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

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
November 4, 2017

 







A revival of Shadowlands, by William Nicholson, at Acorn Theatre Theatre Row, is a Fellowship for Performing Arts production. A splendid cast, headed by a magnificent Daniel Gerroll (photo below) as C.S. Lewis, a professor at Oxford University, a confirmed bachelor, who suddenly falls in love with a New York divorced lady. The play is superb, as is the ten member cast, directed expertly by Christa Scott-Reed. The scenic design by Kelly James Tighe deserves an ovation itself. The dialogue is a pleasure to listen to, clever, intelligent, and witty at times. I enjoyed every minute of this wonderful play..The opening night party took place at Yotel Hotel-Green Fig Room, 570 Tenth Avenue, where we congratulated the excellent cast, creative team and the playwright, who arrived that day from London. Daniel Gerroll's son Tobias, and wife Patricia Kalember were present to enjoy his outstanding performance.

 
Rejoice! The Big Apple Circus is alive and well at Lincoln Center Damrosch Park. It celebrated its 40th Anniversary Season with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer raising the curtain opening night. It is a delight for children of all ages. The jugglers, acrobats, high wire and trapeze performers, clowns, including Grandma the Clown, who returned from retirement, and the adorable dogs and horses, both large and small, all are included in this fabulous show. Do not miss it!

 
For television fans, they will love 
Friends! The Musical Parody, book and lyrics by Bob and Tobly McSmith, music by Assaf Gleizner, at St. Luke's Theatre. An enthusiastic, energetic six member cast, directed by Paul Stancato, delighted the audience. The music is pleasant, and the audience recalled all their favorite moments from the sitcom. We congratulated the cast at the opening night party at The Brazen Tavern, 356 West 44th St. It was a very entertaining evening.
 
 
Three more films from MoMA, which is presenting Strange Illusions: Poverty Row Classics Preserved by UCLA, Oct 19-28The Vampire Bat, by Frank R. Strayer, USA, 1933, with Lionel AtwillMelvyn Douglas, and Fay Wray. A mad doctor (Atwill) is killing people in a village to drain their blood to create new life. Douglas is the detective who solve the crimes, and rescues his sweetheart Fay Wray. I met and photographed Fay on many occasions. She was, always, sweet, gracious and charming. Her face lit up the screen. The plot is nonsense, but very entertaining, and the actors are a pleasure to watch.

 
The  Crime of Doctor Crespi, by John H. Auer, USA, 1935, stars Erich von Stroheim as an obsessed surgeon, who wants to seek revenge on his colleague who stole his sweetheart. The bizarre plot, based loosely on Edgar Alan Poe's Premature Burial, is ridiculous, but like most of the films in this series, it is entertaining. What is enjoyable about them is there are moments of humor, which lessens the horror aspects of the film.

 
White Zombie, by Victor Halperin, USA, 1932, features Bela Lugosi of Dracula fame. This one takes place in Haiti, where dead men's bodies are returned to the earth as zombies and controlled by Lugosi. Again the plot is totally absurd, but audiences love it. When a lovely, American young lady marries there, she dies, and is turned into the white zombie of the title. Not to worry, as in all these films, the heroine returns to life, and the romantic couple live happily ever after.


 

I have never entered the elegant building Down Town Association, 60 Pine Street, before, but I was very impressed when I attended a This is Italy, Parts Unknown, Workshop on Food, followed by a Gustoso Sicilian Food tasting. We sampled two delicious pastas, tasty breads, olives, cakes and two fine Sicilian wines. It was a wonderful introduction to the magnificent food of Sicily. Among the guests were my old friend Tony May, his daughter Marisa and her husband Leonardo Metalli. Tony was the leading Italian restauranteur of New York. I visited all his fine restaurants that he created in New York.  He is now teaching culinary skills in five cities in Italy. 

