Off-Broadway, The Oldest Boy, by Sarah Ruhl, is about an American mother, married to a Tibetan man in an American city, who receives a visit from two Tibetan monks, who want to take her three-year-old son, who they claim is a reincarnated Buddhist teacher, to be raised in a monastery in India. For those members of the audience interested in Buddhism and reincarnation, this dull play may be of some interest.
I could not attend Grand Concourse, by Heidi Schreck, on opening night, but I was able to attend the opening night party at Bea, 403 West 43rd St. Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie were there to congratulate cast member Lee Wilkof.
A revival of Allegro, music by Richard Rodgers, book & lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, directed & designed by John Doyle, at the Classic Stage Company, opens on November 19. My comments will appear in the next column.
The New York City Center presented An Encores! Special Event The Band Wagon, music by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics by Howard Dietz, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall. The delightful MGM 1953 film version had a limited success, but was certainly an entertaining musical, starring Fred Astaire. The songs and dance numbers in this production are the highlights, but, unfortunately, the book by Douglas Carter Beane is weak and tedious. It's a typical backstage story about putting on a Broadway show. The cast is terrific, especially Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tony Sheldon and Laura Osnes. I Love Louisa is wonderful in the first act, Triplets in the second act is fun, and A Shine on Your Shoes is a brilliant finale. That's Entertainment was a hit in the film, and is probably the most well known song. The Encores! series is always a marvelous chance for audiences to recall forgotten musicals.
The Encores! series is always a marvelous chance for audiences to recall forgotten musicals.
The Mikhailovsky Ballet Company from Russia presented Giselle, music by Adolphe Adam, staged by Nikita Dolgushin, at the David H. Koch Theater. Natalia Osipova performed the title role, and was simply wonderful. Her dancing, especially in the second act, was breathtaking. She is, without doubt, one of the finest Giselles appearing today. She was ably supported by Leonid Sarafanov, who also revealed his marvelous technique in his solos in the second act. The rest of the company is well trained and performed magnificently, especially Veronika Ignateva in the Peasants' pas de deux in the first act, and a fine Ekaterina Borchenko as Queen of the Wilis in the second act. It was a spectacular night at the ballet.
I attended a dress rehearsal of the first act of The Flames of Paris by the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company. Like Giselle, it is a sumptuous production. The second scene A ball at the King's palace features exquisite costumes worn by the nobles and their ladies. A theatre piece is presented, danced beautifully by Irina Perrin, Leonid Sarafanov and Veronika Ignateva.
A VIP reception was held at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers for the Kickoff of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) 18th Gala and Auction. Many athletes attended, and I photographed NY Giant Kevin Ogletree and Brooklyn NetsMason Plumlee with Miss USA Nia Sanchez. It was a festive occasion.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans' Annual Heroes Gala celebrating their 10th Anniversary at Cipriani 42nd St, 110 East 42nd St, was a glorious occasion, honoring Admiral Mike Mullen and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Willie Geistwas the Master of Ceremonies and Kandace Springs performed.