness for Encores! Always the highlight of the theatre season.


 

The Lucky One, by A.A. Milne, is a production of the Mint Theater Company, one of my favorite Off-Broadway companies.The large cast always performs at a high level, this time directed expertly by Jesse Marchese. Outstanding in this tale of two brothers (Robert David Grant and Ari Brand) and their rivalry to win the hand of the lovely young lady (Paton Ashbrook), the play revels in fine dialogue. The Mint always discovers wonderful, forgotten plays from the past. The audience and cast celebrated the opening night at a party at the West Bank Cafe.


 

 

American Ballet Theatre (ABT) presented Don Quixote, choreography by Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, music by Ludwig Minkus, is probably the most joyous ballet in the company's repertoire. It is probably my most favorite ballet. And what a performance! Isabella Boylston (Kitri) and Danil Simkin (Basilio) were simply spectacular. Every step, every turn, in fact their every movement was greeted with tremendous applause. It was a night to remember. The rest of the cast rose to the occasion. Alexandre Hammoudi (Espada), Stella Abrera (Mercedes, and especially as Queen of the Dryads in Act II), Skylar Brandt (Amour), Sarah Lane and Luciana Paris (Flower Girls), performed brilliantly. All that, plus the sparkling, bubbly music played by the orchestra, under the baton of Ormsby Wilkins, made it a memorable evening at the ballet
 

 


 

 

 



The New Dramatists 68th Annual Spring Luncheon
 at the New York Marriott Marquis is always a splendid event. This time honoring two of my favorite ladies, Daryl Roth and Paula Vogel. Jim Dale, as always, announced the many guests. Among the many talented actors I love, there were David Hyde Pierce, Rita Moreno, Jennifer Ehle, Andrew Rannells, Judith Light, Laura Osnes, Richard Thomas, Eva Noblezada, Lynn Cohen, director Diane Paulus and costume designer Susan Hilferty, and many more too numerous to mention. The lunch was delicious, after a champagne reception, and the entertainment was wonderful. Another superb event to end the theatre season.

 

The 2017 New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards Reception at Feinstein's/54 Below is always a joyous occasion, Not only do they present prestigious awards, they also provide food and drink, like champagne, wine and well drinks, to put everyone in a convivial mood. The winners this year were Oslo, The Band's Visit, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and the cast of JitneyTaylor Mac, Paula Vogel, and the presenters included Jennifer Ehle and Constanza Romero Wilson, the widow of August Wilson. It was a wonderful afternoon.



I returned to Feinstein's/54 Below for a performance by Vivian Reed and Allen Harris who performed a New Song Cycle CP4:Central Park & Other Dreams, by Matthew Sklar and my dear friend William Schermerhorn. The two singers sang two selections each and college student Gillian, who is majoring in dance at William & Mary College in Virginia, danced around the cabaret room to the fifth selection. The music is pleasant, the lyics are poetic and the performance by the singers, dancer and the five member band was perfect. Vivian also sang The Lady Is a Tramp, to commemorate Lena Horne's 100th birthday in June as well as a couple of other numbers, and Allan sang two other numbers before performing a duet with Vivian. It was a memorable night of music.


 

My wife and I attended a marvelous private opening night party for a magnificent restaurant, Mont Blanc 52, featuring Swiss-European Cuisine,which relocated to 344 West 52nd St. We were greeted by three charming ladies, Lola Rivera (Chita Rivera's sister,) Maria from Vienna and Elisabeth Eggimann, who escorted us to a table in the front room opposite the bar. An incredible stream of delicious hors d'oeuvres followed accompanied by champagne, wine and beer. The guests at the party were all old time happy customers from the previous location. I am sure it will have equal success on 52nd St. It is open for lunch and dinner every day. The service is impeccable. I recommend it highly. You will leave very, very satisfied.

 
 

I received an advance copy of a book that will be of enormous interest to people who want to increase their creativity. Create!: How Extraordinary People Live To Create and Create To Live, by Ronald Rand, Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, 2017. It is book of perceptive interviews by the author with actors, actresses, artists, designers, choreographers, dancers, clowns, mime artists, puppeteers, composers, lyricists, directors, educators, musicians, singers, playwrights, poets and writers. It begins with a two page preface,The Creative State of Mind, by Mel Gordon, a retired professor, who taught theatre history and acting for four decades, and a two page introduction by Ronald Rand, who has taught and performed for over two decades on five continents, from which one learns the theme of this fascinating book. Among those interviewed, I can only mention a few, like Joel Grey, Chita Rivera, Al Hirshfeld, Jacques d'Amboise, Tommy Tune, David Shiner, Charles Strouse, Sheldon Harick, Julie Budd, Christopher Durang, Tisa Chang, Harold Prince and Dick Cavett. Anyone interested in the arts should purchase this book. It will leave a profound impression on your mind, and may change your life.

 
 

 

 
 

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

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