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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - November 24, 2017


 

 


On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
November 24, 2017

 

 





When I visited London, I stayed at the home of my late, dear friend,, the English operatic baritone 
Derek Hammond-Stroud, who lived in in North London where the title of the play takes place. Muswell Hill by Torben Betts, at the Mainstage Theatre, is a co-production of The Barrow Group Theatre and the Pond Theatre Company. A wife (Colleen Clinton) is preparing dinner for four guests in the kitchen of her home where the play takes place. After imbibing lots of wine, the guests reveal their insecurities and chaos ensues. The six member cast display perfect English accents and are completely believable, under the expert direction of Shannon Patterson (photo below). We congratulated the cast and director at a champagne reception on opening night at the theater.
 

 

Rejoice! This is the season to be jolly. Home for the Holidays, The Broadway Concert Celebration, at the August Theatre, features magnificent singers and talented musicians performing Christmas songs. The voices are splendid, especially those of Candice Glover, Josh Kaufman and Bianca Ryan.  Peter and Evynne Hollins were the other two superb singers. Danny Aiello made a special appearance, and told stories of his youth and sang. A pretty Kaitlyn Bristowe was the host.. The excellent creative and musical direction was by Jonathan Tessero, who allowed the individual musicians to shine in solos.The nine musicians are terrific. I enjoyed every minute of this enchanting show, perfect at this time of the year. The opening night party took place at Copacabana, 268 West 47th St, where guests like Robert Cuccioli, Laila Robins, Patti Murin, Colin Donnell, Constantine Maroulis, Randy Jones, Andrew Rannels, Sierra Bogess, Jordan Roth, enjoyed the delicious food and wine as they congratulated the cast.

 
 
53rd Street Library presented Lawrence of Arabia, by David Lean, UK/USA, 1962, which is considered by most film critics to be one of the finest films ever made. It introduced Peter O'Toole in the title role and made him a star. The film is filled with some of the finest actors, like Alec Guinness, Anthony Quayle, Jose Ferrer, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Arthur Kennedy and Claude Rains. The photography is simply brilliant.

The music is memorable. It is mainly based on the actual life of T.E. Lawrence, who was influential in the Middle East during World War I, and helped England and the Arab World defeat the Turks. O'Toole dominated the film in one of the most outstanding performances ever seen on screen.

53rd Street Library presented Traffic, by Steven Soderbergh, USA, 2000, is about drug trafficking. The scenes take place in Mexico and the United States. It has a large cast of fine actors, starring Michael Douglas as an Ohio judge, who goes to Washington to head a drug task force. As drugs are a menace to our society today, it is relevant.The film, while overlong and filled with violence, is powerful. The acting by the entire cast is superb, and the subject is important.
 

At Film Forum I attended a press preview of  the documentary Naples '44, by Francesco Patierno, Italy, 2017, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, which will be screened November 29-December 12, It is based on a memoir of Norman Lewis, who entered the devastated city in 1943 and remained there in 1944 as an American soldier, after the Germans retreated during World War II. It is a fascinating film, showing the horrors of warfare on innocent civilians. There is archival wartime footage, and clips from films made in the 50s and 60s, featuring actors like Marcello MastroianniAlan Arkin and Ernest Borgnine, among many others. Lewis returned to his adopted city many years after and revealed its recovery.

 
20th Century Blues, by Susan Miller, at the Pershing Square Signature Center, opens on November 26, and my review will appear in next week's column.

The New York City Ballet presented its gift for the Holiday Season to New York City, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, choreography by George Balanchine. It is, without doubt, one of the finest productions of this ballet ever produced to the delight of children of all ages. Megan Fairchild (The Sugarplum Fairy  Joaquin De Luz (Her Cavalier) and Ashley Bouder (Dewdrop) danced magnificently, and deserved the tumultuous applause they received. The children: Alex Grayson (Marie), Benjamin Griffin (Fritz) and the Angels in the second act were adorable. Aaron Plous (Herr Drosselmeier's nephew) as (the Nutcracker) showed great poise and gave an outstanding performance. The glorious music never sounded better, under the baton of Andrew Litton. The scenery by Rouben Ter-Arutnian and the costumes by Karinska were a delight to the eye. It was a lovely, memorable night at the ballet.

 

 
 
 

 

 
 

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