 
Two of my favorite dancers were honored at The Actors Fund's Career Transition For Dancers Jubilee GalaCatherine Zeta -Jones (photo below) and Robert Fairchild at the Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway. Among the guests at this wonderful event were Michael Douglas, the proud husband of Catherine and Sarah Estey, who is starring with Robert in BrigadoonBebe Neuwirth was the host, and other guests included Brian Stokes Mitchell, Allyson Tucker Mitchell, Bonnie Comley, Stewart F. Lane and Rob Marshall. The head of the Actors Fund, Joseph Benincasa always presents the most marvelous evenings.
I attended a photo op for Bulldozer: The Ballard of Robert Moses at Nola Studios. The five member cast is headed by Constantine Maroulis. I look forward to its opening night on December 7 at the Theatre at St. Clements.
 

 

A wonderful third annual Voices for the Voiceless: Stars For Foster Kids, a benefit for You Gotta Believe!, took place at Town Hall with wonderful performers like Stephanie Mills, Jonathan Groff,  Sierra Boggess with many others, and speakers like Melissa Gilbert, Jeffrey Sellers and Charlene Tilton, who related their histories as foster children. Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley founded this organization,  and they are to be congratulated for this glorious charity. A lovely after-party took place at Blue Fin.

 
The 24 Hour Plays 2017 took place at the American Airlines Theatre, with an after-party in the penthouse of the theatre. A large number of actors and playwrights took part in the program, and it was a delight to greet playwrights like Marsha Norman, who was honored, directors like Kate Whoriskey, actors like Raul Castillo and Bret Gelman, and guests like Amanda Green and Julie Jordan. As always, it is a lovely event.



Two magnificent exhibitions inhabit the Frick Museum, 1 East 70th. Murillo: The Self-Portraits, November 7, 2017-February 4, 2018 and Veronese in Murano: Two Venetian Renaissance Masterpieces Restored, October 24, 2017-March 11, 2018Bartolome Esteban Murillo was the superb Spanish painter of the seventeenth century. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of his birth, there are the only two portraits of him were ever painted by him, one as a young man and the second, twenty years later, as a mature artist. Many other paintings are included, and one in particular is outstanding Two Women in the WindowPablo Veronese was the great Italian painter of the sixteenth century. His St. Jerome in the Wilderness and St. Agatha Visited in Prison by St. Peter are marvelous examples of his brilliance. I could look at them forever. His mastery of his art is evident in these two remarkable paintings. The Frick is the jewel of all museums in New York, and I urge every art lover to  visit these two exhibitions.



The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue, presented a press preview for Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, November 3, 2017-March 18, 2018. For those who are captivated by fashion, this is  fascinating exhibition. The emphasis is  on women's clothes, but there are also clothing for men, boys and girls. Most garments are from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, an have disappeared from modern use. They are from over twenty countries from four continents and represent their culture. The wedding dresses, in particular, will delight brides to be. The craftsmanship and skill of these dressmakers will astonish the viewers. Do not miss this wonderful exhibition. There is also Math Bass: Crowd Rehearsal on view in the museum's Skirball Lobby from November 2, 2017-March 18, 2018. Her unusual sculpture is worth seeing.


 

It is frustrating when two of my favorite museums have a press preview on the same morning. I managed to attend both, even though they were miles away from each other. My late first wife, Maria Elena Aragon de Reuben, was Mexican and an expert on ancient Mexican history, and had visited every archeological sites of the country and Guatemala. She would have loved this press preview. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, presented a press preview of Josef Albers in Mexico, November 3, 2017-February 18, 2018. It is an impressive display of interesting works, based on his numerous visits to Mexico. And again do not miss this wonderful exhibition. 

 

The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, presented a press preview of Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas, November 3, 2017-January 14, 2018. I was born and educated in Manchester, England, and read every book that the great novelist wrote. The exhibition is about The Christmas Carol and four other books that he wrote about Christmas. It is the first time all the manuscripts have been presented together. It details his reading of his works around England and on his two visits to the United States after the American Civil War. He was the celebrity of his time. It is a fascinating look at a remarkable man. And again and again do not miss this wonderful exhibition. 

 
 
 

 

 
 

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

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